Domestic Violence; The Hidden Secret

There is a hidden secret in homes all across America that most people chose to ignore. This is my place to share my thoughts, views and occassional rants about the issue of domestic violence. It is my hope that this blog will prove to be an educational tool that will shatter the myths and misconceptions surrounding the issue, raise awareness and motivate all members of society to take a stand against violence against women.

Location: New York, United States

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

No, You Must Be Mistaken

"Pete's a great guy, I've known him for years", "Who, Pete? No way, he never fights with anyone", "Mr. Smith would never do anything like that. He's the best 3rd grade teacher in the district; all the kids love him", "Pete Smith is a wonderful neighbor, he's always willing to help out and is a lot of fun at our yearly block party".

These are all statements made by people that are convinced that they know Pete Smith, a third grade teacher in a quiet suburban area. He appears to be a great guy to everyone that knows him; always happy, charming, willing to help, cares about others, etc. Sadly, all of those that think they know Pete, don't really know him at all and their comments attesting to his character will only make things that much more difficult for his wife of 20 years.

Pete's wife just found out that their young child, barely school age has been sexually abused by Pete. This animal committed the unspeakable against his child. He has physically, verbally and emotionally abused his wife for 18 out of the 20 years they've been married. His wife kept quiet all of these years out of fear. Fear of retaliation, fear of the unknown and worse of all, fear of not being believed. Pete worked very hard to ensure that she would never do anything to protect herself. He repeatedly told her all of it was her fault and she had better not go to the court for protection because he'll lose his job. Mary attempted to get help once but was met with shock and disbelief. Not Pete, he could never do these things.

This time is different. After having her young child describe sexual acts that a child that age could never even imagine, Mary didn't care who would believe her. In the blink of an eye she got herself and their four children out of that house. She sought protection from the court, child protective services became involved.

It's not an easy road ahead for Mary and her children and the court cases are still going on. Imagine standing face to face with this person that you committed your life to, who in turn, abused you and your children. Imagine standing there listening to them make small talk with court personnel and present themselves in the most charming, intelligent, respectfull maner possible. Imagine hearing the Judge read all of the allegations and the report submitted by CPS and the appointed law guardian indicating reason to believe that the sexual abuse allegations are credible and yet, this person holds firm that they have no idea what the court is talking about. Imagine this person trying to say that YOU are mentally unstable and have convinced the child to say the things they said.

Imagine, hearing your neighbors and friends make comments about how wonderful this person is even after all of this has come out in court. Imagine being allienated by all of your friends and in-laws because Pete has now lost his job. Imagine nobody taking a minute to comprehend what has happened and heaven forbid, place some responsibility on the person that committed these hideous acts.

You never, ever know what goes on behind closed doors and yes, even the most well liked teacher in the school district could be abusing their partner.

You never really know what someone is capable of. Not only is abusing your partner in any way, shape or form horrible and inexcuseable, but it's the best kept secret on the block.

Obviously names and details have been changed for confidentiality reasons however the main points and premise are 100% true.

Any thoughts?

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