Her Name Was April

19 04 2008

She was only 30-years-old.

A local woman died Thursday night after her husband apparently beat her to death. As I used to work with battered women as my job, I watched this story unfold over an entire week. The entire county did.  A man from a small unincorporated community called Sidonia allegedly (news person coming out in me) beat and kicked his wife in the head repeatedly. Rumor has it he left her on the floor. The next day, he took her to the hospital where they flew her to Vanderbilt. He waited a day.

Domestic Violence is a hidden crime. It hides in the shadows.

He was arrested as soon as she was put on the helicopter for treatment. Family and friends waited. She never became responsive again and slipped away. I’ve met several people in the last few days who knew her and who are devastated.

One of the women whom I work with has a child that is the same age as the victim’s son. I guess because I used to run the local victims’ assistance program, she asked me how to tell her child. I have to tell you, I never know the answer to this question. I’m not a parent. But the best thing I could tell her was not to sugarcoat what happened, to let her child know that bad things happen to good people but, you know, that’s sounds so lame when you are saying it. There were tears in her eyes.

What do you say? Really say. I’ve been to hundreds of training about this but words are never enough and no one set of words is going to take pain away. A woman was murdered apparently by a man who at one time claimed to love her.

Another person I talked to knew the accused. Another person was friends with the brother of the victim and said he wasn’t doing so well. Then there was another, and another, another …

Waves reverberated throughout the community. A young mother with a bright future is dead. Her husband is in jail. There are two children who have lost a mother and a father.

The charge is second-degree murder. Before she died, while she was still on life-support, the charge was  aggravated domestic violence which would have given the suspect jail time of two to six years. When she died Thursday,  local law authorities upgraded the charge.

She isn’t a statistic. She was well-liked. She was a daughter, a sister, a mother and a friend. She was loved.

Her name was April.

Here is a list of domestic violence programs throughout the state of Tennessee.

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5 responses

19 04 2008
captainkona

Damn.

One thing I find incredibly frustrating about things like this is that the world loses a good person and the coward still remains (“coward” because that’s how I view all men that abuse women or children).

The worst kind of tragedy is the one that didn’t have to happen.

19 04 2008
Carole Ann Borges

I have also worked with abused woman, but I had to quit after one of my clients was beaten by a man who had beaten her before. I tried to get her to go to shelter, but she was afraid of alienating him. Instead she went to live with her abuser’s Mom. A few weeks later, they’d moved in together again. This woman was gorgeous, very sweet, and very sad. The next time I heard about her she was in the news because he had attacked her brutally again. This time breaking all the glass bottles in the bathroom tub, then grinding her down into that stuff. Her two beautiful boys were found covered in blood. She had nerve damage and scars all over her body. I was stopped at a stoplight one day and I saw her. She was using a walker and looked like she was a seventy year old woman. I just sat there and couldn’t stop crying. Abuse is the saddest thing on earth, and yes, it does affect everyone in a family. My heart goes out to you and all who knew this woman.

19 04 2008
newscoma

Carole, I had to find a new line of employment. There was never an end to it and I found that sometimes there is only so much you can do. I understand so completely.
I didn’t know April, but the community did and they are mourning.

20 04 2008
supermousey

That’s horrible. I don’t know how people can even do that. Or how the women put up with it. If that ever happened to me, the second it did, I would run to the police. Unless I was under life threatening circumstances.
=(
Sad stories.

20 04 2008
newscoma

My dear sweet Supermousy,
It’s a weird world.
It’s up to us to change it.
Because people, well, they are people with flaws.
What we do is let people know that there should be no sad stories.
It’s up to people like us.

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