Friday, April 13, 2012

Putting a Face to Domestic Abuse

This morning my bus stopped for several minutes beside an newspaper seller allowing my eyes to scan the front page of a newspaper and immediately focus on a subject I became familiar with first as a pediatric emergency nurse in the U.S., and encounter nearly every day I spend in clinic here in Latin America. Domestic Abuse. The article caught my attention because it stated that an average of 222 cases of domestic abuse occured daily in Costa Rica during the first three months of 2012.

I thought about this for the remainder of the bus ride, and prayed for those who suffer abuse in the home...spouses, children and the elderly. Men and women alike. The article discussed the number of policemen who were injured while attempting to mediate such cases. I inwardly questioned the validity of such statistics, and pondered this as I poured my morning coffee and greeted the clinic staff. Life in a fallen world is messy and tainted.

Several hours later I would come face to face with this dangerous enemy. A client who had removed herself from violence by crossing a border illegally stated that she most likely would be missing her next appointment because she was thinking of returning to her homeland, hoping no further abuse would occur. I pray that I will see her cheerful face next month and that she'll reconsider for not only herself, but for the sake of her unborn child.