Updated: Oct 31, 2019
So if you read the headline that came with this picture of this beautiful family you may automatically think...."wow, what kind of selfish mother, human, does this?".
But what people often fail to do is take a step back and look at the big picture.
Do i know this family? No. Do I know all the details of their story? No.
But i do know from reading the article that this family had a very lengthy history of domestic violence.
I do know that a 32 year old young mother of 7, yes 7, children one being an infant allegedly killed her husband, set her house on fire with 6 of her children in it and drove her SUV into a lake with her infant strapped in it.
The devastation in that fact alone can leave you breathless and in such pain.
But if you continue to read the article you can see that this mother filed for divorce from her husband and father of her children in 2012. Whether he wanted the divorce or not is not known because she was granted a divorced by default because he failed to appear in court. Cristy Campbell was also awarded custody of the children.
The article goes on to say that "Court records point to a tumultuous relationship between Cristy and Justin Campbell". So obviously the courts were involved in some way with their relationship over the years.
The article goes on to say that Justin Campbell was charged with domestic abuse in 2005. Because he caused bodily harm to Cristy Campbell. He did this by slapping her in the head all of this while she was pregnant, 16 weeks. He was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $500.
Now lets talk about that sentence. First of all if you are a survivor of domestic violence you KNOW that 9 out of 10 times the abuse has been going on a lot longer than this one incident in 2005 and not just that, but that a slap to the head may have been all that she admitted to him doing. (Victims and survivors keep lots of secrets for many reasons...but let me keep going).
This woman who at this time already had 3 children with him, went ahead and married him in November of 2006.
Some may say...what? After all of this? Why would she then marry him?
Well, they have 3 children, she probably loved him and she may have wanted to keep her family together, These are only SOME of the reasons, i'm sure.
Moving forward he violated probation by not paying the fine and was arrested in October of 2007 and the case was dropped in 2007.
Just 3 years later in 2010 she files for divorce, but revokes her petition.....
Many survivors may understand this.....
Abusers are very convincing...they promise to change, but oftentimes never truly do.
They say they'll go to church, therapy and promise to be a better husband, father and man.
Lets give "us" another try.... I want "us" to be a family.
Two years later in April, she alleges that she has been abused again stating "He has choked me, he has pushed me several times, he has slapped me in my head, he has pushed me into bricks,” she wrote.
She was given an emergency order of protection and found the strength to file for divorce, again.
Although this time the divorce went through, she asked the judge to lift the protection order, and it was lifted...she was granted custody, he was granted visitation.
So many times women in abusive relationships will lift, revoke, cancel and or petition for the restraining order to be cancelled....why? So many reasons! I know...I was one of them.
It went from unsupervised visits to supervised for him in 2014 because Cristy alleged that one of the children told her his father had pinched and punched him, and another child said he had been choked.
The authorities shared that they had answered about 50 calls at the house since 2010! 50! Which included calls to 911 that were hangups, dogs barking and domestic calls.
There are so many questions in this story...so many whys? why nots? how could she? what was she thinking?
And the truth is we may never know.
But with the facts that we do know....there was an extensive history of domestic violence. A mother with 7 children, children involved in lots of actives based on reports, a divorce, restraining orders and much more that we may never know about.
What i don't doubt though...is that this mother loved her children.
I don't doubt that she was in pain.
Trauma can cause us to do things that we may not have normally done of if given the opportunity would have never done again.
Two lives lost and 7 children left without their parents.
While this story happened a few years ago it is not much different than stories we hear today in 2019.
Domestic violence has long lasting affects, that can go from generation to generation. It's time that we take a DEEPER LOOK into the effects of domestic violence.
Feel free to share your thoughts below.