In Memory of Kay

10 Things You Need To Know TODAY About Domestic Abuse


"He crushes my spirit every. single. day. ---Kay Marie Sisto

“He crushes my spirit every. single. day. —Kay Marie Sisto


  1. It can happen in your family.


My sister, Kay,  was murdered by the man we had Sunday dinners with, holidays with, vacations with.  (But he was never a true man)


He walked up behind her as she was walking out the front door and shot her 3 times in the head.


I’ve come to the realization that he waited until her back was turned,  because he knew, he damn well knew,  she’d fight him fiercely with everything she had left.


O,  God, God god god I wish she could have fought him.



  1. You cannot change or save another person,  but you can change and save yourself.


I remember Kay and I would sit for hours talking about ways to support him, include him, help him,  love him.


Only if we did this or that.  Only if we hugged him more.   Only if we …..


What we should have been doing is finding resources for her to leave him.



  1. The signs of domestic abuse begin at the beginning.


You may be so in madly love that you cannot observe the signs of domestic abuse in their early stages.


They are there,  believe me.  ( hiding like insidious cock-roaches)


For example, early on,   Kay’s murderer sat outside our house for hours with his little brown car running,  music blasting, his head draped over the steering wheel.  To this day,  I’m not sure whether he was crying or laughing.


I asked my mother recently,  “Why did we allow that?  Why didn’t we go outside and tell him to get the fuck away from her,  leave us alone?”


“I don’t know,  Kim.  I guess we didn’t know it was called stalking back then.” She answered.



  1. You MUST utilize your VOICE


We were given a voice for a reason;   to scream,  to yell,  to tell our stories, to cry out for help,  to connect with humanity.


Kay’s murderer started molding her at 16 years old;  his own personal Lolita doll.  Frequently, she said,   “He crushes my soul.  He kills my dreams.”


He broker her down into little pieces, segments,  dust….


Until she became the smallest person I ever knew.



  1. Silence Kills.


Staying silent about domestic abuse will not save you.


Soundlessness allows the abuser to thrive and grow and continue to have power over your existence.


Without the power & control,  he is NOBODY.  ( air seeping from a balloon.  a piece of shit.)


Tell somebody:   A family member,  co-worker,  neighbor,  pastor,  friend. It doesn’t matter who it is…


   Just  TELL.



  1. There is NO justification or excuse for the abuser.  EVER.


After Kay’s murder,  an acquaintance asked,  “Kim,  do you think he received enough love?  Was his childhood dysfunctional?  What happened to him?”


I said,  “I don’t give a damn.  He gets NO MORE excuses.”


  1. You are not alone.


Your abuser will try to convince you that nobody cares,  you are worthless,  you are nothing,  you are in the world alone.


This is a big fat ugly lie to keep you down, insecure, hopeless,  and unsure of your own footing.


You are more powerful than you know,  more capable than you realize.


And,  by the way, you are God’s greatest achievement.



  1. Your abuser is a liar & a thief.


“I promise,  this time I’ll change.”


This is the most incredible lie your abuser will continue to tell you.


My sister,  Kay,  married her murderer two times because she believed him,  wanted to save him.


We all thought he changed,  but after 3 months,  Kay confided,  “Kim,  he went back,  he went back to where he was.  He’s the same as before.”   And she cried and cried.


It was too late.    He killed her before she had a chance to leave.



  1. It doesn’t need to be a fist to be called domestic abuse.


Bitch.  Worthless.   Nothing.   Uneducated.   Bad Mother.   Whore.  Stupid.





    10. Help is available to LIBERATE yourself.

    National Domestic Abuse Hotline


No More! Home Page 


—–Did you know that leaving your abuser is the most critical time for you?

