Full story available on CDN: http://www.commdiginews.com/life/open-letter-to-the-baltimore-ravens-from-a-survivor-of-domestic-violence-23302/


riceDear Ravens Organization:

I am a native of Maryland and grew up in the small, mountain town of Cumberland in the western, Appalachian region of the state. I was an honors student and cheerleader. High school football was a major part of the community connectivity, and like many in my home town, I loved the energy of any given Friday night in the fall under the Greenway Avenue stadium lights rooting for my fellow classmates on the field.

When I was a senior, I dated a local football star, who was a member of the 1988 High School Class 2A Maryland Championship Football team. I thought he had integrity and pride. After all, it had been ingrained in me that star athletes possess a high degree of integrity and determination and respect for themselves and others. How else could these players be as successful as individuals and as a team if their morals were anything less?

Within a few short months of dating this 18-year-old boy, he beat me, threatened my life by pointing a gun at me, smothered me, tried breaking my arm behind my back while I was driving on the local interstate, kicked me from behind as I tried running from him down residential streets to safety, and raped me. Continue reading on CDN…


Read more at http://www.commdiginews.com/life/open-letter-to-the-baltimore-ravens-from-a-survivor-of-domestic-violence-23302/#Vceq3TUB5FvSHUiD.99

Category:
abuse, CommDigiNews, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape, Recovery
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Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. Paula,

    I am a guy. When I was in college many, many years ago, three of my female friends were raped. It was too painful for them to talk about, and I wanted to do something to support them, so I took training, and volunteered at a Battered Women’s shelter. It was such an infrequent thing for a guy to volunteer there that for a long time, they thought I was the first guy ever. But it turns out, I was the *second* guy ever.

    Anyway, two stints in the Army later, I found myself talking to another soldier, and she had been raped too. The other 3 women I told you about? They all got help. But my fellow post-9/11 veteran was too scared of the way the system could turn against her. So even though I solicited help for her in the form of a female Command Sergeant Major (2nd highest enlisted rank in the Army), she would not entertain the notion that getting help was worth the risk — and I will not ever blame her for that decision.

    So now we come to this. This football player who seems to have gotten a pass (no pun intended) that allows him to render a woman UNCONSCIOUS with his violence and have very light consequences.

    I know of a woman whose life work is to meet with women who are at the end of their rope. She documents the abuse they are going through at the hands of their husbands or boy-friends. She has a pact with these women that if these men murder those women, she will use all the evidence she has gathered to help convict them of their murders.

    I applaud you for your courage. You are so strong. More needs to be done. Women should DEMAND of their spouses or significant others that they NOT GO TO NFL GAMES or even watch them for 3 months or more. The NFL needs to realize the day is OVER when players can do violence to anyone and sweep it under the rug. If men and women fight this together, we can end a culture that is too accepting of violence against women.

    So I am promising that I won’t watch a second of football until the NFL officially respects women. If 15% of the fans stand with us, the NFL will have no choice but to play along. So please, ask other women to demand this of the men in their lives. Ask men to do the RIGHT thing.

    Thank you for all you do!

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    • Thank you, Shout Freedom!! You are absolutely amazing to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So many ask, “Who is going to listen to us? They haven’t bothered before.” I think now, more than ever, society is open to understanding and working toward a true transformation. I’d like to share your suggestion with my friends. I, for one, can’t even bare listening to the pre-game shows without getting nauseous and thinking about Janay and others who are being and have been dismissed. We get so upset about what’s happening to children and civilians in the Middle East, yet we are too blind to see we are allowing domestic terrorism to grow and fester every day, right here in the United States.

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  2. Paula,

    I usually have a lot of words when I comment. But instead all I can say is that you are a wonderful example to other survivors of the power in healing and the strength, boldness, and courage we develop along the way and the hope that life after abuse will be filled with love….. and that when things like this happen, somehow even with the pain we have endured, we can stand and speak out and stand for each other in a way that is not rude, insensitive, or inappropriate.

    Thank you using your voice in such a loving, compassionate, and fierce way.

    With love and support,
    Amy

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  3. Superbly done. Courageous, accurate, articulate and greatly needed. You do indeed make a difference.

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  4. Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
    Paula did it again!! This woman knows how to write!

    Like

  5. Paula you rock!!! God girl you know how to write!! beautifully put!

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  6. Great words Paula! Way to show some strength around this issue and stand up for what is right. I really enjoyed reading this.

    Like

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