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Violence

My sister called me and told me that about 2 years ago her husband beat her up so bad while on vacation in Mexico that there was blood splatter on the walls.  She thought that she was going to die. She has never told anyone and she said that he has never apologized. She told me that he said that he blacked out when it was happening, but that he remembers that he only stopped because he "didn't know how to get rid of the body." I was sick and still am about this, I mean literally sick. What should I do?  He has never taken responsibility for this or been held accountable.  I know it has been two years, but my sister finally had the courage to tell me, I have to do something, please help.

 

Thanks so much for reaching out to Feminist.com and what a horrible story. I feel so badly — both that it happened and that she has  been silent. And yet refusing to be silent is often the first step toward action — reclaiming some sense of ourselves and seeking others perspectives. I can't tell from this email if they are still together — but obviously that should be the next step — getting her to realize that she can't tolerate that, and even if it "only happened once" it's likely to set a precedent for something that could happen again.

It's very common for this behavior to be dormant and then to re-emerge when the person's trust is built back up. Of course, she trusts you so you might be a good person to convey that - but also, perhaps you can put her into contact with a provider — (800) 799 SAFE — hearing the stories of other women who have been in similar situations often helps.

Amy