There is a county song which contrasts real life to reality TV and includes the line “Real….like a momma and a child with no safe place to go.”  The song lyrics are powerful and I’ve posted them all at the end of this.  But the line that gets to me the most is this one.  The first time I heard it, it was like a punch in the gut.

A momma and a child with no safe place to go.

How can that be? 

But it is real.  There are thousands of women trapped in abusive relationships, with no safe place to go.  They are beaten, threatened, humiliated, abused and, far too often, killed.  Often this abuse occurs while one or more horrified children helplessly watch.

In our hometown of Danville, Virginia there is no shelter for victims of domestic violence.  We used to have one, but it was shut down.  Now, sadly, for many mommas and children in this town, there is no safe place to go to escape an abuser.

Last year a boy in our county shot and killed his father while he was sleeping on a couch.   Having witnessed the drunken father beating his mother many times, he finally intervened. 

I don’t know if this tragedy would have been avoided had there been a shelter they could go to.  Sometimes victims in these relationships are so trapped they fear even trying to escape.  But maybe it would have made a difference.  Maybe it still can. 

Efforts are underway to get a domestic violence shelter in this community.   May it happen soon.

And may the time come when “a momma and a child with no place safe to go” is not real.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

500 Channels and there ain’t much on tonight
But reality shows about some folks so called lives
A pretty girl cries cause she don’t get a rose
But she’ll find love next year on her own show
And they call that real

Real, is the hand you hold 57 years
Real, is a band of gold trembling with fear
And it’s the first long tear down an old man’s face
Watching his angel slipping away
His heart so broke, it’s never gonna heal
I call that real

Where I live, housewives don’t act like that
And the survivors are farmers in John Deere hats
Our amazing race is beating the check
Praying that the bank ain’t ran it through yet

Real, like too much rain falling from the sky
Real, like the drought that came around here last July
It’s the damn old weevils and the market and the weeds
The prayer they prayed when they plant the seeds
And the chance they take to bring us our next meal
I call that real

Real, like a job you lose ‘cause it moves to Mexico
Like a momma and a baby with no safe place to go
Like a little dream house with a big old foreclosed sign
Like a flag draped coffin and a 21 gun goodbye
I call that real

Man I call that real
Oh I call that real

Love Wins