By Nate Robertson, Guest Blogger.
On the evening of December 11th, 2007 I got an email from my dad that I never expected to get. The email simply said, “There has been a family emergency, please call home immediately.” Not having any understanding of what had happened, I called home and had the conversation that nobody wants to have. My little sister, Abigail, had been murdered. For the next five minutes I sat in my chair crippled by shock and grief.
For the next week I was surrounded by friends and family. I cried like I’ve never cried before.
Once the friends and family have gone home and you’re left on your own to mourn, the sadness comes and goes in waves but it’s the guilt that is with you all the time. You’re constantly asking yourself questions: What could I have done differently? Why didn’t I do more? How could I have known that this was going to happen? Why didn’t I see the signs and do something about it?
I’ve talked to friends. I’ve talked to family members. They all echo some of the same feelings. We all wish we could have done more. We all wish we would have taken action. We all wish we would have known better. We all wish that law enforcement would have done more to protect Abigail. Why didn’t Abigail do more to stop this? Why didn’t she step in and prevent this from happening? Why didn’t she ask us for help?
The services that Break the Cycle provides don’t guarantee that no young person will die the way that Abigail died. But I personally believe that better educated youth along with state laws designed to better protect victims of dating and domestic violence can prevent big brothers, mothers, fathers, sisters, grandparents, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, cousins, and society at large from going through what myself and the rest of Abigail’s friends and family had to experience.
Yesterday was Abigail’s birthday. She would have been 26 years old. I’m trying to raise $2,600 to celebrate her life and educate more communities on dating abuse. I’m only a few dollars short and know we’re all being asked for donations this time of year so any contribution would be greatly appreciated.
I donate to Break the Cycle because their mission and services give me hope that we can prevent this type of violence in the future. And we can prevent friends and family from having to say good bye to young women and men well before we should have to.