I have been receiving many e-mail letters from women who have told me that they feel that they have nowhere to turn for help. Some have confided that because of this isolation they have had thoughts of suicide. Many others who have contacted me via e-mail also know of women who have confided that they too are similarly desperate. In both cases fear of the abuser and possible retaliation are effective roadblocks. The abuser frequently counts on intimidation as a weapon.
Depression is a very serious matter, one cannot simply snap out of this type of emotional pain. It is truly terrible to lose one’s dignity, no one should feel so alone and unheard that suicide becomes an option. I would like to suggest a possible solution that can aid women who otherwise feel helpless, and hopeless. What I am suggesting is known as a “wellness check.” Anyone who suspects or knows of an impending plan to hurt oneself can contact the local law enforcement authorities. A police department or county sheriff for those who live in rural areas can be contacted through calling 911. An law enforcement officer will dispatched to the residence. A request for a “wellness check” may provide help and save someone’s life.
I know that there is reluctance for people to admit that they suffer from this level of emotional pain and grief. Some people believe that taking such action further erodes their dignity by seeking help. I beg to differ in that the alternative to not getting help may be far more catastrophic. I have counseled many women who have told me that they see no other way. The immediate pain overshadows their logic. Many times these feelings motivate actions that are both powerful and impulsive. Once in motion these plans are hard to stop. Professional help is required.
Therefore, what I am advocating is a chance to take a time out away from the abuser. This is only a suggestion but I know that “wellness checks have saved many lives. I know of a situation where someone recently called for such a wellness check and the police arrived in time to save the life of a young mother. Had someone not called for a wellness check when I was living with my abuser, I could have been killed.
Let’s never forget that we are “our brother’s keeper”…Is it ever too late to do the right thing? If I could, I would (((hug))) each one of you. Be reminded that there is an army of women praying for you.