I stumbled across this story on Facebook the other day and was inspired by the courage and passion in this woman. Melissa Dohme, a miraculous survivor of domestic violence in which her ex boyfriend stabbed her 32 times, leaving her for dead in the middle of a road. Thankfully, two teenagers heard her screaming, called 911, and managed to stop her attacker, who then drove away and attempted suicide. Dohme now dedicates her life to educating others on domestic violence. She recognized a great need to spread awareness. Luckily her attacker is facing a life sentence with no chance of parole, but other women in similar situations have not been so lucky. Dohme knows that she is a miracle, saved for a purpose to use her voice to speak for those who no longer have a voice. I am so humbled after reading her story, yet also enraged.
Let me explain. I only heard of Melissa Dohme because the article on Facebook was about how she had just become engaged to the man who saved her life. I normally don’t get into stories about grand proposals where the man has set up the perfect stage for popping the big question. I was attracted to the article because it mentioned her surviving being stabbed 32 times. 32 times! And I can’t help but ask the question of why am I just now hearing about this woman and her experience? Did it have to be accompanied by a crowd-pleasing story of her agreeing to marry the EMT who saved her life that horrific night? Why not celebrate this woman solely for her heroism and work with Hands Across the Bay? Yes, it’s an incredibly romantic story of her finding love again under such circumstances. And it is possible that I didn’t hear about this story before because it wasn’t circulating on Facebook. But it doesn’t change the fact that there is not enough media coverage on domestic violence. This is not a topic that is discussed openly at school or at home.
Parents, you need to talk to your kids about abusive relationships. Schools need to talk about abusive relationships. It’s not a complicated subject. It’s quite simple really. Abusers do not actually love you. They do not relate to you as a human being. They cannot empathize with you. You are an object to be controlled or manipulated. Melissa Dohme expressed the fact that no one talked about domestic violence in school. Lack of education on this matter is exactly why so many young girls or boys find themselves stuck in relationships that are destructive. They do not recognize it as abuse. They think that they are the problem. They think that love is something that is a deep long-suffering struggle. And they believe these things because it never entered their mind, until it was too late, that they could even be a victim of such a thing. They believe this because they grew up hearing others condemn women or men, like themselves, for never leaving such a relationship. They believe that the victim is at fault. They believe that they would never let themselves be with such a person. So they clearly are not with such a person. Because it could never happen to them.