Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem

"Peace At Home: Wake Coalition Against Domestic Violence Silent March"
Raleigh, NC - October 13, 2009

For more  on the subject, click through on the image.

"He strangled me, beat me, and left me for dead on our hallway floor."

"Whack! Across my face it swept. Didn't see it coming. But then I rarely did. It was as if there were a draft in the room. Cold air seeping. Energy being sucked out."

Peace. What a wonderfully nebulous concept. Formless and shifting and impossible to define in absolute terms. We only know when we don't have it. On the global scale, I seem to remember someone saying that in the entire course of recorded history there have been fewer than 20 days when there was not an armed conflict in progress. That's a pretty bad batting average. But consider peace on a smaller, very localized scale. Consider that we can't last nine seconds in the US without another instance of domestic violence. When you think in those terms, it doesn't seem surprising at all. How will we ever get two nations to come to the table if we can't get two people there?

"To the outside world our family seemed normal; a respected father, adored mother and well behaved children. We played normal so well."

"He would lash out with a knife or his fist and I would be where his anger would land."

Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered 6266 fatalities since the wars there began in October of 2001 (source ). A soldier's death is a tragic loss to every one of us. But the courageous men and women who wear our nation's uniforms assume that risk. They stand in harm's way in our defense, knowing that it could cost them their lives. It is not my intent to minimize that honor and sacrifice. I hope only to give context to another casualty figure.

The Domestic Violence Resource Center () estimates that three women and one man are killed each day in the US by their spouses or intimate partners. Using that estimate, in the same period (2949 days) since the commencement of hostilities in Southwest Asia, DV-related homicides have resulted in 188% (11796) of the number of Coalition fatalities. There are no embedded journalists, no 24-hour coverage on CNN and the headlines are usually relegated to Page 3. But nearly twice as many women and men have become casualties in a war that is fought behind locked doors, in dark corners by people who profess to love the ones they kill. A war that none of the casualties enlisted to fight, a war that none of them expected to find themselves in. And certainly not one they deserved.

When did "home" become more dangerous than a combat zone??

"Humiliation, pain, self-disgust and hatred were the price of marriage. Love meant being hurt. I cried at night when no one was listening."

"...he found out about the restraining order and proceeded to break it - and me - into tiny little pieces."

These are the ones who must leave it to others to tell their stories. They cannot speak for themselves, and so I hope to speak for them here today. I hope to do right by those who have fallen, and by those who still have hope of escape. Because there are hundreds more every day who are not killed, but are only an arm's reach away from being the next fatality. In 24 hours, the clock ticks 86,400 times. And every ninth tick brings with it another instance of domestic violence. Nine thousand, six hundred times since this time yesterday, someone was beaten, abused, perhaps even murdered.

Peace on earth?

How about we start with Peace at Home?

"I have been demeaned, belittled, hit, kicked, cussed out and stifled. I have been sexually abused. I have been all of these things and most people who know me are completely unaware of it.

I am just like you."

To see what the rest of Bloggeritaville is saying on the subject, go visit . and maybe leave a link of your own there while you're at it.

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Robin said...

Very powerful my friend, and very compelling.

Why indeed?

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Thank you for participating in the BlogBlast For PEACE!

Excellent use of the day to call to mind that battle so many do not see.

Thank you for doing so


Daryl said...


Carver said...

This was an excellent post and so important to bring attention to domestic violence. Peace to you and yours, Carver

secret agent woman said...

It's important to turn our voices to peace on every level - global, nationally, within the home, and in our hearts. Peace to you!

♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

Home is the only place in the world where our children can find and experienced PEACE.
Dona Nobis Pacem

Marilyn said...

Very moving post. Very well done. You are right that we can't expect much globally till we get things in order in each and every home right here.

Still, 20 days, while admittedly a rotten average, does prove that global war-free-ness is possible.

Anndi said...

I shudder to think how may ticks went by as I was reading your post.

May we all find peace and may every one who has had their voice stiffled find their way to Freedom.

Your globe is inspiring.

maryt/theteach said...

Awesome post, Mojo! You ask some very compelling questions that we must find the answers to. I wish you and your peace and love today and always! :)

Ralph said...

We can only pray and hope that the hateful and not peaceful world can be made to see a more peaceful life. We can attempt to exude our more peaceful selves to the world, and hope a few hearts can be compelled to change to the peace we seek. We cannot change the world en masse, but we can always try!

j said...

A very thought provoking post. I have always stressed to my kids when we talk about people who live in war torn countries or are suffering persecution... "They are people just like us."


SandyCarlson said...

I can't get enough of this. You have done a thoroughly wonderful job. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Mojo. And once again, your Peace Globe was wonderfully creative. I love it!

Sorry you couldn't join the Peace Blog Party at Queen Mimi's this afternoon. Maybe we could get together here in Raleigh for a photo-outing some time.

Happy Peace Day!

Amanda Moore said...

I am dumbfounded you never cease to amaze me. Maggie should see this.

Debra James Percival said...

Very thought provoking post. Bravo!

Karen Jo said...

Very well said. Peace to you and yours.

magiceye said...

wow! that was powerful! join you in your plea for peace... /\

clairz said...

Powerful words, powerful concept. You have a gift for telling a story. I will post links to this elsewhere so that more and more people will have a chance to ponder your words and images.

Maggie, Dammit said...

So well done, my friend.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

It's easy to think of combat in terms of military and war - but your post today is a voice for millions in a more horrifying and twisted war (especially for children, who don't stand a chance against an adult aggressor.)

Thank you for this.

Really love your peace globe.

Peace to you, Mojo.

annalarssonphotography said...

Thank you for your VOICE!!

Peace shall always begin at home.

Travis Cody said...

Your statistics are staggering, and reinforce to me the idea that peaceful intent begins individually. We must break our own cycles of violence.

A boy who was abused must grow into a man who does not abuse. A girl who was abused must grow into a woman who avoids abusive situations and raises a child who does not abuse.

Peace to you and yours.

Mojo said...

A girl who was abused must also grow into a woman who does not abuse. While less common (perhaps much less common) the equation does work in the other direction too. Likewise, a boy who was abused must play his role in raising children who do not abuse -- because he also has a key part to play in their development.

Both of them can help the next generation by creating a safe, peaceful environment for their children to grow up in, and by letting those children know that no mater what happens they will be there for them. So very often victims -- especially children -- are silenced by the idea that "nobody will believe it" or that "bad things will happen if you tell". It is therefore incumbent upon the parents to make sure the children know that this is not the case. And it is incumbent upon all of us to make that point to those who are currently in abusive situations. Silence is what the abuser relies on, it's one of the most powerful weapons used against the victims to keep them in the role of victim. As long as they are silent, they are under control.

Break the silence, break the cycle.

Finding Pam said...

I was one of the children without a voice. I thank you for being an advocate for children.

Your globe is beautuful,and your words more powerful than you know.

Peace and love,

Finding Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maude Lynn said...

Magnificent, Mojo!

Annelisa said...

This post is particularly poignant to me. I was not physically abused, but I can relate to all the comment quotes you have interspersed your post with, and the comment you made in the comment section. It is the silence that is so hard to break. Mental and emotional abuse can be as powerful as physical abuse, and is equally not talked about, and equally not believed when it happens. And it hurts the abused person for life. This experience is one I am familiar with.

Still wishing for peace and happiness for all.

[your peace post will soon be linked into the patchwork peace quilt on my blog 'Peace Bloggers Unite' ]