September 19, 2016

All afternoon, I have been preparing a notebook for Amanda’s case. I am presenting it tomorrow at a meeting with an official who has agreed to look it over. No matter the outcome, I will trust God. I’m realizing how emotionally removed I have become from all the detailed police reports, witness statements and photos of Amanda. It has had to be this way because it’s difficult to see this beautiful woman, my baby sister with bruises and marks on her neck and body. I will be so relieved the day we get answers and she gets the justice she deserves.

This disconnection has helped me move forward with a factual based research of her case rather than emotionally driven. Tonight, I am so sad and grieved for everything she had to endure at the hands of a man that controlled every part of her world. I’m thinking about the other women (& men) all over the world that suffer at the hands of people that are supposed to love them. How can we have a different outcome? How can we make these tragic stories end differently? It has to be one of three ways: stop the abuse, leave the abuser, or the likelihood that someone will die. Those are the only solutions to this senseless, preventable crime.

Stopping the abuse has to start early. Abusers were most likely abused themselves. There must be early intervention, education, and programs to help the abuser figure out what’s going on inside them. We have this deep need to control our world, but we do not have any right to control the actions of others, whether physical, psychological, and/or emotional. We have to break the generational cycles of abuse. We have to be the generation that says ENOUGH! The abuser needs to be loved on as much as the abused if safe to do so. The flip side though is that they have to want healing, acknowledge the problem, and take responsibility for their actions.

Leaving the abuser is a complicated matter. Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most dangerous times. Often women stay because there is so much fear of leaving safely. People often get frustrated at women for staying with an abuser. I know I got frustrated with Amanda many times. As a child, I got frustrated with my mom for staying with my dad. Blaming the woman for staying is NOT acceptable. They get caught up in the domestic violence cycle – abuse, remorse and apologies, calm, & abuse. If we can’t get the abuser to stop, how can we help the abused feel safe in another environment?

If abuse continues, there is a pretty good chance that someone will die. I’ve lost three women in my life to domestic violence homicides (I’m praying that the truth be revealed in Amanda’s case). In the loss of my sister Vivian, she was leaving her boyfriend, and he killed her. My mother went to check on her hours after it happened because Vivian wasn’t answering the phone, and he killed my mom as well. When I asked Damon why he did it, he said he didn’t want to lose her. Amanda was threatened to be killed numerous times if she left Brayan; but the night she suffered brain death, he told her to be gone by a certain time and if she wasn’t he would kill her.

I have poured my heart and many hours into Amanda’s case. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. If he is never held accountable here, God has the final say for him. There were times when police were involved with Brayan and Amanda, and he just walked away, and not held responsible by our justice system for his violent actions, not to mention his illegal immigration status. I’ve taken hold of her, and am not letting go until we get answers. Until then, I pray that God use me to help others have a different outcome than Rebecca, Vivian, and Amanda Pierce. There are so many people supporting and praying for our family. I am so grateful. Remember that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

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