While there are many intimate partner, stalking and domestic abuse murders to highlight and unsolved cases sitting idle as if they were stacked up in rush hour traffic waiting as investigators inch forward from low gear in the case to finally making an arrest, my attention today is for those who are alive. Living in abusive relationships right now.
I was taken by surprise earlier today when someone whom I consider a close friend and a colleague was seriously injured by her husband. As the day unfolded so did the details of what happened. Every case and situation of abuse bothers me, but this one hit home.
It could be anyone- you, someone you work with, the mom you sat next to at the P.T.A. meeting or even the server at starbucks coffee for that matter.
In an effort to save what I term as the "silent Mary Jo's" of the world those living in war zones across the United States, Canada and Europe, the battle field is their own home I will use a gerneral overview based on the facts a life threatening situation just hours ago.
Mary Jo graduated with a masters degree in business. This highly energetic and attractive young woman landed a job at a chemical company in Washington, D.C. With no shortage of men asking her out she was careful to not get serious with anyone. Her career was a priority. Within a year Mary Jo locked eyes with Peter who had been transfered by the company to the D.C., office. Peter's rugged looks and his charming personality won the heart of Mary Jo. Two years later they married. The following year she gave birth to twin boys. Anxious to continue working Mary Jo started a chemical product company from her garage shipping orders across the country from the family garage until the business required a larger space.
The couple talked and Peter quit his job to oversee the business. Mary Jo maintained majority ownership and control making it one of a handful of female owned minority companies in the country with revenue after 6 years close to $35 million in sales. As the company prospered their marriage began to erode. Important decisions in the company were suddenly usurped by Peter. The hands on management and control she had no longer existed. Mary Jo threw herself into the boys activities and school. And she created a platform for which to speak out against various forms of abuse. That is how we met. At a violence conference in SanDiego where we struck up an immediate friendship. On and off we worked together on various and cases of intimate partner violence. And over the past couple of years we grew closer like girlfriends getting together happend when either us were in the others neck of the woods. But like most victims of abuse Mary Jo was very careful to keep her secret.
When Mary Jo started speaking up and disagreeing with Peter he barked at her as though she were his child. "You don't question me" he would snap back. The conversations -one way of course quickly turned into "ugly" in your face confrontations. When Mary Jo didn't back off enough Peter would slap her across the face with his open hand to physical beatings. Over time Peter was taking control of the household expenses and keeping close tabs on Mary Jo.
Fifteen years later and of few trips to many visits to the doctor, dentist or hospital because of so called "clumsy accidents" Mary Jo had enough. Several months ago she confided in me that she was making plans to end the marriage. In response I told her as a precaution to prepare the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit, "just in case", I said.
Today, I learned that Mary Jo's loving husband Peter has been tracking and stalking her every move. From reading her personal emails on the computer to tracking her movement by the GPS tracking system he activated on the company cell phone he gave her. Peter has been accusing Mary Jo of having an affair. Mary Jo during arguments was now standing up to Peter and this morning she was nearly killed. A neighbor heard her screams and called 911. As the sirens approached the house at 10:20 A.M. EST, Peter bent down and whispered in his bleeding wives ear "think about what cemetary you would like to be buried at my darling."
I haven't been able to speak with Mary Jo. But I can speak to you. Before you decide that you have had enough and are ending the relationship create for yourself the "Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit" and video (shown below).
If you do nothing else, please take one important step that if something does happen to you, if you do vanish like Stacy Peterson, Vensus Stewart, Rachel Anderson, Susan Powell, Lisa Stebic, or are found murdered like Monica Beresford-Redmond, Franki Jacobson, Renee Pagel and others where the person responsible has gotten away with murder that your voice and record of the abuse will be captured and recorded. Do it for you friends, family and loved ones. Do it for your children. Do it for you! If you have an opportunity take a moment and download a podcast from a radio show I did earlier on the AWN Radio Network Linked HERE.
How you can escape a violent relationship and get out with your life. ALSO NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE
It is better to be a safe and alive "Mary Jo" than "a dead Jane Doe.
Been there, done that…” Susan Murphy- Milano has turned a tired phrase into demonstrable realism through the gift of her newly published book, "TIME'S UP: A GUIDE ON HOW TO LEAVE AND SURVIVE ABUSIVE AND STALKING RELATIONSHIPS