Divorce and restraining orders are not uncommon ground for a 20-year-old Wisconsin woman from Fond du Lac. The young woman's mother was the victim of repeated battery and abuse; a cycle of violence that she left only to return time and again. When her mother threatened divorce in 1992, her husband strangled her to death. The tragic incident has shaped the life of the Fond du Lac woman, who was only 1-year-old when the murder occurred.
Today, she is active in the Coordinated Community Response Against Violence (CCR). Her mission is to communicate with women victimized by abuse, arguing they have many options to escape, including restraining orders and divorce. She draws her inspiration from her own story and from those of other domestic violence survivors.
Growing up without a mother and a father in prison was understandably painful to her. For years, she could not bring herself to talk about it to her friends. Later, she learned she was not alone. Shockingly, spousal battery and abuse and even murder are not uncommon.
Divorce and legal separation are difficult and often emotionally wrenching for victims of abuse. While they consider the children and the financial challenges, they sometimes fail to consider themselves. It's hard for them to believe the person they married would ever go beyond abuse to commit murder. However, it does happen, and threats should be taken seriously.
This woman's personal history demonstrates the need to take action when threatened. The young mother's life may well have turned out differently had she sought protection. Today, the daughter stresses that there are many people and agencies willing to help an abused spouse make tough decisions. They include marriage counselors, divorce attorneys, and other spousal abuse victims.
The daughter is passionate about her crusade and participates in National Domestic Violence Month each October. She speaks at public events and displays the color purple, which represents the cause of domestic violence awareness. Wearing a bracelet that says "Stop the Abuse" is another way she speaks out for battered and abused women.
Domestic abuse must be confronted for the safety of the victim and loved ones. In Wisconsin, an attorney experienced in family law and procedure may help use the full weight of the law to intervene. The lawyer can assist in devising a plan to keep victims safe and fight for the right to survive.
Source: The Fond du Lac Reporter, "Fond du Lac woman who lost mother to domestic violence works to raise awareness," Heather Stanek, Oct. 23, 2011