    A Personal Plan For Leaving


For Duluthians Contact: DAIP Duluth


Will you be part of the solution?  WATCH THIS





I love you.  xx


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  • Reply
    April 29, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Kim, once again, you’ve written a POWERFUL post about a subject I wish you’d never had to live first-hand with. I especially love your line, ‘you are God’s greatest achievement.’ So true, so very true! I find it incredibly hard to imagine living in intimacy with someone who has such control over you, someone who’s so sick in the head/twisted in the heart that he will do anything to keep you prisoner. Keep shouting it loud, my friend — you might never know how many lives you’re touching, but if you can save even ONE, what a blessing!!
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  • Reply
    Elisabeth Kinsey
    April 29, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Hi Kim,
    This is wonderful to keep your sister’s memory alive in order to educate others. I was lucky and was able to leave after I noticed the disconnect between being called selfish and my friends telling me I was a giving person. That disconnect widens. And you’re right – we don’t notice it. It’s small and unnoticeable. The sitting in the car can be interpreted as love…Wonderful post.

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      April 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      you are right.
      At that time, we just thought he was a bit loony and crazy in love w/ Kay.
      Yes, the signs were there EARLY. xx

  • Reply
    April 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Kim, You couldn’t have said it better. You are helping so many others who are being
    abused not to be silent, yell out tell somebody get out of it.
    Love You

    • Reply
      Kim Sisto-Robinson
      April 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      have I told you lately that you are my HERO? xxxxxxxxxxxxxx I LOVE YOU more than mom’s chocolate cake.

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    April 29, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Sometimes you can tell a trusted one (including a pastor) and receive disbelief back. “But he’s such a NICE guy!” Or they feel so shocked that they totally tune you out. Then you must pick yourself up and go to the next person and tell them. NEVER stop telling someone until you get help.

    Years later, I was told by my own mother, that it freaked her out so much, what I was telling her and that it was happening to her precious daughter, that she literally froze up and didn’t know what to say or do to help so she did nothing. Something she regretted to her dying day.

    Never stop telling until someone listens.
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  • Reply
    April 29, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    So powerful, so heartbreaking. “He broke her down into little pieces, segments, dust….Until she became the smallest person I ever knew.”
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  • Reply
    Anna @ shenANNAgans
    April 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    This post had me saying out loud, god… oh god! I am blessed to have never been faced with anything horrific, but I truly love that you shout at the top of your lungs, warning signs, advise, real advise and facts. I would like to think your writing would reach me if I did find myself in this position.

    In recent months 3 woman were killed in my home town by their partners, the worst thing about it is, that it was the system that let them down, all 3 had notified the authorities of the danger they were in and the men got to them in the 48hr ‘grace period’. Absolutely awful, but the positive thing about it is, the government have now changed the way they treat these cases to hopefully avoid any more woman being harmed and even killed.

    Thanks Kim for your powerful words. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. xoxo
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  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    April 30, 2015 at 1:36 am

    This is just breaking my heart…Domestic violence and other abusive behavior SHOULD be HEAVILY punished!!
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  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 3:50 am

    Such a wonderful post… I know that your words help so many….
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  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 4:58 am

    You are the most incredibly voice Kay can have. I truly wish the world could read your posts. They are that powerful, they are that true, they are that important!
    You are AWESOME Kim!
    Love, and hugs to you across the oceans.
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      April 30, 2015 at 7:07 am

      you are fabbbbbbbbbbbbbulous!! xxxxx How is S. Africa?

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Kim, if only there were some kind of domestic abuse czar in our gov’t, I would nominate you, as you’re the best, most powerful spokesperson I’ve ever heard on this topic. And along the way you’ve made us fall hopelessly in love with Kay, with you, and with your entire family. And now I crave a piece of your mom’s chocolate cake (after reading your comment to your dad). xxxx0000
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  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Keep writing these. You are helping families!!!!
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  • Reply
    Joan Peterson
    April 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Beautifully written, as always, Kim. Thank you. Awareness about domestic abuse is vitally important.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Kim, my best friend in Canada has finally decided to take her baby girl and leave her partner who was abusing her mentally and physically. I’m so proud of her but I’m also scared he will come back to her with his lies and that she will believe him again. She’s seeking help. I wanted to share this with you because I forwarded your blog to her…

  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    April 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    This post is so helpful, Kim. It’s so true that he gets no more excuses. Kay’s life must have been absolutely shocking xx
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    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      May 1, 2015 at 4:49 am

      Kay’s life was good when she wasn’t with him. She had MEEEE and her family and her children!! xxx

