Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Opinion

May 30, 2014

Walk a mile in her shoes

Athens — Like many men across Henderson County today, I will wear a pair of high-heeled shoes, and walk a mile around the courthouse square in Athens.

The Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is designed for men of the community to help raise awareness about a serious subject­domestic abuse.

What started out as a small group of men daring to walk around a park has grown to become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape-crisis centers, domestic-violence shelters and other sexualized-violence education, prevention and remediation programs.

Simply put, domestic violence is sickening. There is no call for it.

There is nothing manly about abuse. Whether its animal, child or domestic abuse, it is all sick.

As I have previously written in this space, as men we are called to guide our family through life according to God's purpose. Abuse in any form is not what God intended when He gave us our helper.

I have experienced domestic violence first-hand, and will tell you that no one benefits from the experience.

Growing up, I watched as my father had too much to drink, and would physically abuse my mother.

Why the abuse took place I will never know, but I do remember it being both physical and verbal.

Alcohol played a major role in the abuse, but it is not a viable reason for it.

Both my parents were impacted by the abuse as their marriage ended after 13 years.

For the three children who watched as the abuse took place – the yelling and screaming to the pushes and punches – the impact lives on.

I can not speak for my brother and sister, but I remember standing between my mother and father on several occasions to try and stop the abuse.

What I took from it all is simple – don't repeat the pattern.

I love my wife with every fiber of my being. I do not always do things right, but I do strive to be the best husband and father possible in every situation.

Instead of bullying my wife to get what I want, I chose to love and respect her.

Honestly, there is no place for the name-calling or other forms of abuse in the home. There will always be consequences for such behavior.

Right now, I have taken the high road after watching domestic violence destroy my parents' marriage. I do know there are those negative side effects that I have yet to discover.

One negative side effect would be the low self-esteem I carried through high school and into my early college years. With the chaos at home, I did not have that safe place to learn and grow.

Instead of building confidence to tackle life,  I felt less than others, until I found God.

Men, I urge you to consider your spouse and your children, before you act out in rage. What you do today will have a lasting impact on your family for generations to come.

As hundreds of men from Henderson County walk around the courthouse square today trying to avoid twisting an ankle in high heels,  I urge the rest of the county to help put an end to domestic violence.

Domestic violence does not have to exist. It truly is a choice. It is time to chose love instead.

Chad Wilson is Editor of the Athens Daily Review.

 

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