On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
When a Florida resident is harmed at the hands of a loved one, it can be difficult to come to terms with what has occurred and to chart a course for what should happen next. One of the hardest things for people to understand is why a victim so often remains with his or her abuser for a significant period of time after the abuse has taken place. There is no clear answer to this pressing domestic violence question, but one former victim, Beverly Gooden, has decided to use her own experience in the matter to help others who may be in similar positions.
Gooden’s mission did not begin immediately upon leaving an abusive husband. It took the media to focus on NFL star Ray Rice after a video showed him assaulting the woman to whom he was engaged at the time in an elevator to prompt her into action. During reporting on the issue, much of the language focused not on Rice’s behavior, but on why the woman who was assaulted chose to stay with him. That prompted Gooden to take to Twitter to talk about the myriad reasons why women stay, through the aptly named #WhyIStayed.
On the platform, Gooden spoke about how her husband controlled her movements and finances, and how difficult it was to gather the money needed to leave her home. She also talked about her pastor’s insistence that God hates divorce and the fact that she didn’t question what stance God might take on domestic violence at the time. Soon other victims joined in, and a more complex picture of domestic violence was created. Gooden now speaks at various events to highlight the importance of addressing domestic violence and continues to help victims avoid the stigma associated with this form of abuse.
For those in Broward County, Florida who feel trapped in a marriage where domestic violence is present, it is important to understand that there are ways out. Finding a trusted attorney is a good first step, and can help in identifying other resources that can help a spouse transition out of a harmful marriage. Hopefully, the work of people like Beverly Gooden can assist victims in gaining the strength and courage needed to move beyond domestic violence.
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wane.com, “#WhyIStayed creator gives keynote at Denim & Diamond fundraiser”, Angelica Robinson, April 28, 2017