update: my essay in the huffington post
here is a story about domestic violence in the home of someone people very well might hope would protect them–ross mirkarimi, the newly appointed sheriff of san francisco county.
his wife, eliana lopez, was once a telenovela star in venezuela.
abuse can happen to anyone–even a famous, adored, talented woman–and the abuser might be the last person anyone would suspect. my mother had a phrase she used about someone we knew: “house devil, street angel.” smiles and a way with words can hide a lot. what goes on behind closed doors is known only by the family. if you’ve got a secret that’s hurting you, please ask for help.
the national domestic violence hotline is one really good place to start.
little night takes place in new york city, amid the magical and unexpected wild places in central park. it also deals with abuse and family secrets. the question that comes up, so often, is, “why doesn’t she leave him?” the answer, as anyone who’s ever been there knows, is: it’s hard, so hard. and the reasons for staying are as varied as the women involved.
it can take a very long time to trust yourself enough and, and to decide to get out. but when it’s time, it’s time. listen to yourself, that little voice inside. believe what he does, not what he says. actions speak louder than words.
know that you are brave.