In Memory of Kay

8 Ways To Kick Domestic Violence Ass ( before it’s too late)


 

1. Observe the early signs ( they are there with sharp black fangs )

 

For example, in the beginning, Kay’s murderer would sit outside our house for hours with his car running while she was out on other dates.

Recently I asked my mother, “Why did we allow him to do that? We should have stopped it, yelled, screamed, kicked, called the police, told him to fuck off.” We never did.

 

2. Forget your pride

Kay was married with two babies by the time she was 22 years old. Her world became narrow, confined, limited.

“I can’t leave him.” She’d often say. “I have no money, and I’m too embarrassed to go on food stamps.”

GO ON food stamps if you need to. Get on your feet. Take classes. Ask for help. Get support. Tell your family.   Don’t wait. The rest will come later.

 

3. If a man hits you once, he will hit you again ( in one way or another) Do not doubt this.

Kay’s husband hit her one time. After that, he hit her with his words, intimidation, belittling, and manipulation.

He waited 25 years before he hit her for the last time with 3 bullets.

 

4. You cannot, I repeat, CANNOT save your abuser unless he wants to be saved

I remember Kay and I would think of ways to help Mike. We had birthday parties for him, included him in conversations, tolerated his rudeness, made excuses for him.

O’, he had a poor childhood. He didn’t get enough love. He was given too much. He wasn’t given enough.

He didn’t want saving.  Period.   He’s not allowed any more excuses.

 

5. Do Not stay in the marriage for the children

Because Kay tried desperately to make her marriage work, all three boys have deep, dark, deplorable scars.

Children are smart. They hear you, see you, examine you despising one another.

Kay’s youngest son, Jordan, is the one who found his mother dying on the living room floor.

 

6. Believe what the abuser tells you the first time

When the abuser tells you he can’t live without you, he would rather commit suicide, he will kill you if you leave, you better DAMN WELL believe him the first time.

 

7. When you decide to leave, make a plan

Kay did not have a plan. As she was walking out the door, her husband shot her 3 times in the head and then killed himself.

Please read “A plan to get out safely below.”

 

8. Recognize that you are V A L U A B L E

Even though your abuser calls you a fucking bitch, a whore, stupid, and a worthless c*nt.

You must know THIS IS NOT TRUE. NO. NO. No.

You are amazing, worthwhile, beautiful, smart, priceless, and God’s most marvelous creation. You are!  You Are!

 

—I would give ANYTHING to be able to talk to my sister, Kay. I want to tell her how much I love love love her, how much I miss her,  how much I want to bake chocolate chip cookies with her,  how I wish she would have left her murderer earlier.

But it’s too late.

 

——Get Help Here:  http://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/

—–Sign up for Kay’s Walk To End Domestic Violence:  http://www.theduluthmodel.org/events.html

—Kay’s Last Video:  http://myinnerchick.com/2013/11/01/keep-holding-on-footage-of-kay’s-last-days/

—-Thank you to Kay’s boys, Michael,  Jordan,  & Aaron for allowing me to use the photo above.  I love you so so so so much.  xxxxx


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159 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie
    May 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I miss her fiercely, Kim! I love you ! I am so proud of her children! She loved them, fiercely! XOXO

  • Reply
    Barbara
    May 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Every word is true, Kim. Been there, as the kid, many times. No one in the house rests, lets their guard down, you CAN’T…he might blow at any moment. If you say you are staying for the children you are lying to yourself, and your children will continue to suffer.

    KNOW THE SIGNS>>>FOLLOW YOUR GUT!!

    Excellent advice!

    xoxoxoxo to you and your entire family.
    b
    Barbara recently posted..Zero to 60 and beyond Got a Facelift!My Profile

  • Reply
    Beverly Diehl
    May 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Too many women (and men) stay in these kinds of relationships because they convince themselves it isn’t that bad, it’s not REALLY domestic violence, or that THEIR partner is truly wounded. Or that their case is different.

    I would add, even when your abuser doesn’t physically kill you, outright, you often end up very, very sick, if not dead.

    You deserve better. Your children deserve better.

    Hugs and healing to you, my sweet Kim.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Sluts on HiatusMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joe Peterson
    May 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Kim, what you have done here is loving and brilliant. This can save lives and I hope that if there are readers that find themself in an abusive situation, that they take your message and apply it to life. They are worthy of an abusive-free life filled with love… Because abuse is so not love.
    Love YOU Kim

  • Reply
    Doreen McGettigan
    May 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I am so blessed to be one of the lucky ones that got help and got out.
    I am so sorry about your poor sister.
    My younger brother was murdered.
    Missing him never stops hurting.
    Doreen McGettigan recently posted..A-Z Challenge Reflection PostMy Profile

  • Reply
    lisa thomson-The Great Escape...
    May 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Kim, this is brilliant. This message is so important because dispelling the myth of ‘staying together for kids at all costs’ is critical. Denial being the great coping mechanism that it is, really interferes with facing our truths. The fact that kim was only hit once before really shows that the lead up and escalation of violence in a relationship may have little to do with physical abuse (solely).

