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Run. Bitch.

April 6, 2009

[Because Chris Brown is due in court today, I offer the following: 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.]

I was 17 living with my boyfriend, 23. We were at the red light on Dallas Parkway by the Galleria the first time a man made me bleed. See, I deserved it because he was 30 minutes late to pick me up from work. And I wrongly pushed his cassette tape out of the deck, not being in the mood for his rap music at the time. That’s when his fist landed firmly into my cheek. The second blow hit firmly in my left breast. Then, as he took a hand full of hair, he bashed my head repeatedly against the passenger car window.

My hair a mess, my mouth full of the warmth of blood, my head pounding, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his best friend sitting in the backseat. He was bigger than my boyfriend. As our eyes met, he looked away from my gaze. He did nothing.

That day I went straight to bed after cleaning myself up. My boyfriend snuggled up next to me. He, begging me to never make him have to do that again. He, crying. Until the next week when he did it again.

He had the only key to the apartment, so I had to sit outside and wait for him to come home and let me in. I was freezing and waiting. When he finally showed up, he was stoned. And I stupidly asked where he had been. He took me by the hair and drug me to the community swimming pool. Where he proceeded to dunk my head into the ice cold January swimming pool. He held me under for what seemed like an eternity. The longer the hold the more times he did it. When he finally let me up, he bent down and whispered in my ear, “Run. Bitch.” And I did. I ran straight up to the apartment, noticing 2 windows of apartment owners watching me. This time, I cried.

He returned from going out on the town with his friends, drunk and stoned. He tore the doorknob off the front door and came after me with a broken beer bottle, because, you see, he had run into some of my old high school friends and they hadn’t been too kind to him. So I deserved what I got. He kept the pliers used to open the front door with him at all times. I was only able to leave for work or school, or to have my head dunked in the swimming pool for being such a foolish girl.

I finally had enough the night he came home with lipstick on his collar, drunk. He came to the apartment with 2 of his friends. At that point I had decided one of us had to go. And possibly one of us wouldn’t get out alive. My mind was on alert, my hair on its ends. I was ready to rid my soul from the torture it had been dealt for 8 months. When he tried to wipe the lipstick collar on my lips I bit him. Like a vampire, I lodged my teeth into his neck wanting to taste his blood, yearning to feel the warmth that would be his blood in my mouth. I was relentless. He took a knife out of the dishwasher as I released his neck from my grasp. He pushed me out to the balcony with the knife. At this point I was scared for my life. But he dropped the knife. Shaking. I thought the fight was over and I went to him and hugged him. He grabbed my body like a baby, looked into my eyes with his dark brown, soul piercing eyes and said, “Bye-bye baby”, then he through me off the second story balcony. I landed on the solid, cold earth on my side. When I rolled over, I looked up at the balcony, and there stood his 2 friends. Saying nothing. Just staring.

Someone had phoned the police this time. I had bruised ribs, a broken eardrum, a broken finger, and other miscellaneous bruises. The police took him to jail and I moved my things out. He was released within hours and back at the apartment. I was back home with my parents.

His father phoned me when it came time for my boyfriend to be jailed and offered me $100 not to press charges. Huh. 100 dollars was the price on my head. That was my value to these people. And, I refused the money. And I refused to press charges. Because all I could think of was how much I missed him.

Now, I’ve written this because the statistics show that you probably know someone, may be someone, or know someone that knows someone in a domestic violence situation. Don’t be the 2 standing on the balcony, or in the backseat, or peering through your blinds – be the one that says something.

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