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?


Blogger Gab said...

My ex-husband was a 'Pete Smith'. He still is. The problem, as I see it, is ongoing. When your ability to assess a person has been proven so completely wrong, how do you manage to have trusting relationships again?

3:54 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

With time, the ability to trust returns. "Pete" is not your fault and no indicator of your abilities to correctly assess a person. They're very manipulative, calculated and cunning. I'm sure he wasn't this way when you met him; it happens slowly and is very sublte at first. Hang in there and stay strong.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

There are just too many Peter smith around. I never like anyone who never shows any amount of anger or frustration. Seriously. no one is that happy about everything in life. You think you got no problems, then you are ONE BIG problem. Those people need to check in mental institutions asap.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You have almost totally described my life with my ex husband, except he didn't, as far as I know, molest my daughter. Everyone thinks he's wonderful, even when they have been told what he's done to us, they still just adore him. It amazes me, even to this day. We've been divorced 5 years and he's still the life of the party. That's why I googled this subject tonight and found your blog. It's so frustrating!

6:55 PM  
Blogger DEB said...

I have just completed a book titled Family Terror that is available at The name of the book is significant. By calling this abusive behavior domestic violence or a domestic dispute we give permission for the violence not to be taken seriously. If a fight happened in a fast food restaurant we would not call it a hamburger dispute. It would be a crime. Also, Family Terror is a crime.
And there lies the ultimate solution. We don’t need more conventional shelters. In fact we will need fewer conventional shelters if only we treat “Family Terror” as a crime. The abuser is the criminal. It is not a logical solution to hide the victim and let the abuser run free. There are technical methods to guarantee protective orders are enforced.
If we continue down the path we are currently on, this violence and its results will multiply with each generation. Stop and think about one abuser and victim and their children. How many lives will be impacted in the next generation or next 50 years because of these people? Keep in mind that most children grow up to be either a victim or an abuser if they were raised in that environment. It is also important to note that 80% of the people who are incarcerated today grew up in abusive homes. So each of these crimes causing the incarceration, also had victims as well.
The most prudent use of funds is stopping the abuser. If the abuser is stopped, many things will change for the better. This abuse is the TRUE SILENT EPIDEMIC in our country.
Anytime there is a great deal of money being passed around, there is going to be issues embraced that are selfish and not wholesome to the good of the cause.
The big question is how can we the proper solutions started and cease the improper band aid expenses that are just plain wasteful of our tax money.

9:37 AM  

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