Domestic Violence and Honesty: Are you protecting your abusive spouse/partner?

It is late one evening and her spouse began to rant and rave about her job; a job which often required overtime hours but paid extremely well. She had called her husband to let him know she would be late, which he did more frequently than she did. When she walked into the kitchen, he started to yell, which quickly escalated to swearing. He demanded that she quit. She shouted back. “No, I’m not giving up my job just because you find it inconvenient!” and stormed out of the kitchen, quickly ran up the stairs to the bedroom and locked the door. Her heart pounded as she heard him stomp up the stairs. He banged on the door with a full body force until it opened. He cornered her, grabbed her by the shoulders and dragged her out of the bedroom yelling. “You’ll do what I say or you will be sorry.” Again, she fought back but lowered her voice so she wouldn’t awaken the children. “I won’t quit my job because you demanded it. Have I ever told you to quit yours?” she snarled.
His face was drawn into a menacing scowl. She had challenged his control over her. When they reached the top of the staircase, he grabbed her, clamped his hand over her mouth and in one push, sent her tumbling down the stairs. She couldn’t break the fall and hit the foyer with such force it knocked her out.
He left her there for hours and when she regained consciousness, she could not move her left arm which was swollen and bruised. He gently helped her up. “Honey, I’m so sorry you tripped. I’ll get you to an emergency room. Let me get our next door neighbor to stay with the kids.”
On the way to the hospital he told her that he would talk to the doctor, not her. After X-rays were taken, she was put in a curtained berth of the ER. After almost an hour, a doctor pulled the drape back. He put the X-rays up on the lighted panel. Her husband stood at the head of the bed, gently stroking her head.
“You have two bad breaks. Can you tell me how this happened?” She looked up at her theatrically concerned partner. “She tripped on her robe and fell down the stairs.”
Why was she protecting him? She was terrified to unveil the truth. Where would she go? What would he do to her if she did?
This scenario happens across the country DAILY. It is a part of the cycle of abuse. Fortunately, most ER’s are staffed with doctors and nurses who have been trained to recognize injuries related to domestic violence. If she had told the truth, the ER would have called the police who would have taken him into custody. To lie and protect your abuser is only creating more abuse for you and possible death.
It is time to take control of your life. There are so many facilities to aid victims of domestic violence. They can get you to a safe place where the abuser will not be able to find you, and if you have children, to protect them as well. The ER in your state or the police will give you a list of shelters and hotline numbers in your area. DO NO DELAY. You can also call the NATIONAL DOMESTIC HOTLINE toll free number: 1-800-799-SAFE.

Author's Bio: 

Penelope Van Buskirk was educated at Fairleigh Dickson University and has written witty articles/poems for Running Times Magazine, Camperways, Ideals Magazine, Worcester Telegram and Gazette and The Auburn News to name a few.
This is her first book. She currently is a motivational speaker/volunteer for Chrysalis Domestic Violence Shelter in Phoenix, AZ.