Ogden participants of the 14th annual Footsteps to Light walked from Lester Park to the Ogden Amphitheater last Thursday to honor not only those who have died from domestic violence, but also those who have survived.
Your Community Connection of Ogden sponsored this event.
“The YCC is a nonprofit, community-based organization that assists victims of domestic violence and rape,” said Tallie Viteri, manager of YCC.
Jane Bryant, a victim of domestic violence herself, and author of He Never Hit Me, was the keynote speaker. Bryant described the years she spent in an abusive relationship, and how she was finally able to leave her husband. Bryant said her marriage was like “walking daily through a minefield, a volcano that erupted spontaneously . . . Women typically stay in abusive relationships because of fear — fear of being hurt, or fear for the well-being of their children. But it is only a matter of time before they (the abuser) escalate into violence. Do not spend another five minutes in that relationship.”
She also advised women in abusive relationships to keep a journal.
“It will document everything that happens to you. It will empower you. If you don’t write it down, it is as if it didn’t happen.”
Bryant also told women who are in abusive relationships to get a protective order.
“Unfortunately, Jane’s story is not uncommon; many women suffer from emotional and physical abuse. Jane’s book will help other women evaluate if they are in a healthy or an abusive relationship,” said Joel Brandley, Bryant’s therapist.
Mary, one of the many attendees, who preferred her last name not be disclosed, was at the event to help support the awareness of abuse. Her daughter has been in an abusive marriage for several years. Mary said she suspected abuse immediately.
“He rushed my daughter into a very quick marriage. He would not let her see us because he said he was training her.”
Mary said the signs to look for in an abusive relationship are control issues.
“My daughter’s husband controls everything, from the clothes she wears, to phone calls, to what time she goes to school. Everything is completely controlled . . . Abusers isolate their victims from friends and family. If you suspect abuse, call the police, it is your business.”
According to Child and Family Services, domestic violence includes emotional abuse, isolation and sexual abuse as well as physical abuse.
The following statistics come from the YCC:
- A woman is beaten every nine seconds by an intimate partner.
- Domestic violence is the largest single cause of injury among women seen in hospital emergency rooms.
- One out of every 4 American women report they have been physically abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
- Nationally, 75 percent of battered women say their children are also battered.
Rape Crisis 801-392-7273
Victim Advocates 801-394-9456
Child Protective Services 801-395-5911
Child/adult abuse 24-hour hotline 1-800-371-7897