    I’d like to share here a valuable tool men and women can use to ASSESS their risk, right now.
    https://www.mosaicmethod.com/

    The man who invented the test (which is anonymous) I quote here: “assessing whether a situation has the combination of factors that are associated with escalated risk and danger requires that you know what questions to ask, and then know how to consider all your answers in a way that enhances insight. The MOSAIC method works by breaking a situation down to its elements, factor-by-factor, and then seeing what picture emerges when the pieces of the puzzle are put together.” Gavin de Becker

    Thanks, Kim for writing this. Kay is so proud of you, there is no doubt in my mind!
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  • Reply
    lisa
    May 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Kim, this is such an important message.
    You are a blessing to so many in situations such as this, my friend. xo

  • Reply
    Liz
    May 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Such a painful and important message.
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  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    May 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Hugs and love.
    Hurting for you, hurting with you. And hurting for all of those affected by this obscenity.
    Walk while you can. And keep walking. And, if you can – RUN.
    One of my friends was doused in lighter fuel and set alight by her partner. She lived, sort of, and he served three years jail.
    She and her children are still serving their life sentence.
    Elephant’s Child recently posted..Happy DancesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bonnie
    May 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    The book “why does he do that” great book about abuse

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    May 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you for saying it so bluntly and clearly. There are so many “if only’s” because no one recognized the signs or spoke up. You are brave to put your heart out there to help others. Each time is a reminder of loss but it is also a reminder of strength – yours. Her eyes aren’t happy. One more important point – you can’t help the abused if they won’t listen. I know. As well do you. Much love love love going to you this month.
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  • Reply
    Debi
    May 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    These are all great signs to look out for. Thank you for sharing. I have never seen a photo of Kay’s murderer before. My blood started to percolate when I saw what I now view as his smug smile. So sorry for all the pain that dick has caused your family. Blessings to you all and to Kay. xo
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  • Reply
    Alison
    May 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Such important advice, Kim. I am sorry that you are in a position to give it, because your dear sister is no longer here. Thank you for sharing her voice.
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  • Reply
    Maura Alia Badji
    May 5, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Kim, thank you for honoring your sister by reaching out to other women who may be a risk. Taking some of the steps you outline will seem difficult and frightening. It hurts to give up pride and accept help. But as you know all too well from watching what your sister went through, abuse, loss of self-esteem and personhood, followed by injury and death is even harder to endure. Not to mention the damage done to the children during and after these events.

    It was hard for me to ask for help, it was hard for me to apply for food stamps, to ask for help at churches, to agree to live in a safe house for a time. But, I can rest easy knowing that even though I am still engaged in the challenging work of rebuilding my life, I do HAVE my life. Keep doing the wonderful and most necessary work you do. Xoxo, Maura
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  • Reply
    ladyfi
    May 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Important, life-saving advice.
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  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    May 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I touch her cross, and I mourn her loss.

    I sit here grief stricken at all of the ways she was hurt, and all of the pain she endured to the end.

    I worry and wonder about the boys… so I pray. That’s all I can do. Pray. Hard. That their hearts somehow heal from this tragedy.

    I pray for the women who are in *this* hell now…

    I pray for them to find strength through your words…

    I pray for this horrific memory, to find its purpose in saving other beautiful women, who feel captive and helpless.

    I pray this message reaches them, pulls them out and into surviving the nightmare they are living. I pray they take that first step to escape…

    Kay doesn’t look happy in that wedding photo. I stare and I don’t see it. Why? Perhaps the first sign.
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  • Reply
    Jeri
    May 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I had a boyfriend in high school who probably ended up being horrible to the women in his life, but thankfully my young, dumb love ran its course and I wised up to his ways. It’s so hard to see people in rough relationships. Too often we don’t intervene when we should.
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  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    May 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    So much important information in this post, Kim. Your sister looked so beautiful on her wedding day but there’s no big ecstatic smile. It’s like she’s already having doubts. It’s very sad. I can’t believe how tragic this is for so many, but her poor son! I just can’t imagine what it would be like to have walked in to such a scene. I have a friend who, when he was 17, went through something similar. His mother was recently divorced and was dating a Greek guy. She felt uneasy around him so ended the relationship. She owned a restaurant that was only open in the evenings. One afternoon she was there with her oldest son when the Greek guy walked in and shot her and her son and then killed himself – coward. Her other son, my friend, turned up a few minutes later and walked into the scene of three bodies on the ground. His mother was dead but even though his brother had been shot in the chest, he managed to survive. But, for both brothers, moving on and getting healed from all this trauma has been very, very difficult. Much love to you as we approach May 26 xx
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      ““Dear, Charlie,
      So sad. I’ve been hearing several stories like this. COWARDS. Yes, this describes the abuser and killer perfectly. Kay’s husband couldn’t even look at her face when he shot her.
      Coward Asshole.

      Love to you down under. xxxx

  • Reply
    solidgoldcreativity
    May 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Your words have such power and weight. I’m shocked and saddened by seeing the photo and reading the vile words about shooting. My deepest condolences to you and to Kay’s boys and your family, dearest Kim. xxx

    I’m also remembering my auntie Betty, murdered by her partner in 1970.
    solidgoldcreativity recently posted..SatisfactionMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Narelle,
      thank you for your continued support & love. It’s is MUCH appreciated. xxx

  • Reply
    This is not love | Solid gold creativity
    May 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    […] Here it is: 8 Ways to Kick Domestic Violence Ass (Before it’s too late). […]

  • Reply
    Jann
    May 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Kim, all your posts have incredible power. But this one took my breath away. Has there ever been a stronger voice than yours to help women in such situations? I doubt it. Amazing, amazing, utterly amazing work. And the photo speaks volumes, too. A great big warm hug to you.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Jann,
      you are too sweet. Love flowing to you in Sicily, my dear girl. xx

  • Reply
    TheKitchenLioness
    May 6, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Dear Kim, such a powerful and important message – I look at Kay´s wedding picture and I can feel my heart aching… I certainly wish I could be there for the Memorial Walk for Kay and help spread the message…

    Thinking of you and sending you a Big Fat Hug from afar,
    Andrea
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Big fat hug back to you, Andrea xxxooo

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    May 6, 2014 at 2:04 am

    It hurts just looking at the wedding picture…and Jodan..sighs…can’t imagine what he must have been through after he found his mother dying on the living room floor..
    Power to you and your family, Kim.
    Angie
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Angie,
      Jordan is amazing. He is in school to be a doctor. This was Kay’s wish. xxx

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    May 6, 2014 at 3:57 am

    You’re 100% right Kim! We need to keep repeating these words because this should not happen to another soul if we can do something about it xxx

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Lorraine,
      I shall be screaming when I’m 80 years old…
      but quite seriously, I do hope I’m w/ Kay by then! xxxx

  • Reply
    Ellen M. Gregg
    May 6, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Kim, thank you so much for writing this. I’ve just shared it with one of my nieces, who is back in a relationship with a man (an M.D., by the way), who threw her across the livingroom when she was 6 months pregnant, and then destroyed her phones so she couldn’t call for help. After the baby was born, she dropped all charges (he was set to go to jail for many years). The thought of what he might do next time is…. unthinkable. xoxo

    • Reply
      Britton Swingler
      May 6, 2014 at 8:55 am

      I hope your niece is able to stay away from this dangerous man, despite the fact that they have a child together. I too had the chance to have my ex brought up on abuse charges and did not want to ruin his medical career. In hind sight, I should have followed through without one ounce of compassion.
      Britton Swingler recently posted..What Isn’t SexyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      —Ellen,
      I hope she knows he “Will Not Stop” Or Change.
      Please keep me informed about how she is, Okay. xxxxx

  • Reply
    Carrie Rubin
    May 6, 2014 at 7:41 am

    What a powerful piece you’ve shared. So sorry for your loss. I hope women in a similar situation will see your words and take strength and courage from them.

  • Reply
    Coffee and Crumpets
    May 6, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Some great information in this post, Kim. Thinking of you as May 26th approaches. Stay strong and know that she is in a better place and happy. Finally.
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  • Reply
    Pat
    May 6, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Wow, Kim, this is really amazing. I wish every woman on the planet could read this and take it to heart. Very well said! You are doing amazing work.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    May 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Kim, what an awesome job you’ve done with this post — it’s clear, heartfelt, and oh-so-true. Thankfully, I didn’t live with domestic abuse, but when I was a reporter, I collaborated on a series of stories about it. And the things we learned are written right here by you! Every Single One of your hot-points bears telling and retelling until no one has to live like that.

    Your poor sister. While it’s easy to see how she got sucked into this situation, it’s hard to understand why she couldn’t break away. I know you and your folks must have asked yourselves and one another a million times, WHY? and What could we have done to help? Sadly, people in these sick relationships become like flies in vinegar — even the bitterness is comfortable because that’s all they’ve known. And they can’t see life any other way.

    Rest in peace, dear Kay. And know that others are praying for an end to violence and abuse.
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  • Reply
    Britton Swingler
    May 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Kim, one thing I would add is that in my situation the only overt sign I had was a bit of jealousy over my past relationships and a temper (this alone should have caused me to end the relationship). What I should have paid the greatest attention to was a conversation while we were dating in which he said, “I don’t want to be like my father. If I ever hit you, I will walk away.” I should have been the one to walk away…right then and there.
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  • Reply
    Marie
    May 6, 2014 at 9:01 am

    YES YES YES. Yes to all these points Kim. Every time I am reading you and thinking about Kay, I see myself outside home, thinking “I have to walk away from him”. I did. I keep thinking Kay is the angel that saved me.
    This is not love. And we can’t save our abusers, as long as they are living in full-time denial.
    I would give the world for Kay to be with you today. But I know that she is not far, that you are helping hundreds of women (and men too) today.
    LOVE Kim and keep sharing your words, even if they are painful, even if it’s hard. YOU ARE SAVING LIVES.

  • Reply
    Dad
    May 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Another great blog Kim.
    Some people are wondering how the three boys are doing.
    MICHAEL–Is married to a wonderful girl, and is working as a government agent, and is living
    in Rogers Minnesota.
    AARON— Is still single and working in construction, he bought a house in Duluth.
    JORDAN—Is the youngest at 23 and still living with me but in July he will start medical
    school at a university in Chicago.
    Love You Kim
    Dad

  • Reply
    Sandra
    May 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I lost one of my first cousins to domestic violence many years ago and I miss her so much. Her husband was a jerk and everyone knew it. Her mother told her several times she should take her baby and leave. One night she saw her car parked in the driveway and couldn’t figure out why it was taking her so long to come inside. She walked out opened the car door and my cousin fell into her arms. The jerk had shot her and himself. He had made the same statement, ” I will never let you leave me”.
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  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru
    May 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Such a sick and awful person, your sister looks like a sad beautiful doll in the photo – thank you for sharing these tips – everyone indeed is valuable and no deserves to be treated as your wonderful sister was.

    Hugs
    Uru
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  • Reply
    Betsy/Zen Mama
    May 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Kim,
    A very moving post with great advice. I think this could save someone.
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  • Reply
    grace chatelain
    May 6, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    i am so sorry for your loss and for those boys…

    i found this site as i am searching for help myself…

    i am afraid that even though i was able to leave with the children, the family court keeps us in danger and any day now he can snap and carry out his threats to kill me, the kids, and then himself.

    i can’t believe how many similar stories are out there.

    and nobody in authority will listen and help.

    this story made me break down reading about how the little boy found his mother dying on the floor…

    https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/9lFma/ab/63Le2b

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 7, 2014 at 4:46 am

      Grace,
      there is help out there. Where do you live? In America?
      There should be a shelter wherever you are—- women to help you, guide you.
      There is also the National Domestic Hotline 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
      YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
      Call Now.
      Keep me informed.
      Love,
      Kim

  • Reply
    Nikky44
    May 7, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Thank you Kim.

    Reading your Blog, your words and Kate’s story, together with Jodi’s support, is one of the main things that motivated me to make the step and leave.

    It was the best thing I ever did for our safety, but it’s a very painful step too. I don’t regret it and will never do, but it’s still so hard to leave all your life behind, to realize that your dreams were just an illusion that were never meant to happen. Hard to feel that the love you felt and believed was nothing except lies and hurt and pain, a big lie. You have this big need to feel loved so you just try to make it work, to make it real, and you feel your life is worthless without this “love” however painful it is. Together with fear, these are the reasons why I stayed for so long, holding on to a love that was never real, and that HURTS.

    I’m having group therapy in the refuge yesterday. We were discussing the reasons why we stayed so long. I was breaking down inside, I was in so much pain, but I couldn’t talk. I didn’t say a word. I feel shame for still wishing things turned out differently, for still needing the love even now that I know it was just an illusion.

    Love you

  • Reply
    Phil
    May 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Kim,

    Reading your words makes me wonder how many lives you touch and will ultimately save from the tragedy suffered by your dear sister that is seared into your persona. Reading your comments by others confirms the fact you do make a difference in others’ lives. You speak to those in jeopardy and need like no other can. Last but certainly not least, I’m always struck by your tireless dedication and love.

    Another walk is around the corner, and I want you to know that while I cannot be there in person, I will be there walking alongside in spirit with you and your family. Light and love dear Kim.

    Phil
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  • Reply
    Liz
    May 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    This post needs to be blasted across the Internet. Such an important message, Kim! xo
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 4:29 am

      Liz,
      One voice can make a difference…But hundreds can Save the Universe!

      xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Reply
    debbie
    May 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Your sister was so gorgeous but just looks sad, almost a blank look in this photo. You’re doing so much good out there Kim. Making the most from a tragic situation. What an angel you are.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 4:30 am

      Hi, Debbie,
      Kay is the Angel! Not Me! xx

  • Reply
    Balroop Singh
    May 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Oh Kim…this brought tears to my eyes…I believe that expecting what the spouse is no mood to give or do is also domestic violence. If the other person has no respect for you, he should not be allowed around you.
    You have given excellent message here! We love you and I am sure Kay too loves you as much as you do…wherever she is and one day she will settle this with that tormentor. He will have to suffer for what all he has done. God sees all…His justice is GREAT AND SURE.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 4:32 am

      Balroop,
      IT’s ALL about RESPECT.
      YES.
      Kay’s murderer DID NOT respect her.
      SO many times, she’d say, “I wish he’d respect me, value me, listen to me.”
      If one has NO respect for another human being, this is where the abuse begins.

      xxx

  • Reply
    Annette Molitor
    May 7, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Keep up the beautiful work you do Kim!! Domestic violence hurts not only the victim but anyone connected to the victim.

    annette

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Annette,
      thank you for being part of the mission to END domestic violence. xxxx

  • Reply
    Taryn
    May 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    So sorry for your loss…Kay story is all too familiar. I noticed even in her wedding picture she looked sad…you can tell she was a broken woman even on that day, which should have been a happy day for her. Bless her soul.

    You are doing a great thing by your sister, by taking on her cause in hopes of stopping domestic abuse and saving even one makes it all worth it.

    Taryn

  • Reply
    Lubna
    May 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I’ve been there, and i know it is true! I had to run away when he fell asleep and leaving my kids with him. I had no choice but to save myself…

    The minute a guy hits, its over! run for your life… if i had stayed with him that day, i’d be dead too …. learn from it! i got my kids back but they are scarred..i know..but they were the ones who helped me escape and deal with it too!

    Domestic violence affects everyone… we need to eliminate it… thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Lubna,

      You are right. Domestic Violence affect all of us. When it happens to one, it happens to all.

      I am standing up from my chair in Minnesota applauding you for having the strength to break free.

      xxx

  • Reply
    Monica
    May 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Kim, this is so raw and powerful. I’ve heard you talk about Kay before but never like this. I certainly learned something new. I hope this is a wake-up call for anyone going through the same thing. You’re so right. You can never change a guy, especially one like that. I hope someone now reads this and sees the writing on their own wall. There’s too much violence against women in this world. Enough is enough!
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Enough is Enough is right.

      One voice is not enough….We need many voices to begin a REVOLUTION.

      Xxx LOVE to you, dear Monica. xx

  • Reply
    Rita @ The Crafty Expat
    May 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve got goose bumps like every time you write about Kay… I agree with every single word. Every woman on this planet should read this post.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Rita,
      Awareness is POWER.

      Love from me to you. xx

  • Reply
    Dana
    May 8, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This message cannot be shared enough, Kim. Just reading these comments proves that. Thank you being the voice that everyone needs to hear.
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    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Dana,

      When we ALL stand up and say NO MORE…then change will happen.

      Xxx

  • Reply
    Dr. Lass
    May 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Kim,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. God Bless you for reaching out to others suffering from abuse. I am a psychologist and have worked with DV victims for 11 years. I estimate that I have seen approximately 7000 victims. I testify in court as an expert witness when victims go back or change their stories. People ask me all the time: how do you work with victims day in and day out? Isn’t it depressing? No.. The opposite. I get to witness change, empowerment and growth before my very eyes. How can that be depressing? DV has nothing to do with intelligence, race, economic status. It is across the board. Unfortunately, too many victims are killed. I feel for you. Keep up your good work. We are on Facebook. Center for Hope and Strength. We provide individual and group therapy free of charge in a compassionate and nonjudgmental environment. We are here and wanting to help you in the fight to end DV and to save lives. Bless you. Dr. Lass

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Dr. Lass,

      I can see that you are making a difference in lives. How exciting and satisfying.

      In the end, I saw a HUGE change in Kay. She was empowered to leave her abuser…but he saw this change, too…begged her to stay, stalked her, etc…

      He did not allow her to leave & shot her as she was walking out the door.

      She rises from the grave thru me. I am now her voice & heart.

      …and sometimes, I feel great JOY– because I know she is no longer with her murderer.

      xx Keep Up The Good WORK.

  • Reply
    FORMER Victim
    May 9, 2014 at 4:30 am

    I just had my 13th anniversary for leaving the man who abused me for 12 years. We had two children. I was raised in a religion that did not believe in divorce and because of guilt, embarrassment and fear I stayed. He was in church every time the doors were open, and beating me when they were closed. My kids lived in fear of when the “next time” would occur. My son tells stories of taking his baby sister to hide under the bed or in a closet. We were married 11 months the first time he hit me and somehow after the storm I was comforting HIM. I look back now and it’s like I’m watching a movie of someone else’s life. I urge ANYONE who is abused – even if he’s convinced you he’s not really an abuser – to contact your local women’s crisis center. They helped me devise a plan and carry it through. I am now remarried to a wonderful man, my children call him dad. We have a lovely home and family and are continuing to heal from the horrific memories that sometimes still plague us. There is a way out. There is hope. There is another life waiting for you to live it. You deserve to be happy – however the first step has to be made by you. You will have help with all of the other steps you need to take except this very first one. I pray that God gives you strength on a daily basis.

  • Reply
    There is nothing as « just a slap » | Mahshi and Marshmallow
    May 9, 2014 at 8:55 am

    […] We are living in a crazy society. We are moving backwards, while wonderful women are raising their voices to say “NO MORE”. Check this out – 8 Ways to Kick Domestic Violence Ass […]

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    May 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Don’t you just wish that you can grab that woman by the shoulders, shake the hell out of her and say “You have SO MUCH VALUE to this world. you don’t deserve this.”
    God Kim, every time I read your advice, it pisses me off because there is a Kay out there right this very second who is being tortured by a coward.
    My mom finally, after 35 years, left my dad. He wasn’t physically abusive. It was the emotional abuse. Horrible. It makes me mad when she says that “I stayed with him because of you”…because no mom…what he said to you, he said to us…
    Fuck.
    I’m sorry.
    I love you babe.
    xoxo
    Kimberly recently posted..All In This TogetherMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mimi Matthews Passionista At Large
    May 10, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Kim thank you! I posted this as a guest post on my blog because I could not do it justice, as you did coming from your heart and experience. However, I want to get the word out too! It’s part of what I do as Passionista. I work with women to help them identify the lies they believe, which then program our behaviors. Grass roots work, so to speak. Trying to prevent them settling into an abusive relationship. So thank you in advance for the use of your blog. And for the work you do!
    Mimi Matthews Passionista At Large recently posted..8 Ways To Kick Domestic Violence’s Ass (Guest Post)My Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 11, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Mimi,
      And thank you for utilizing your VOICE))) as well! xxx

  • Reply
    Stay Creative - Everyday Gyaan
    May 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    […] Kim Sisto Robinson – 11 Things I’ve Learned Since Your Murder […]

  • Reply
    Renee Johnson
    May 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    You know, I see something in her face in this photograph. She looks as if she is seeing a future which isn’t positive, while he radiates joy. You’ve put the human face on the story of her murderer. Sad, but powerful.
    Renee Johnson recently posted..Writing Sample at the ReadyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 11, 2014 at 6:49 am

      ——–Renee,
      I prayed before I used that photo. I called all of Kay’s boys and they said “Go for it.”

      It’s been the most read story I’ve written, the most talked about, the hardest to write.

      You are right. This puts a face on the murderer. He was an actual human being. xxxx

  • Reply
    Hilary
    May 11, 2014 at 5:16 am

    I miss her too.. I never had the pleasure to meet her, but through your words I feel like I knew her… sending you love
    Hilary recently posted..Mothers day… every dayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 11, 2014 at 6:50 am

      I feel the love.

      xxx

  • Reply
    Tara
    May 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Right on, Kim. Everything you said and more, it’s so true. No one deserves to be so demeaned and belittled. I’m so sorry for your loss of Kay, but am very proud of you and what you’ve done to bring awareness to this issue. Love you, lady.

    Tara
    Tara recently posted..The Lonely (Catholic Girl) Hearts ClubMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 13, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Tara,
      I’ve missed you.
      I’m not getting my regular posts.
      will go to your site now! xxx

  • Reply
    Alice
    May 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I’m so thankful that in my life, that the women I know & love are all in loving relationships. It’s so very sad to hear & read on the news of things that go wrong, countless times, again & again. Especially when we think in this modern age of all the incredible progress we’ve made with technology (and yet,) there are still some things that can’t be said.

    You’re such a brave woman for telling this story of your sister’s legacy and I truly believe it will serve as a voice for someone who didn’t have one. My thoughts are with your nephews, as they make their way in life too. x
    Alice recently posted..Chocolate Mud Cake with Rosewater Buttercream. An IGA recipe for Mother’s Day.My Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 13, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Alice,
      my voice is not enough…but with MANY voices, we can transform the freaking world!!!!!!!

      xxxx LOVE your blog.

  • Reply
    Dagny
    May 13, 2014 at 1:28 am

    As you said, if he has hit you once, he will hit you again. And yes, you cannot try to save a man who doesn’t want to be saved… nor thinks he needs to be saved. You will only drown with him, that’s all.

    RIP Kay… you were surely loved.

    Peace to you Kim! Your post made me feel sad for all the needless pain. May Kay’s kids find peace and healing too.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 13, 2014 at 11:29 am

      —–Dagny,
      I so wish Kay would have concentrated on changing her OWN life rather than her murderer’s life.

      Now, knowing this, perhaps other women can learn from it.

      xx

  • Reply
    Ida Chiavaro
    May 13, 2014 at 1:52 am

    You’d think after 25 years he would have calmed down a bit – not got worse… sadly even if you’d have stopped him from stalking her in the early days he would have just driven further down the street or something. I doubt with every ounce of my being, that there is a single thing you could have done to change your sisters fate…Good on you and her family for sharing some of the details of this horror story. Maybe in death she can give other people a chance at a better life…. I know children/family members that are involved in domestic violence are often afraid to speak out if the people are still living it….. if enough victims stopped keeping it a secret change would filter down. Jealousy is not love. Obsession, possessiveness and persistence is not love… I hope you and her children have a future filled with joy and love.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

      —–Ida,
      —- when people consider themselves victims, this is part of the problem of becoming dis-empowered.

      Kay is NO LONGER a victim, but part of the Solution to END domestic violence.

      How LIBERATING to know this!

      xxx Thank you so much for reading my mourning.

  • Reply
    nabanita
    May 13, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I will not even attempt to say I can fathom your pain … But I have a little sister and I can’t think about losing her… You are doing a brave thing and I’m sure someone somewhere in need will read this and find the courage to walk out before its too late…Hugs to you!
    nabanita recently posted..A single step towards changeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

      —–Nabanita,
      I remember telling Kay, “I Can NEVER live without you. NEVER! Ever!”

      And to tell you the truth, some days I have NO idea how I am moving forward…

      except to tell her story.

      xxx I MISS her so much it hurts.

      PS. go kiss your sister NOW!

  • Reply
    Sammie
    May 13, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Hi Kim, I’m so glad to be reading this post. I’m sure it will help many other women who may find themselves in the same situation. Keep it coming!
    Sammie recently posted..Mushroom And Chicken RisottoMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Sammie,
      thank you for reading. I shall “keep it coming.” xx

  • Reply
    Cathy Taughinbaugh
    May 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    I’m so sorry to read about your sister. My heart goes out to you. Domestic violence is a devastating problem for all involved. These are wonderful tips that I know will help others. Thanks so much for reaching out to share your story. All the best!
    Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted..How Peace Can Be Found From WithinMy Profile

  • Reply
    Dawn in MI
    May 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I know you’ve been told before, maybe even by me, but you’re doing vitally important work. Someone’s life has been saved because of your words. You probably will never know who or how many but your sister’s story has and will save lives. It’s a horrendous price you paid, she paid. This is the only good that can come out of such a terrible act. You honor her by making sure we all know her. Hugs.

  • Reply
    G Angela
    May 13, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I am so shocked to read this…. have heard of violence but not to this extent, feel sorry for your sister and agree with you in everything you shared. Women need to be empowered to understand that they are precious and valuable, and they have a right to live with dignity.

    Often children become the reason for staying in the marriage, the damage is done… felt very sad reading this, but do appreciate your courage and generosity for having shared this as a learning for many more women who are victims of violence…. I salute for this daring post !

  • Reply
    Mandy - The Complete Book
    May 14, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I want the world to read this post and to take heed of every single word!
    I know first hand how difficult it is, feeling trapped and too scared to leave. All logic vanishes into thin air.
    I say again, I want the world to read this post and to take heed of every single word! Had I known then what I know now, I am positive I would have left sooner. Then there was so much I wasn’t ready to deal with – being scarred, being embarrassed, being alone, fear for my family, admitting there was something horribly wrong and that it wasn’t my fault. I was convinced I would be the one to change him, to reform him. Oh my, how naive I was!
    It breaks my heart to see how sad Kay was on her wedding day and how gleeful that murdering bastard was. Sorry darling, I hope I haven’t upset you by saying that.
    Love to you my dear – you are doing the most incredible and valuable work! Kay is beyond proud of you!
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo
    Mandy – The Complete Book recently posted..Chocolate Meringue PieMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever
    May 14, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Kim,
    I met with a client Monday night with the same devastaing story. Her sister-friend Katie died Feb 19, 2014, weeks before her plan to move back home. Same way. I thought of you immediately. She feels so broken and crushed. I’m thinking it would be too raw to read your blog yet, but I will stay close and see what I can do for her. She is surviver of sexual abuse so she is able to turn off her feelings for now but is terrified of when she will feel them. Please say a prayer, love.

    Love
    Jodi
    xoxo
    Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever recently posted..This one thing can make or break your relationshipsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Stephanie Faris
    May 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

    What an important message. I hope this reaches the right person. Your sister was beautiful–she looked like Jennifer Lawrence. I think anyone who is married just has to stop and think about what it would be like to untangle from her current situation to imagine how hard it would be to leave a marriage. You get so settled in your life with your kids in school and your finances… Plus, abusers often know that if they make a woman dependent on them, she’ll be less likely to leave. That’s why they cut her off from friends and family and prefer that she doesn’t work or have her own financial independence.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Casting Reality TVMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      —Stephanie,
      this is true. Kay felt small most of the time. Her murderer molded her early on to feel this way, to feel dependent upon him…. but when she was getting ready to leave the marriage, she was EMPOWERED (finally) and this is why he shot her.

      Thank you for reading. xxx

  • Reply
    Doula Training by Doula
    May 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    So sad. But every words you wrote is true. Why some husband do that? I don’t really understand.
    Doula Training by Doula recently posted..Is A Doula Right For Me?My Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 15, 2014 at 4:46 am

      They do it because they can. that’s the only answer I can come up with.

      Thanks for reading. x

  • Reply
    Dr. Diana
    May 15, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Hey,

    Trust blog post indeed.

    We should repair our minds specially men should do this. After reading this article I am feeling sad. 🙁

    ~Diana

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Thank you for reading, Diana.

  • Reply
    Totally Heavenly
    May 15, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I am thankful never have had to have dealt with domestic violence, but seeing your sister’s lovely wedding picture makes it really come alive for me. It makes me so sad how we start our marriages with so much happiness and good intentions only to have it completely shattered. I hope her story helps other women out there though.
    *kisses* H

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Dear, Totally,
      She was never really happy, never truly liberated…

      until now.

      thank you for reading. xx

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    May 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

    That picture of your sister on her wedding day gives me the chills. I am so sorry her youngest found her like that 🙁 So heartbreaking. And you’re so very right–children know. They understand more than we think they do.

    I’m so glad that you spread the word about how important it is to pick up on some of the tell-tale signs. Your sister’s death will never go in vain because of your efforts to honor her memory and kick domestic violence once and for all. I can’t commend you enough, sweet girl. XOXO
    Charlotte recently posted..Why “we need to talk” should be happening in your relationshipMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      ““Charlotte,
      yes, as long as I’m living, Kay’s death will have meaning. We were almost one person….Now she lives thru me, her heart pumps thru me.

      Thank you for visiting me. xxx

  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    May 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I love you, this is so good and so true. I am sorry I have missed so many. I am trying desperately to figure out how to get there this year. Flight reserved, car reserved it is only the hotel, that is all just the hotel.

    Figure that one out and hell or high water couldn’t keep me away.

    I love you

    XXXXXXXOOOOOOOXXXXXXX
    Valentine Logar recently posted..After AllMy Profile

  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    May 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I forgot to leave this link for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYcQDrgY6L0#t=31
    Valentine Logar recently posted..After AllMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    May 16, 2014 at 2:53 am

    This post tore my heart. I feel your pain. My Mother was abused and put up with it for 5 years. Then she fled with me to her mothers house. The torture continued, but luckily their agenda changed and we could pick up the pieces and move on. I am very very sorry about what happened with Kay and I admire you for making such a massive difference in the lives of women who are victims of domestic violence. May your voice be heard far and wide, Kim.

    Love you more than the lotuses in the lotus pond in my neighbor’s house.

    I am so sad I did not receive this post via email.

    Hugs. You know I love you.
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Inspiring Stories. Against All OddsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 16, 2014 at 4:45 am

      Vidya,
      my posts are not going out to many of my readers. I do not know why or how to fix…but you know where to find me.
      I love you more than 12 white lions sunbathing in Kisumu, Kenya. xxxxxxxxxxx

  • Reply
    Wendy
    May 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Shocking. Absolutely shocking. Such a beautiful woman.

    Like all the sentiments above, I too are hurting for you.

    Take care.
    Wendy recently posted..Meet Muppet. He was rescued from a Puppy Mill.My Profile

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      May 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      —–Wendy,
      thank your for reading.

