Burning the Good Witch at the Stake

Burning the Good Witch at the Stake, Oct 2021 blog by CL CharlesworthViolence against women in the United States is in the use of domestic abuse, murder, sex trafficking, rape, and assault (Wikipedia). Culture leads toward trivializing violence towards women and the media possibly contributing to making women-directed violence appear less important, particularly to women in this category:  There were 543,018 people reported missing in 2020, nearly 40% of them people of color.  Black Americans account for 35% of missing person cases (National Crime Information Center’s Missing Person and Unidentified Person Files). Law enforcement historically assumes children are runaways, and adults are involved in some sort of criminal activity.

Indigenous women’s communities have also expressed outrage that they have a disproportionate amount of media attention or legal assistance. This is tied to Tribal Reservation Law. Non-tribal perpetrators found on the Reservation for sexual assault, child abuse, or rape can’t be prosecuted. However, domestic violence by non-tribal members is investigated by tribal nations, but the women do not fare well.

A recent survey conducted by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Organization:  Approximately 4 out of every 10 non-Hispanic Black women (43.7%), 4 out of every 10 American Indian or Alaska Native women (46.0%), and 1 in 2 multiracial non-Hispanic women (53.8%) have been the victim of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

—But then, the candle’s flame that almost burnt out, has rekindled. The singer R. Kelly, who for years dominated the world of R&B music, was found guilty on Monday of being the ringleader of a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex.

—And a flame shines like a beacon for Florida resident Gabrielle Petito, 22.  There is a $20K reward, so far, offered for information for her fiancé, Brian Laundrie’s whereabouts, who authorities believed killed Gabrielle.

Is there fairness in justice?  “I can roll off Sandra Levy, Natalee Holloway, Elizabeth Smart, Caylee Anthony, Gabby Petito, but no one can name one person of color that has received that type of mainstream media. Not one person,” said televised former law enforcement officer, Derrica Wilson, to NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton.

“Life is not a fist. Life is an open hand waiting for some hand to enter it with friendship (and kindness) ultimately, the answers are so simple. Not simplistic, but so simple.” ~~Lisa Wiesel

My last novel, The Last Merry Go Round, tells of a woman’s journey and struggle through an abusive relationship. I’m aware, from volunteering at a women’s shelter, being lost is more than a state of direction.The Last Merry Go Round excerpt

Excerpt from The Last Merry Go Round:
First Thought Today:  The coffee is cold. And I can say with full honesty, sitting across the table from Richard, in our twenty-eight years of marriage, the word yes has brought me little happiness. I know and believe from all I’ve come to accept; the longer I stare at the kitchen’s cracked plastered wall in need of repair; this image symbolizes our love and marriage. The light in a once romantic and naive sixteen-year-old falls dimmer and dimmer. Oblivion paints a foregone conclusion. If only Richard cared to listen. But this isn’t the morning. The patient wife doesn’t interrupt. A dutiful smile passes from her face to his. Richard is who I am, and what I am is lost between the beginning and the end of his sentences.

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Marly
Marly
20 days ago

I am making a promise to be more aware, present, accountable, when I see abuse toward women happening. Thank you for always writing from your heart.

Donna Pizzi
20 days ago

Dear Cheryl: Your powerful blog post packs a well-needed punch. Thank you for underscoring what should be obvious and is rarely spoken about: Namely, women of color and indigenous women being the subjects of violence that get little or no coverage by the media. Ironically, when well-paid SF anchor, Frank Somerville, the father of an African American daughter, brought up this very point, he was suspended by FOX-affiliate KTVU. Both your closing statement – “being lost is more than a state of direction,” and the quote from your novel “The Last Merry Go Round,” gave me chills – the kind that stay longer than invited, but make a lasting impression. Keep on writing. Your voice is needed.

Donna Pizzi
20 days ago

Words are powerful and this reply adds to the bumps on my flesh and soul. Nudge away. We are listening.

Terri P.
Terri P.
20 days ago

A lot of women and children are prisoners of sex trafficking. Disgusting creepy men and the women who aid them deserve death by a thousand red ants.
I really feel for the Native American women who suffer under tribal law, similar to women worldwide who suffer under punitive religious laws. And the media deserve a lot of blame for not covering the stories affecting so many women of color. They feed the masses news and help shape attitudes yet they are the ones ignoring those stories… WHY? I hear the media complain that the stories aren’t covered then the same media doesn’t cover them. So hypocritical. 
Social media is often the only avenue for people who care about the missing, the abused, and the murdered, to post their stories there.

Edythe Chaney
Edythe Chaney
16 days ago

Perfect timing for such a much needed discussion on Domestic Violence… and it has worsened during the pandemic. It’s so unfortunate that it’s still prevalent in this day and age. A friend of mine witnessed in the grocery store… a young lady crying while her boyfriend was on the phone yelling at her, about what he was going to do to her when she got home.

A few years ago, I was in the 99Cents store when a man was kinda’ stalking me. He’d follow me in the aisles & when I’d look over at him, he’d look at the merchandise on the shelves.. Finally I motioned him over and he walked over smiling until I told him I was a police officer working undercover and he had to be at least 25 to 30ft away from me, because he was interfering…He replied Oh S–t, and left the store. A lady nearby asked me if she was in the way and I explained I wasn’t a cop. She said, Wow! That worked, though! LOL!… we just have to be very careful these days!!!

Edythe Chaney
Edythe Chaney
16 days ago

Oh, I forgot!… I’m not a police officer…only when necessary!! LOL!!