October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it could not be any more serendipitous that it is on the first day of this month that I finished reading the book “Serrated” co authored my good friend and strategic partner, Stephanie Angelo of Human Resource Essential, LLC
“Serrated” is the story of Tracy Stombres, a survivor of domestic abuse and violence that culminated in the stabbing death of her mother Vina.
Vina bled to death as she tried to protect her daughter Tracy from her husband, in what amounted to the attempted murder of Tracy herself.
To read this book and fathom not only the violence that was inflicted on Vina and Tracy is one thing. To try and grasp that Tracy’s young son Alex would be witness to this carnage is another.
Domestic violence happens “everywhere”. It knows no socio economic boundaries and manifests in many ways from verbal abuse, control over finances to isolation from family and loved ones, all the way to actual physical violence. Domestic violence is not something that happens “to other people” who live far away that we “just see on the news.”
This book took me from an intellectual grasp on the gravity of this issue to an intimate understanding of “a day in the life of” a battered woman. Better stated, this book connected the dots for me between what we term abuse and how often this coverts to violence. Violence that often times ends in brutal murder.
Tracy Stombres is a survivor in the true sense of the word, clichéd or otherwise. Her strength to pull herself up and start all over again so many times over, is beyond me. Her ability to find her way through the fog of the brutal attempt on her life that left her own mother dead is profound.
Somewhere in Tracy’s story lies a lesson for all of us. For me it is gratitude for the good fortune I have experienced in this life. More importantly, to share with you a story that I hope compels us as a society to step up to the plate and bring an end to this cycle of violence we have brushed under the proverbial rug for way too long!!