The tragedy in Boston should serve as a reminder to us all that evil exists. Not just from our nation’s enemies but from the people we think we should trust every day.
Many ask how a person could do such a thing. How could someone purposely mame, kill and injure so many unsuspecting people.
Probably because the bomber thinks we deserve it. Do you think we deserve it?
Detonating a bomb in a crowd of nameless and faceless runners and by standers is cowardice. Even if the bomber has justifications for why he thinks we deserve it, no one deserves to be physically, spiritually or emotionally attacked like he attacked the entire nation yesterday. Absolutely not! And those responsible should be prosecuted and justice should be served.
So with that, I ask how can so many continue to turn a blind eye at the terror and trauma happening every single day in our homes and to our men, women and children by our fellow citizens.
Being the perpetrator of domestic violence, intimate partner abuse and rape is like detonating a “bomb” in your own home. Physical violence, emotional abuse and control causes mass chaos in families across the country.
Just like the terrorist, the abuser believes his victims deserve it. The victim may have smiled in the wrong way. Talked to a person the abuser didn’t want her to talk to. Or spoke against the abuser and his treatment of her.
No one says, “Please yell at me and push me and throw me out in the cold. Please punch me and strangle me and have sex with me against my will.”
Did you as a citizen ask the terrorists to bomb our cities? Did the President (because so many want to blame him for this) ask the terrorists to bomb our cities?
We are appalled and aghast at the idea of being bombed. We should be. But bombs go off every day in homes across the country and the victims are just as innocent as the runners in yesterday’s tragedy.
If we expect the world to sympathize with the attacks against our cities, as a nation, we need to start believing and sympathizing with all victims of abuse and violence in this country, especially the victims who have historically been cast aside and rendered powerless to fight back for justice.
Do we need to see the videos or hear the screams to be convinced abuse happened?
No. We need to start taking people on their word.
The victims in Boston had the eyes of millions as their witnesses. We watched it, heard it, and those on the scene smelled it. Boston experienced the violent trauma of an ambush to their senses and an ambush to their spirits.
Imagine being ambushed like this but having no witnesses to support your claim. This is the case for the millions being ambushed behind closed doors every day who struggle in the aftermath to be heard and believed.
Victims of domestic violence, rape and intimate partner abuse must relive the trauma immediately after it happens in order to illustrate and provide an image for others to digest and consider. But even after doing this, many are still not believed and are left wondering, “Did it really happen or am I just delusional and think it happened to me? Why does no one want to listen and believe me?”
It’s not that hard to believe, is it?
All it really takes is looking a person in the eye to see and feel the reality of the pain they have suffered.
The first step to ending the suffering is to listen to the victim, believe the victim and find the empathy to really understand.
Believe your neighbor. Believe your sister. Believe your brother. It is the only way we can heal, recover and prosper as a community.
Paula Carrasquillo is an active yogi, author, and advocate who has lived in numerous watersheds throughout the United States, including Colorado, Maine, Maryland and New Mexico. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Paula is passionate about her family, friends and the motivational and brave people she meets daily through her online writing and social media exchanges. To Paula, every person, place, thing, idea and feeling she encounters is significant and meaningful, even those which she most wants to forget. Follow Paula on Twitter and on her blog.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta