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Leaving for Life: Escaping domestic violence

By Joycelyn Biggs | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | October 8, 2015

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To recognize Domestic Violence Awareness month, the monologue “Flowers Aren’t Enough” by Naomi Ackerman, author, Los Angeles, California, was performed in the Base Theater at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Oct. 8.

The performance chronicled the life of a young woman subjected to domestic violence.

Michal, the character in the play, portrayed by Ackerman, came from an upper middle class family and was considered lucky when she fell in love with and married a man destined to become an attorney. Throughout her courtship, Michal ignored the early signs of trouble brewing in her relationship. She made excuses for her boyfriend when he began isolating her from friends and family, manipulating her into not wearing make-up and convincing her to change her style of clothes.

On her wedding night, Michal was slapped by her husband and the cycle of domestic abuse escalated from there. Throughout the relationship Michal continued to make excuses for her husband and blamed herself for his behavior. After a suicide attempt and two hospital stays due to his vicious attacks, Michal found the strength to leave him to end the cycle of domestic violence.

At the end of the monologue, Ackerman left the stage and the building was completely silent as not a single person murmured a word.

“That was fantastic,” Dr. Fonda Thompson, executive director, Open Arms, Inc., Albany, Georgia, said. “Seeing this reinforced the importance of teaching individuals to recognize those subtle signs that may later lead to domestic violence.”

She explained part of what her organization does is to educate children on domestic violence and the early signs.

According to Ackerman, the play is a compilation of true stories from women brave enough to share their experiences of domestic violence. The performance mirrored the personal story of an individual in the audience, causing her to leave the room for a little while to regain her composure.

The woman later described some of the domestic violence she endured, which included her being admitted to a hospital. The abuse ended after her former husband held a gun to her head while her 2-year-old daughter sat on her lap. She revealed her husband told the toddler, “Watch your mama die.”

“That was the final straw,” she said. “I knew then it was time for me to go, I left and I never looked back.”

The woman explained how she was forced to sneak away while her husband was working because of his occupation and connection to local law enforcement. She advised she understands it is not a simple task, but it is imperative for anyone suffering domestic violence to seek help before it is too late.

Service members or families, who need help, or for additional information concerning domestic violence, contact Brenda Ray, prevention and education specialist, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, at 229-639-7935.


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