A piece I wrote for International Women’s Day to help bring focus to a growing epidemic around the world. I thought I would share with you.
‘In The Grip of Fear’
She sleeps peacefully, only stirring when the dog barks at the neighborhood cats that continuously taunt it.
She stirs as she senses that something is wrong.
Her slumber is broken by a sound coming from the other room.
There is a sudden shatter of glass, and the yelling begins.
She is jolted awake, thoughts shooting immediately to her younger brother in the other room, and whether he had been woken – or if he had somehow managed to cling to sleep. She pulls her sheets up around her ears in a hopeless attempt to block out the noise.
The yelling is now dominated by the loud, booming tones of a man’s voice, accompanied by the seemingly endless thudding.
That is all she feels now.
Fear for her brother. Please let him stay asleep.
Fear for the dog. Please let it stay out of the way.
Fear for her mother – who hopefully wont get hurt badly this time.
Fear for herself. She wants so badly to do something to stop it, but she can’t, as the fear has pinned her to her bed and she is only 7 – what can she do?
And fear of the father, whom she loves so much, but whom she is also so utterly afraid of.
It will be the fear that she will carry with her for the rest of her life, as will her brother, and her mother. Her father will harbor a different type of fear – the fear of what he is capable of, and of not being able to stop himself.