      The more voices…The more Power for Change xx

  • Reply
    countingducks
    June 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Its so wretched that she died like this. What you do to help others not go through the same thing is beyond inspirational
    countingducks recently posted..Off On Me HolsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chrystal
    June 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I am one of the lucky ones … I made it out with my two children. EVERYONE in my life warned me for 8 years that my ex was no good. It took our county’s DA (someone who had only met him once) to tell me to pack up my children and leave that state unless I wanted to be the next domestic murder case she worked on to finally believe the severity of my situation. Your blogs are so beautiful and I am sure they are saving lives. I learned something from them today… I never took into consideration the feelings of all the people that love me. Your pain made me finally realize that I was (in a sense) being extremely selfish. To read your words and imagine my children, sisters, mother, and all of the other people who love possibly going through this kind of pain struck a real cord..THANK YOU!

    To all of the people in abusive relationships GET OUT .. You will never know how many people you are hurting by staying…not just yourself!!

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      June 24, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      —-Crystal,
      I am happy you got out of your abusive relationship. I applaud you)))

      Kay waited WAY too long. When she decided to leave, he killed her.

      We tolerated her murderer…but that’s all. He never wanted any of us.

      Sad. Selfish. Horrible. Man.

      thank you for reading my mourning pages. xxxx
      My Inner Chick recently posted..21 Things I’ve Learned Since My Sister’s MurderMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mandi
    July 30, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I’ve come to your blog several times, but I haven’t left any comments (that I can remember). I know your story, your sister’s story, and it makes me sick that this happened, that he was so selfish to take a mother from her kids and to take someone you love from you. Your tribute to her speaks volumes. I’m so very sorry this happened. I cannot even put it into words. Sorry for my poor attempt at comment here. I just have no words.
    Mandi recently posted..Gonna Sip Bacardi Like it’s My Birfday….My Profile

  • Reply
    Miss
    September 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Kim,
    I found the picture while I googled signs of abuse. I am glad you used that photo, it is poignient(spelling?) and really says it all. I am so so sorry about your beautiful sister. She was obviously strong and brave enough to leave. I hope that monster got what he deserved afterwards. And I pray for your nephews and yourself, no matter how long it has been. I KNOW you have had tons of comments but you did such a great job with this post I just hapoened to find, I had to extend my gratitude. You didnt sugar coat anything. I come crom that abusive environment and was raised in it. My mother had many things in common with your sister and she was lucky to escape attempts at her murder. She felt proud and stuck financially, as well as religion. She had one good suitor but he passed and since then its been downhill for her. I fear the apple doesnt fall far. At 26 I have had mt share of being spit on and hit and run over. Seems every other guy or so. But your post opened my eyes in an age where there is saturation of social media and ad councils and so much is sent out and nothing breaks through. Thank you. THANK YOU. Your sister is an angel and you are doing her more than proud and also justice. I am sitting here possibly pregnant, student loans, no credit, no car, disabled after work injury…. and i got to wondering how I can make change if he wont and if he hasnt. Do I stay? Go? No. I plan. I do love him, all my family and I do is accomodate him. I make excuses. No more. This is not about me. Sorry to rant. You are great. THANK YOU

    XOXO

  • Reply
    Miss
    September 20, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Kim,
    I found the picture while I googled signs of abuse. I am glad you used that photo, it is poinient(spelling?) and really says it all. I am so so sorry about your beautiful sister. She was obviously strong and brave enough to leave. I hope that monster got what he deserved afterwards. And I pray for your nephews and yourself, no matter how long it has been. I KNOW you have had tons of comments but you did such a great job with this post I just hapoened to find, I had to extend my gratitude. You didnt sugar coat anything. I come from that abusive environment and was raised in it. My mother had many things in common with your sister and she was lucky to escape attempts at her murder. She felt proud and stuck financially, as well as religion. She had one good suitor but he passed and since then its been downhill for her. Still I am lucky to be her daughter and she is a great mother. I fear the apple doesnt fall far. At 26 I have had my share of being spit on and hit and run over. Seems every other guy or so. But your post opened my eyes in an age where there is saturation of social media and ad councils and so much is sent out and nothing breaks through. Thank you. THANK YOU. Your sister is an angel and you are doing her more than proud and also justice. I am sitting here possibly pregnant, student loans, no credit, no car, disabled after work injury…. and i got to wondering how I can make change if he wont and if he hasnt. Do I stay? Go? No. I plan. I do love him, all my family did and all I do is accomodate him. I make excuses. No more. He has never hit, but I always feel small. I cant talk to the opposite sex without opposition etc. Being pitted against my family telling me they control me. Mood swings. And on the surface hes the nicest guy, calm, cool, handsome, greatsmile. But always unhappy, or in upheval. This is not about me. Sorry to rant. You are great. THANK YOU

    XOXO

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      September 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      –Dear, Miss,
      What you need to know is that YOU CAN MAKE IT & survive & thrive.
      It’s YOUR life & you deserve EVERYTHING beautiful.
      Kay never thought she could make it on her own, but when she finally decided to
      leave, it was too late.
      He shot her and then turned the gun on himself.
      It’s NOT too late for you.
      Make a plan.
      Tell somebody you trust.
      Never stay silent.
      Call the National Domestic Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
      Help is available for you.
      PS. If he is belittling and demeaning you, it IS abuse. It does not need to be the fist.
      Please read my recent blog & you may recognize Kay’s words: http://myinnerchick.com/2015/09/20/yes-she-was-murdered-but-this-is-a-blog-about-hope/

      Prayers from MN.

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