Today is day 3 of the national month-long writing campaign for men on the issue of domestic violence and in support of Marissa Alexander, the Florida mother of three who was sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot to scare off her abusive husband. Launched by the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Women, Emotional Justice Unplugged, and the Free Marisa Now Mobilization Campaign, EBONY.com is the official media partner of this critical act of 'emotional justice' in action.
*NOTE: Today, EBONY.com will lead a Twitter chat about Marissa Anderson and domestic violence, featuring Esther Armah, the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Women and Free Marissa Now. Join the Conversation on #31forMARISSA at 3pm EST by following @EBONYmag!
Check out our mission statement here and visit EBONY.com daily through the month of October to read powerful words from men who are committed to seeing justice for Marissa Alexander.
Today's letter is from a brother who reveals his sister's suicide after suffering domestic violence and his guilt due to his own inaction. He says he judged his sister's silence, but what he was avoiding and grappling with was his own. Growing from silence, to working to be a different man, helping his nephews to cope with the loss of their mother, we salute him for standing up for Marissa—and for his family.
"Dear Marissa "by Someone Moving from Guilt to Pro-Activity
"…Though I was mortified by her silence, it’s my own that I grapple with today. I can come up with any number of excuses as to why I didn’t speak up—his twenty year seniority over me, his huge physical stature, my general avoidance of confrontation—but as I became a man and suspected abuse I should have done more too…Had I spoken up, I would have asked him how he would feel if he suspected that his own sister felt imprisoned by some man, or reminded him that the pain he inflicted on my sister would end easily if we sent him back home to languish in the streets he escaped. I would have asked him what definition of love he believes in, because his frequent proclamations of love for my sister were contradicted by his violence…"
"…I never addressed either of them about the domestic violence, and not a day goes by without me feeling guilty. By remaining passive, I too supported my sister’s abuse because I did not call him out. Never again. My guilt motivates me to be on high alert for signs of abusive behavior these days…"
"….Marissa, thinking about my sister’s life in conjunction with yours makes it clear that shooting in the direction of your abuser warned him that his days terrorizing your family were numbered. Instead of being rendered an aggressor, you deserve praise for protecting your children, lest they face the same type of long term trauma that defined my nephews’ childhood home. "
Read this brother's complete letter here.
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