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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 2. December 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2520.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(December 1976). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 2. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2520

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976 - Page 2, December 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2540/show/2520.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 1, No. 9, December 1976
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date December 1976
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 2
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Transcript f 'Tis the season of wife beating Sociologists, psychologists, caseworkers and law enforcement officials report a higher incidence of wife beating around holiday times. In the interest of public awareness—and, hopefully prevention, we present this interview with a battered woman living in the Houston suburbs. Leah* is a white upper-middle class woman In her early thirties. She has 2 children and lives in a Houston suburb. She is a teacher and her husband is a social worker. * Names have been changed. By Barbara Brown B: Could you ever tell ahead of time when your husband was about to beat you? * v^>* * L: No. I never knew what would set him off. I tried to find out by talking with him. I told him if I knew what f did to cause it I'd try not to do it He never knew—used to give the excuse he was under pressure on his job. B: When was the first time he beat you? L: We had been married a little over a year. I was pregnant for the first time—we were in college and lived in a small town. I was very sick—too sick to get myself up and go to the doctor. Tom wanted me to go to the doctor. All of a sudden he pulled me out of bed and dragged me across the floor. Of course, the doctor wanted to know where ihe bruizes, came from—what could I say? How many times can you say you ran into a door? B: Did you notice any signs of violence before you were married? L: Not really—but my family did—they were against him and had looked into his background. His father was an alcoholic and beat his mother. Tom never wanted me to talk about his father or suggest he was like his father. Tom himself had been chased down the street by his father with a shotgun. His mother checks into the hospital every summer for her terrible migraine headaches but feels a marriage must be kept together. But I didn't see all this. Because my family told me not to see him (/ was 79), it just made me all the more*deter- mined to do it. I hope I'll have enough sense not to do that with my daughter! B: Did your husband drink heavily, too? ■^JjKJKh^^I! L: He really didn't, but one time he said sweet drinks would trigger him off—and depress-* ing music. mL'^X^Mfi B: Did he abuse the children? L: Usually it was directed only at me—but he whipped them with a belt and hit one of them hard enough in the face to make her nose bleed. B; Did you ever try to leave him? ff^'jI^^aBM^A L: I did leave a few years after that first time. I had had a wisdom tooth pulled. We were living in Detroit and I took my child over to my mother's so I could rest. He stormed over and ordered me home,, tried to grab the child. J filed for divorce and we separated for a year. Cover photo by Amos Barrow / finished my degree and started to teach. He came after me—he got a job with the Welfare Department and said he'd changed. He seemed to have changed and wanted to get his masters. I worked to put him through his masters and then he wanted another child. He never really enjoyed the first one and when we had the second one she was in his way, too. When the youngest was 9 months old I found out I was operations as a result of the abortion. Then he decided to have a vasectomy. Right after that he began to change. He thought I must be attracted to any man around because they could have children and he couldn't now. I tried to tell him I was relieved he couldn't have children. I was satisfied sexually with him although like all women / sometimes faked it, too. Then he decided we should Tom insisted we go out with them again—when we got home he was drinking a lot and accused me of. a lot of things. I reminded him he had pushed me into it—had insisted. Then he started to choke me. When he finally let go I had nasty bruises on my neck and had to wear scarves till they went away. Like a dummy, I lei it go—tried to forget it. Finally I wanted to go for counseling. He was very upset "You have him arrested. He swears out a peace bond. Then they let him go and he comes after you worse than ever. What good is it to wave a piece of paper at him while he's beating on you." pregnant again. I wasn't happy about it and Tom insisted I go to New York for an abortion (I couldn't get one closer then). I got there and found since I was 3 months along the regular place wouldn't take me—they sent me to this horrible hospital. I called Tom and said I wanted to come home and not do it. He insisted I stay. When I got back I later had to have two become a swinging couple. He took me to one of those places but I refused and left He kept bringing home magazines and insisting. I told him I couldn't get sexually involved without my emotions being involved, too. He kept pushing me at a friend of ours—said it would be safe because the friend was married, too. Finally I did get involved. Then on New Year's —didn 'twant me to go—said he would go alone. He never mentioned the beatings to the therapist and after 4 or 5 sessions, decided he didn't need her. He was a social worker and thought he knew better. He started coming to where I worked—if he CGuidn't find me he would accuse me of seeing other men. Last July the whole thing TO Busy mj&2* HOUSTON CHRISTMAS EVE. Your husband has beaten you up and left the house. You know hell be 0 back. Something has snapped and you decide to get out quickly and take your three children with you. o You have no relatives here and no friends close enough to confide in. You have about $10 in the house. Once before you called the police but when your husband found out he beat you worse than ever and you 0 know this time you have to leave and stay somewhere to get real help. RlfcJ; m**% 8R3 Stf Trying to put myself in this situation, I presented the following agencies with the predicament of the "battered woman/' Here were the responses. Bt^|lB^M£l 18:50 p.m. Crisis Hot Line — Busy. j^R^'flf^' '7'iQfll h'4hF * 1 8:51 p.m. Crisis Help Line — (fisted nearby in phone book.) "We would tell you to get out of the house to a friend, neighbor or relative—if you wanted a place to stay we really have no place for you —(we hoped Z you might know of some referrals to give us!) We refer to the Salvation Army and the Houston Christian ^ Mission but they are usually filled. Houston A A will help the wife if the husband is an alcoholic. 