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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Domestic Violence Survivor Betty Ware tells her story to Conversations

Conversations is committed to sharing stories with the world that will empower and inspire its readers. While the country recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we want to recount the experience of one survivor of abuse: Betty Ware. In September 2008, she contact Conversations Book Club Founder Cyrus A. Webb from Texas after reading his review of the memoir "I Don't Want To Die All Alone" by Joseph Henderson. The review gave her the opportunity to then tell her story. Conversations is glad to now share it with you.
"I am 68 years old. I have been married twice.The first time was when I was 17 I got married to get out of the children's home that I was raised in along with five siblings. The man I married would not work. All he wanted to do was hunt and fish. So I worked very hard and had three sons and raised them all by myself. After they were grown and out on their own I left their father and started my life over and alone.

"So now we come to my second mariage.I met this man while I was bartending, and he swept me off my feet. At this time I was 48, and he was 35. The age difference did not seem to be a problem. I moved in with him and for a few months everything was great. Then I found out that he was doing all kinds of drugs, some very bad stuff. When I confronted him about this he said he would give it all up if I would stay with him and help him. Well I stayed, but he would not give it up. Sometime's it looked like he was trying. In 1994 he ask me to marry him. I thought he was doing better. So I said 'I Do'. That was my biggest mistake.

"After we were married he got fired from his job for doing drugs. Then I had to work to support us. For a while I did drugs with him, just to get along better. Then I almost died, the drugs caused me to have a mental breakdown. By the GRACE OF GOD I am still here. Now I have a lot of health problems including a back injury that was caused by trying to help him pick us stuff that was to heavy for me to lift. So I can't work anymore. I have to live on social security of $589 per month. At this time he was working but spending most of his money on drugs and his 2 motorcycles.

"We started arguing about how the bills were going to get paid and one thing lead to another. He told me to get out, that this was his house,and he was going to kill me and bury me and no one would even miss me. That was July 17, 2007. The police report (see below) that was done afterwards tells you more of the story. Now we are divorced and a crooked judge and a slick lawyer saw to it that he didn't have to give me anything. We had $67.000 in martial property. He got everything except for my car and the furniture. Thats what I took when I left.

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"As for my domestic violence case, the attorney in justice court dismissed my case because he said the DA's office lost all my paper work. It is all just a big circle of lies. To me it is all about who you are and how much money you got and if you can afford a slick, back stabbing lawyer. I am safe for now. I want to tell my story to whoever it might help: At the very first sign of abuse: Get Out, tell someone, call someone, just GO before they kill you. Don't depend on the LAW To help you. The police are great, but if I have to judge by my case, the court's will not help you."
We hope that Betty's account will encourage more survivors to come forth and tell their story. Abuse is something that none of us should tolerate, no matter who it comes from. Just know that you are not alone.

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