According to Webster’s dictionary the word ‘window’ means:
1. An opening that makes it possible to see something.
2. An opportunity to see or experience something.
Webster goes on to say the word pain means:
1. The extremely unpleasant physical discomfort experienced by somebody who is violently struck or injured.
2. Severe emotional or mental distress.
3. To make somebody feel saddened or distressed.
4. Risking or threatened with something like-DEATH.
Putting these 2 words together gives the title of this reading:
Shh! Be Still! Lend me your eyes – your ears – and your heart.
Look! Listen! Feel! Come with me, in your minds if you will, as we
Pull back the curtains, Open the blinds and Raise the shades to peer into the lives of battered women, through their window pains.
Come right up to the windowsill. See the pain, hear the pain, feel the pain that exists behind their window.
And remember, like the candles you hold, they represent
The millions of window pains around the world.
• Ming Li’s window
I don’t know how long I’ve been up here. It’s been a while though.
My white dress is now black from the dirt on the floor.
The blood from the gash in my forehead has ceased to flow.
There is a stench so bad from where I couldn’t hold it, I had to go.
Through a small window I have watched people walk to and fro.
I can see them but they can’t see me.
I scream and shout but they don’t respond. Neither does he. I wish he would open the door and let me out.
• Danielle’s Window
It all happen so fast, I don’t remember what went wrong
He was reading the newspaper and I had the stereo on
Listening to our favorite song by Luther Van Dross
‘Here and Now’
Out of the corner of my eye I watched him as he put the paper down
Something inside of me knew, here comes the first round.
POW! He hit me so hard I fell to the ground.
He began to shout: ‘There you go making me cross
I know what that song is about I know what you’re trying to do
You think playing that music is going to make me love you’
POW! he hit me again. ‘That ones for Luther’
POW! another one right on the chin. ‘That’s for you-Don’t play that song again.’
• Laura’s Window
Like Sleeping with the enemy the towels had to be hung straight.
More than straight they had to be hung perfect.
Every fold in place. Each towel separated by a 2-inch space.
He even put a ruler near by
Once I was off by less than half an inch
He took the towel rack and rearranged my face. Leaving me with one eye.
• Shauna’s Window
All day he was calling me names using words that rhyme with ditch.
Playing mind games
Reminding me it was because I was pregnant
That we even got hitched and that He didn’t think it was his baby anyway.
He said I was an ugly no good piece of crap.
And that I planned to get pregnant that I had on purpose set a trap.
He said I couldn’t cook and I looked like a dead fish on a hook.
No one would ever want me not even someone blind who couldn’t see.
The day ended. Now it was night. Had he forgotten what he said in the light?
Did he seriously think I might? I said no. I didn’t tell him where to go I simply said no not tonight
The next morning I was so sore. I don’t say no anymore.
• LaQuita’s window
He said I was his queen Then he kicked me hard in the stomach
And ruptured my spleen
I only have eyes for you He would smile and say
I couldn’t see him He blackened both my eyes
The other day
I love you like no other he would whisper in my ear
Next he called me names that began with mother.
You’re my special princess are the words I heard
When the Dr. said I failed the stress test.
• Carla’s Window
I was getting out of the hospital that day
My ribs had healed according to the x-ray.
All 283 stitches had been taken out.
He came to pick me up he said he had something to say
And he promised not to shout.
A dozen roses were on the front seat with a card that read I’m sorry
Sometimes I act like a geek.
Please say you still love me Forgive me for the last few weeks.
He reached up and gave me a pat Tears ran down my face
But I couldn’t feel them the meat cleaver he used
On me paralyzed my cheeks I could forgive him
But I couldn’t forget a mirror would make sure of that
This was the fourth time yet here I was going back.
• Zoë’s window
He came from behind while I was sitting in the chair and grabbed a handful of my hair pulling it out.
30 minutes you were gone I heard him shout
It doesn’t take that long to buy a ham
You were probably somewhere else spreading your legs for another man.
Wham! I don’t know what hit me but I knew my arm was broke.
I told him the line was long and there was only 1 cashier.
But he just grabbed my neck and proceeded to choke.
The pain in my arm wouldn’t let me reach his hands
I could feel myself going under my heart sounded like thunder in my ears. Oh Please! Please no! My body went limp. And he let me go.
• Kerry’s window
It was a beautiful day. The month was June. No the month was May.
I remember it well because it was Mother’s Day.
2 weeks earlier I went to see a judge and got an OP
He was not allowed Within 25 feet of me.
The kids were wired and wanted to play
So I decided to take them to the park that day.
A friend went with me though I had the OP I wanted extra security,
I clutched the paper in my hand As the Kids and I ran through the park.
Time went by so fast and before we knew It was getting dark.
‘It’s time to go’ I said as I motioned to the kids
BANG! BANG! – Your DEAD!!
The words rang out loud as the bullets went through my chest and my head. I fell on one knee and dropped my OP
He wasn’t suppose to be within 25 feet of me.
I could hear him speak: Bullet 1 and Bullet 2 Were for you
Bullet 3 is for me I’m not going to jail See you in HELL
He opened his mouth and fired 1 shot my stomach was in a knot.
Get my kids I yelled to my extra security
Everything went black. I didn’t die that day I have 2 bullets in me
And a metal plate in my head But at least I wasn’t dead.
• Gwen’s window
My name is Martha. Gwen is my mother she’s no longer here.
After 15 years of living in fear. I miss her so.
I gave her my word to tell her story till everyone heard.
Domestic Violence Is a REALITY. It took my mother away from me.
I don’t know when it started but I can remember back to the age of 3
It seemed like there was a fight every night. The last one caused me the most fright,
We came home from our family vacation early because mom’s eyes were black and swollen shut. She couldn’t see.
He didn’t want others to know. And that meant mom couldn’t go out.
The bruises and gashes alone would give strangers something to talk about.
As he opened the door letting us know our vacation was no more
He dropped the keys and demanded that mom pick them up.
She didn’t, she couldn’t see.
He picked up the keys and slashed her nose. Next there came what seemed like 50 blows.
Blood was everywhere. He gave us kids such a scare.
I went to call 911 just like I’d done before so many times in the past
I knew in minutes they would be at our door.
But this time he had cut the line.
I knew then this was going to be the last time
Help was not on the way things weren’t going to be fine
I closed my eyes real tight hoping someone would hear my pleas for help that night.
My mother yelled and I opened my eyes to see the final strike
He had my brother’s baseball bat and was rearing back to give the final blow. I tried to yell – No words came out. She – Just – Fell.
Webster offers another meaning for the word window:
1. A Period of available time
2. A period of free time in a schedule available for use.
3. A limited time during which conditions are right for something to take place.
All too often we are willing to only look at lives displayed behind windows, much like window-shopping without a serious intention of buying anything.
Tonight, I tell you
Time is available – Conditions are right for something to take place
We have seen – We have heard – We have felt the pain.
I challenge you. I challenge me to help in some way
Toward the cause Of Setting battered women free.
Domestic Violence is a REALITY….