BEATING HEARTS: Stories of Domestic Violence

Please God, Make Him Stop

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Please God, Make Him Stop

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Run! I can still hear her screaming.

I'd grab my baby sister and run. We'd hide in closets, under beds, even under the house. I'd cover her ears while silently screaming my prayers.

Please God make him stop! Please help my mom! Make it all stop!

Maybe God was busy helping another child with bigger problems than mine.

The screams, the terror sent me running to the phone booth. The police knew me by name. They were always kind. They always came.

She always went back.

He would knock her unconscious, beat her unrecognizable. When he broke her jaw, I held the newspaper under her chin to catch the flowing blood while she drove herself to the hospital.

I'd beg -- I'd plead -- Please momma, don't go back. We can make it on our own. I always got the same reply.

But I love him. Maybe you'll understand more when you grow up.

Thirty years later my mother called my sister to discuss her burial arrangements. After her cremation, she asked to have her ashes scattered over the spot where they first met.

Wonder why she didn't ask me?

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