When Mothers are Killed by Their Partners, Children Often Become 'Forgotten' Victims. It's Time They Were Given a Voice [theconversation.com]


By Silke Meyer, The Conversation, October 6, 2019

Last month, eight women died as the result of male violence in Australia. Five were within one week. In six of the cases, the alleged perpetrator was a current or former partner.

These figures seem all too familiar. This time last year, seven of the nine women allegedly killed by a male perpetrator were in the context of an intimate relationship. And like this time last year, media coverage, national and political outcry remained relatively limited.

But there’s another side to the crisis of women being killed by an abusive partner or ex-partner that remains somewhat invisible in national conversations. In most of these cases, the women killed were mothers.

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As a teenager, I was puzzled by events just before my mother's 'handgun suicide'- the prior night she approached my younger sister and I next to the flower garden she faithfully tended, to 'Apologize for being 'such a lousy mother'-I replied: "It sounds like you're going away, and I don't believe you do that-so I refuse to forgive you." The following morning as my [deputy sheriff] father was preparing to take me and a few other neighborhood school-age kids to Summer school, I asked him why his duty pistol and gun belt was in the back of our station wagon auto [We both knew he also had an off-duty pistol-which was not visible in the car]. He never acknowledged or answered my question. New York criminal statutes at that time prohibited 'aiding or abetting a suicide attempt'. Later that day when I got home [from another neighbor giving us rides home from Summer School], I found my [now deceased] mother with the off-duty pistol in her hand ... Responding Police never  questioned or spoke with me after I reported my findings when I called in to report it...                  One month and twenty days later, my father re-married...                                       When I finally did EMDR therapy for this 'trauma'-which stopped flashbacks I had experienced on occasion for almost thirty years, I thought I'd addressed the matter in it's entirety, but apparently I hadn't. The 'domestic abuse' my mother had endured (and my sister and I had occasionally overheard/witnessed), and its impact, as well as learning that my step-mother had been having an affair with my father for about three years before her death....   This past Memorial Day, while riding my motorcycle in hilltop areas and past smooth lakes/waterways, and stopping a a diner with music playing, I let myself appreciate my mother's viewing it-her having been a WASP-type aircraft pilot during World War II, her later training and skill at Eastman School of Music, and teaching us and neighborhood kids swimming/life-guarding by the Red Cross method, rather than the 'Bavarian style' my grand-father used to teach her to swim ...

Raphael-Thank You for availing me a "Voice", and [to use the legal term} "ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED" .

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