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    What strikes me in this post, even more than usual, is that a woman may be deeply loved and supported by her family and friends, and still it is she who is called to act in the face of abuse and danger. Trusting her own assessment is vital, and it is the very quality the abuse will have undermined. Sending you and your family my love and condolences, dear Kimmy xxx

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Once again, you hit the nail on the head. What a powerful post.
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  • Reply
    Amy Tong
    April 30, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the important message! Yes, everyone should read and know about these 10 things! Always love your powerful words!
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    May 1, 2015 at 8:39 am

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  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Hi Kim ,
    I am read your post for the first time and while reading something inside me stirred,a churning feeling in my stomach..! Always thought “stupid” is a small word,but now realise it can be abusive..:-(
    Thank you for making everyone aware about the abusive behaviour.
    Thank you and lots of love to you !

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Oh wow, that is so very sad. I hope the guy is paying dearly for everything he did. I am very familiar with domestic violence. I grew up experiencing some of it and I have friends going through it in similar ways. Nothing makes an excuse for a man to have this kind of behavior with his partner and also no man, that I know of, changes his behavior for the better. The best remedy is to be far away from him.
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  • Reply
    Kristi Campbell
    May 1, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    So so much love to you from our home in DC. You are doing huge important things that matter. You’re helping. Somebody wasn’t silent tonight because of your words and your voice and your dedication. xxoo
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  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Thank you for your continuous voice for those who are too afraid to speak up. xo
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  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    May 2, 2015 at 7:29 am

    This is a message that bears repeating. Just a few minutes back I got a call from an old colleague – on her way to another city – she didn’t speak much, but I suspect she’s finally leaving an abusive marriage. Please pray for her.
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  • Reply
    Valentine Logar
    May 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    This needs to be said again and again. Thank you. I love you.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Hello Kim,
    I am really sorry for the loss… but I am proud of the fact that you have decided to fight and spread awareness. Please continue to write such powerful posts. These posts may eventually save someone’s life.
    This is the first time I have visited this blog through Jeri and I am glad I did.
    Thank you
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  • Reply
    May 3, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Yes to everything Kim. It can happen to anyone. And we are not alone. Never. Women need to know this, to understand it. Get out before it’s too late. If it’s not today, one day it will be.
    There is NO excuse to violence. NEVER. Keep raising your voice Kim, cause it’s what gives women the knowledge of their worth and the chance to say NO MORE.
    Love, Love and Love again. You are a B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L person, one I am glad to call F.R.I.E.N.D
    Thinking of you, your loved ones and Kay, safe in heaven.
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  • Reply
    May 3, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Dear Kim, you have written such a powerful post again – I always have my eyes glued to each and every word you write. You have made many important points here but the one about being made to feel worthless, insecure…struck me the most today. It seems that once you feel alone, helpless and controlled you have moved towards a very vulnerable place.
    Wrapping my arms around you, my dear, on this Sunday evening and carrying your thoughts with me.

  • Reply
    Caroline Abbott
    May 3, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    love this. Especially when you say staying silent kills. My husband used to shame me into silence. No more!

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    May 4, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Shared… I always share… this guts me every time…. and I’m sick about the fact that women everywhere are tortured and torn apart by men they think love them. YOU will save lives through your voice. Through Kay’s voice. YES! THIS is your purpose, my love…
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  • Reply
    May 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Kim, wow, that was so well said! I wish every teenage girl in the world could read this, and I would beg every young woman to not ignore the warning signs or explain them away and ESPECIALLY not to ignore that little voice inside you that gives you those red flags. They are there for a reason! It is far easier to be single than it is to be married to the wrong person. Kay was a beautiful human being and I believe she is so proud of you. Because you have shared her life and her story, who knows how many young women have been saved. Thank you!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Given the circus my life has been the past few months, I can vouch that this post applies when married to someone with an addiction as well. All in all, I’m glad I found out and got out of my married now instead of ten years from now.
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  • Reply
    Minnesota Prairie Roots
    May 6, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Dear, sweet Kim, thank you. Again. You are making a difference by speaking the truth from the perspective of someone who has endured such deep personal tragedy.

    Do you ever do speaking engagements?
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  • Reply
    Dawn Mayo
    June 14, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Very informative, and certainly a real problem today. I feel for these women and hope they find the strength to walk away from their aggressors and fulfill a better life.

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