Dear Presiding Justice, Police Officers, Senators, Legislators, Doctors, Clergy, Parish Members, Family and Friends:
I am a battered woman.
Do you remember me? I was your neighbor. I sat next to you in church every Sunday.
I was your patient in the emergency room. I was the woman who dialed 911 and begged for your help. I sat in your court room and pleaded with you to protect me and my children. I came before you and asked you to make laws to ensure our safety.
I was the loving young mother you noticed playing tag with some children in the park.
Do you remember me now?
I am writing this letter for I know that he will surely kill me and I don’t want to be forgotten. My advocate has promised to give you this letter if I should die.
I feel as though I should apologize. Maybe for not being a good enough person or for not readily admitting how my face was bruised or bones broken.
Maybe if I would have tried a little bit harder he wouldn’t have had to beat me.
Maybe if I was smarter I wouldn’t have fallen in love with someone like him.
Maybe if I was stronger I would have left sooner. But maybe, maybe if you would have helped me I would never have to write a letter like this.
I would not have to worry about whether or not today would be the day that he would kill me and you would not be inconvenienced by having to read this letter because I would still be alive. (But I am not.) Do you understand?
If you should come to read this letter -I am dead.
He killed me!
So what happens now?
I don’t want to be another statistic.
I don’t want to be blamed any longer. I don’t want you to make excuses or justify my death because it never should have happened. I was a good person. I was a devoted wife and a loving mother. I did leave. I tried to protect my children and myself, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
I asked for your help. I told you that he would kill me. You saw the bruises. You knew that he was dangerous but you wouldn’t help. It wasn’t your problem. You turned your back on me and my children.
Oh my children.
My sweet little children. I don’t know if they will survive because he promised to kill them also, but if they still are alive who will take care of them?
Who will love them? Who will sing to them at night? Who will hold them and wipe away their tears when they cry for their mommy?