Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

16 March 2008

Sometimes there is no escape from an abuser

I have to admit that each time I hear a story of a woman who leaves her boyfriend/husband and ends up dead a part of me dies too. I became tired of this story many years ago. My heart is dead to the stories in that I no longer cry and scream when I hear about it. The rage is quiet inside me.

The latest story to grab local headlines is the story of Cindy Bischof. The Chicago Tribune has a great story about how she did everything right. I've heard all the lectures about what to do when you leave a relationship and what to do when he freaks out and starts threatening you. Bischof appears to have heard it all and did it. And she still fucking ended up dead!

Cindy Bischof thought her breakup with a longtime boyfriend would go smoothly after he agreed to move out of her house. But Michael Giroux quickly turned hostile, writing up a plan to destroy her home and following through with it.

Terrified after Giroux, 60, spray-painted every wall and piece of furniture in her Arlington Heights home last spring, the 43-year-old real estate broker moved swiftly to secure a protective order from a Cook County judge that prohibited him from contacting her.

When he violated the order on two occasions, including an attempt to hang himself on her patio, she didn't hesitate to press charges that landed him in jail for two months followed by home confinement.

To relatives and prosecutors, it appeared that Bischof was taking all the necessary steps to stay safe and that the legal system was delivering protection.

But after Giroux was released from home confinement this month, he showed up at Bischof's office in Elmhurst armed with a .38-caliber revolver. When she tried to get into her car, he shot her repeatedly then turned the gun on himself.

The shittiest part of this story and every one like this is that the safest way to leave a violent situation is for the woman to change her name and relocate. She does nothing wrong and she's the only who has to leave her job? Her home? Her family? If I had ever found myself in that situation, I would had said, "Fuck that." I'm stubborn that way. OK, so maybe the rage isn't so quiet...But it really isn't fair that some asshole can hold this much power. I really don't have a solution to all of this.

Technorati tags: domestic violence, feminism, violence against women

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