Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

It’s 2018 and I hope the holidays well and have hope for this coming year. It’s important to have hope. Life is always changing.

At a recent party, I got into a conversation with another woman about my previous nursing career and the domestic violence issue, and she asked me in between sips of champagne, “I really don’t understand, Pris. Why don’t they just leave?” I explained that “just leaving” often was not an option. Some women are killed for leaving, some are afraid they or their children will be, and without financial resources they can’t make it. Often they do not have the support of their family and feel shamed and isolated. I suggested instead of asking, “Why don’t they leave?” that she ask, “How can I help?”

In my novel, Katie the heroine, married to the famous plastic surgeon Claude, deals with all these issues over time. When she met Claude through her parents, she was madly in love with him and wanted the perfect family. Marriage was forever until she realizes she can’t survive. She does not have the support of her family, and they tell her to fix the problems in her marriage—It’s her responsibility—and Claude blames her for not behaving. Katie keeps trying to please him to make it better, but nothing works. She is shamed and battered over and over, and Claude has isolated her from her friends. She is alone with her little girl Rose with no resources. Claude controls all the assets. She begins saving money from pocket change and putting it in books where he’ll never look—just leaving was not an option—she needed a secure plan. She keeps working on it hoping she reaches her goal before the next battering which she might not survive.

Take good care of yourselves,