In recent month’s women, children and the lives of families have been hijacked, wiped out by another person’s anger and control because a relationship was about to end. The women we read about with our morning cup of coffee whom are killed is the mom next door, they live in an exclusive gated community, their professions range from lawyers to teachers and stock brokers. They do not fit the traditional “signs “of those once depicted as “battered or black and blue.” You will not find them at a shelter or in court seeking an order of protection. Many victims of violence in today’s world are educated with successful careers. The men they are in a relationship with or married to are well mannered, handsome professionals. These men give an air of success and confidence. If they are abusive and controlling it is always behind closed doors. They are a new breed in the area of intimate family homicide.
For this special series we will chronicle one woman’s journey with the understanding that intimate family violence and homicide happen not just to women, but men are also losing their lives in this epidemic.
Gina, age 47, a certified public account by profession was introduced to Robert an attorney through mutual friends. She was divorced and had one child in college. Robert was a widower a Deacon at his church and the father of 2 daughters age 17 and 22. From all appearances Robert was a loving and caring father. Gina was impressed when she was informed by her friend how Robert took care of his wife diagnosed with pancreatic cancer cradling her in his arms until she died four years earlier. Gina immediately formed an opinion without ever meeting Robert that he was a man of “exceptional character.” Gina had already begun to put on her blinders by hearing and seeing only what was in front of her.
The two spoke on the phone for several weeks before making plans to meet. As Gina prepared for her evening she changed outfits several times. Some blouses were “too low cut, a dress was a bit much, Gina settled on a skirt below the knees, high heels and a buttoned down jacket and shirt combo.
Robert arrived with a bouquet of assorted flowers and the two headed out to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
They had a great time and when Robert said goodnight he asked Gina if he could take her out again. After a few months they were spending a lot of time together and Robert decided to introduce Gina to his children. An evening of take out and conversation was planned. Gina walked into the modest home and was surprised to see large portraits and photos of his late wife throughout the house.
Robert explained to Gina they were put up for the memorial service and because of the children he didn’t have the heart to take them down. Gina recalls thinking how lucky they were to have a close loving family.
to be continued......