There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

I have been thinking a lot about my decisions that led to this place that I am now.  I have a lot of regrets and I am trying to learn how to forgive myself.  That’s no easy task because the costs are insurmountable. I John 4:18 has helped settle my long term conundrum of how a God fearing person can justify breaking their “until death do us part” vow even while enduring an abusive marriage.  When fear enters the marriage, it drives out love and love cannot cohabitate with fear.  A spouse who makes you fear has broken their marriage vows to love, cherish, honor, and obey.  Love and fear cannot occur together.  I asked a psychologist once if a person could love their children and still abuse them.  The answer I received was “yes”.  But it appears that God doesn’t agree.  We cannot fully love someone who we cause to fear.  We do not truely love someone who is abusive and causes fear.  I believe if you remain in an abusive intimate relationship, it is derived out of fear, either of them or a fear of the unknown. It has nothing to do with love.  It isn’t love keeping you their.  I stayed to protect my children.  It sounds idiotic to allow children to remain in an abusive home to protect them but when faced with today’s reality, my fears have been realized.  These two small innocent children have been left to fight the abuse alone.  No one to witness and no one to step in between.

I offer anyone struggling through abuse the following:

1) Love yourself and your children more and get out immediately!

2) Do not let your pride stop you from seeking help at a crisis center.  These centers can align you with legal help and support no one else will be able to offer you. I have learned this the hard way.  Seek out every resource you can!

3) Be very vocal and do not allow anyone to intimidate you into lieniency or silence. There is no easy way out.  If you forgo prosecution now, no one will believe you later.  You need to be steadfast! and firm! that the laws are upheld and the abuser is prosecuted and that you and your children are provided every means of protection!

South Dakota (SD) is currently working to repeal its Marsy’s Law.  If your not familiar, Marsy’s Law is basically a bill of rights for victims.  Some are arguing that SD already has protections in their statutes and this law isn’t needed.  What’s needed is accountability to the laws that exist, at every level, from law enforcement, DSS, CPS, all the way up to the Courts.  Laws that no one is willing to enforce, prosecute, or that are not adhered to by the Courts is as good as lawless.  South Dakota, your times up!  Stand firm to adhere to the laws and fully prosecute those who break the laws and victimize your people. Laws do not make us safe, enforcement to the greatest extent possible under the law comes close.