Last Sunday, as Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast, a hurricane of a different sort was swept up into her Father’s arms after a courageous battle with cancer.
Susan Murphy Milano, a tireless advocate for crime victims, was taken home. When someone who accepts God’s grace passes into that mysterious, timeless realm of joy, there is both rejoicing and sorrow. I grieve because of the pain she went through and because our world has lost a warrior. I feel sadness for her friends and family and all the people whose lives she touched.
I rejoice because she knew, despite the many years she lived through the hell of abuse on earth, that her Father was there all along. We don’t know why He allowed what He did, but we do know that she recognized her purpose, and that was to help others to achieve victory over the horrors of crime and violence. For that I’m sure she will be richly rewarded.
When an advocate who has had this kind of impact on our society dies, some question if their work will go on. In this case, you bet it will. We will close ranks and march on even more determined to stop violence than we were before. Injustice and suffering and abuse make me angry, and when the movement to stop those evils takes a hit like this, it just makes me all the more determined to smack them down.
If you are not familiar with Susan’s story, there is information on the book published just before her death at http://www.icecubepress.com/2012-books/holding-my-hand-through-hell. It provides insights into how and why she became who she was, and why we should stand united against societal plagues like domestic violence and sexual assault.
I believe it was Marcus Aurelius who said that what we do in life echoes in eternity. So often we seem to think that our actions and decisions are wisps of steam that dance for but a moment upon our brows and then evaporate into the ether. In reality these choices become either building blocks or stumbling blocks that not only steer our fates, but can have an immeasurable impact on others as well– both in this life and the next.
Choose, like Susan did, to make a difference. Statistically speaking, you already know someone who is suffering from the suffocating effects of violence. Listen to them. Take them seriously. Connect them to helpful resources. Everyone can do something. If the fires of domestic violence are not put out as they flare up, they continue to spread, not just throughout our society, but into future generations.
Thank you, Susan, for taking a stand. It cost you dearly but you persisted in the battle to find safety and justice for those who have been wronged. What you did here echoes… your life’s work rings loud and clear.
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5 thoughts on “A Job Well Done”
Thank you! I received info about Susan Milano’s blog via the local facilitator for ARMS here in this area. I have read some on her blog site and found yours there also. I read about the EAA on her site and have explored some of that info. I am trying to do the right thing by going to counseling, ARMS and I did work with an advocate downtown Seattle when I went there three times to get my protection order. Unfortunately, the person I worked with is no longer in that office. I really liked her. What happens when one tells an attorney that they are not going to pay for those charges since you are talking to my “ex” when he is not your client and then charging me for it? Thanks!
I don’t know, but the WA State Bar Association has a consumer affairs division. They might be a good resource: http://www.wsba.org/Licensing-and-Lawyer-Conduct/Discipline/File-a-Complaint-Against-a-Lawyer (their number’s on that page).
You might be able to find an advocate at one of the agencies listed on this page, http://www.kccadv.org/get-help/support-services/.
Your writing is excellent and I am so glad there are people like you out there advocating for people being taken advantage of. I am wondering if you can give some input on a legal situation. I am in the process of a divorce with a DV man. Everything is in place as of the end of Sept and it is just in the process of waiting for the 90 days to pass. I am beginning to feel angered by the attorney that he is using anything and everything to continue bill me. My last communication with him was on Sept 28 when I emailed him a “thank you.” I was charged $32.50 for this thank you. I received a statement yesterday and he has come up with another $500.00 worth of charges including communication with my “husband” who is not his client. I have been charged for this including the forwarding of emails from him. I have a protection order in place to protect me from these emails and now the attorney is forwarding them. This is feeling like I am being taken advantage again by another man who is in power. (attorney) I would appreciate your feedback!
Well, I can’t really give legal advice, but I can give my opinion. Sounds like a typical divorce attorney– they often act in their own best interest rather than their client’s = $$$.
So you have a protection order in place to prevent communication with your abuser and your attorney is charging you for choosing to forward his emails to you? Sounds like the attorney might need to be told, specifically, not to do that.
Also, couldn’t that be considered a violation of the protection order? Have you talked to the police about that, or a DV advocate? Often abusers think they can get away with communicating with a victim if it’s done through a third party.
There are ways to file complaints about attorneys– the state bar association, for example.
If you haven’t spoken to an advocate, they can be a useful resource. Some nonprofit community groups have them and some courts and police departments do.
I hope you’re documenting everything and have looked into creating an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA). You can find more info. on those at the Document the Abuse website.
More than anything else, stay safe! You can find some very useful info. on leaving this type of relationship in Susan Murphy Milano’s Time’s Up book.