Meet Gloria. She’s 27 years old and lives with Sam who is 36. They have a little boy together, he’s 3. Gloria is also expecting their second child. She works swing shift at the front desk of a hotel in town. Sam stays home with their little one.
One night, Gloria got home from work at 11:30, as usual. She went into the living room to see her little boy who was still up. Sam was in the kitchen. Then Gloria heard loud bangs in the kitchen and went to see what was going on. Sam was throwing stuff around in the kitchen. She asked, “What’s going on?” Sam turned around with a fierce look on his face and without saying a word, he punched her in the head and she went down to the floor, hitting her belly and her head on the way down. Sam left her there on the floor. He kept throwing stuff and he punched his fist through the window, breaking it. Gloria got herself up and grabbed her phone, calling a friend who lived two blocks away. Her friend told her to grab the baby and she would be there to pick them up in two minutes.
Gloria’s friend took her to the hospital to get checked out. In the E.R. Gloria was asked what happened. She said she fell. Then her friend told her she had to tell the truth and so Gloria told the doctor what had happened. Police were called to the hospital to take a report and within an hour, the Sheriff had gone to the house, handcuffed Sam and taken him to jail where he was charged with felony domestic violence because of the unborn baby and the three year old. Because there were children present, it made it a felony. That started a whole snowball of events.
Three years later, they are still together. Sam is still on probation, having served only a few days in jail then pleading guilty to enter an anger management program and a long relationship with the probation department.
He doesn’t hit her anymore. Now he tells her every single day that she is a poor excuse for a human and that she is a rotten mother and that she doesn’t deserve to have any children. All this he tells her while standing and swaying because of all the wine he has had. She’s depressed. She doesn’t tell anyone until months and months later when she breaks down and tells her mother. She doesn’t want to leave him because their little boys love him so much. There are other reasons she doesn’t want to leave, mostly they come from fearing the stigma of being a single, unwed mother. She knows how she has felt about “that kind” of women and she is afraid that others will think badly of her. She did try to leave a few times but Sam always found out and stopped her.
She’s stuck. She is often depressed. I think that she will eventually leave him. I hope she will escape. He doesn’t hit her anymore but he’s “grumpy” more often than not. Even their kids know to stay away from Daddy when he’s grumpy.
Gloria is just one. There are thousands of Glorias out there. Thousands who stay in bad relationships for the kids; so that others won’t think badly about her; so she won’t be a statistic. She already is.