Perspective: I’m sorry we let you down.

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To everyone we’ve lost to relationship violence, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for every time we’ve thought “it’s none of my business”, “what’s going on in the privacy of your home is none of my concern” and “I don’t need to get involved” .

I’m sorry for every time we’ve whispered “if it was really that bad, I’m sure they would leave”; “If it was really that bad, I’m sure we would notice it; “If it was really that bad, I would know.”

I’m sorry for every time you hear the words “at least they don’t hit you” or “it could be so much worse”. I’m sorry for every time you had to go into hiding because you weren’t sure how we would react. I’m sorry we made you shrink, curl up and lie because you didn’t know if you would be believed, supported and protected.

I’m sorry for every time we’ve attributed their behavior to alcohol use, mental illness or stress. I’m sorry for every time we’ve blamed their behavior on you. I’m sorry we haven’t succeeded in creating a culture that inspires empathetic, caring, and emotionally strong partners, co-parents and lovers.

And to all of those we have lost whose photos weren’t featured on the evening news and who weren’t given the attention and resources that your experiences deserved, I am particularly sorry. We have failed you.

We may never have raised a hand on our partner. We may never have acted with violence. But we have all still played a part in creating a culture that kills our loved ones. And in October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I beg you not to turn away. Pay attention. Feel the pain of those we have lost. And commit to creating a better future.

I am Lynnea Erickson Laskowski and this is my point of view.


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