9:00 p.m. Salvation Army — "We take people for temporary emergencies—tonight we had one bed left but someone is on the way for it. We take little girls of any age but boys only up to age 6. An older boy would have to go to a different shelter. We are full nearly every night. We refer women to Calvary Mission and Women's Christian Homes 9:05 p.m. Crisis Hot Line — Busy Calvary Mission — Busy 9:10 p.m. Houston Christian Mission — 9:11 p.m. Women's Christian Homes — "We take only single women for rehabilitation. We are usually full but refer women to Salvation Army, Houston Christian Mission and Harris County Welfare." 9:16 p.m. Houston Christian Mission — "We are full—there are not enough of us to go around. * Houston is just becoming aware that women need help. We take women often—they can stay as long as they want—we've had them as long as two years. We have many more requests around the holidays and on rainy nights. Sometimes the Sheriffs Department picks up women who are wandering on the streets and brings them here. I had one woman who was beaten by her husband—she was 8-months pregnant —had the baby then went back to her husband. We usually have to turn away 15 to 30 people a month. We refer to the Women's Christian Home and Calvary Mission. mm££^9£\ 9:24 p.m. Crisis Hot Line — Busy Sp^%^'9 Calvary Mission — Busy w**"^BB^BBltl^SyW E^S*!-*^S!^I 9:27 p.m. Ai Anon — "We only have shelters for the alcoholics themselves for 24 hours—if she was in danger and had nowhere to go we might try to go get her but we have no regular place to refer her." 9:33 p.m. Ham's County Welfare — "If there was a threat to the children we might go out on that ;o occasion but we couldn't do anything unless children are being abused We have to be a little cynical ;0 about getting involved in these situations—often women make horrible allegations from years past. Every worker handles the problem differently—there is no set policy. We don't have that many resources—we mainly deal with seriously injured young children. We call law enforcement—they take it more seriously if we call, although not always. There is a reluctance on their part to get involved. 9:40 p.m. Calvary Mission — "We would make space—we try not to turn away anyone when children are involved. We are always crowded. Tonight we have 76 people upstairs and 24 downstairs —7 single ^ women, a few couples and the rest with children. We can usually take 100 pretty good. We live mostly on t] donations and it's usually the people without anything who donate what they can. The rich usually don't 2 donate. Last year I think about 18,000 people went through this mission. The only thing we ask is that people not drink while they are here but not everyone can stick to it." r^fe^Xa^fJ?oM It should be noted that each of these agencies deserves tremendous credit for the many people they do help. After hearing about the constant lack of money, over-work and over-crowding, it was hard to remember we live in a very rich nation. Needless to say, the priorities of our government do not include women in need. IX^ Barbara Brown _ frfl ftflJMUUUl fl g 9 JUULft* & fl fl.fi.tf-QJUft g.^CJLOJLC.O^ &fl fll fl ft 9 Eft Eflfr 0 qq 0 0 9 fr» 0 q 00 0 >>>jp| came to a head. My child was going to camp and I was going to drive her and visit my parents because I hadn't seen them for a long time. He wanted me to just put her on a plane to camp. I told him to leave me alone, I would make the decision. He picked up the phone, dialed my parents and said— "tell them you're coming." I talked awhile and then said I'd see them in a few days—at that he tore the phone out of the wail. I knew my parents would wonder what was happening so I went to the bedroom and called them back and said we must have been disconnected. He followed me, tore than phone up, too and threw it at me. I realized I was totally without communication to the outside world. I locked myself in the bathroom—he knocked the door down and dragged me out. The older child woke up and told nim to stop or he would have killed me. He grabbed her and threw us both out the front door. Then the younger child woke up and he trhew her out the bathroom window. My older daughter said she was going next door and call the police. I said."No, you can't do that at 11:30 at night and tell them what's going on." But I told him through the door I would call the police and have him put in jail. Then he opened the door, he followed me from room to room and wanted me to make-up. The next day he called from work and asked if I was still upset with him. I told him to get his stuff and leave or I would put it all out on the lawn. f!\j^tn| B; Did you file for divorce? L: Yes. I was lucky. My father said he would loan me the money for a lawyer. I was warned Tom would try to take all the money out of our accounts but like a fool I sat around and said he wouldn't do that. But he closed them all and took everything. I had to file charges against him. B: Do the children visit him? L: Yes, but so far he hasn't abused them. The judge told him he would go to jail immediately if he hurts the children. B: Did you ever fight back physically? L: Only once—I stabbed him in the arm with a fork. I knew my only defense was my teeth since he's alot bigger than me. But I found out it angered him to the point it was worse when I fought back: ^ffV^ 8: Did you ever call the police? L: It's easier said than done. He would hang the phone up. The children were asleep in the other room. I had nowhere to go. You have to have them arrested /then they swear out a peace bond. Then they let them go and he comes after you in a worse way then ever. What Continued on pat£e 12 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH - DECEMBER 1976 PAGE 1 *> i(il i^R