to sing during diaper changes and transitions.
Double knotting her first shoes, after her first steps.
Cutting her grapes well into the middle school years.
She took care to provide, to fortify,
to envelop with unconditional love.
And still she could not protect her ...
from vile, entitled male privilege.*
From conduct unbecoming.
Said millions of mothers. And me.
In my new job, I help victims. The IT-specialist-turned-DV-vic turned woman sleeping in a ditch; the veteran-turned abused elder living with his dog "Jane" in an RV outside the VA. The ex-girlfriend found with someone new, just before her predator pushed her out of his moving pickup truck.
These are fictional composites; I can't share. Humanity up close is hard. Unfathomable. I'm learning how to feel the feels, as the amazing professionals on my team say. How to feel and keep going, that is—in the face of wanton violence.
The offenders reside up and down the socioeconomic spectrum. But they are found. And held to account.
Treatment in progress. Working title: "Nowhere to Hide" or "Lifeline"
"I will find him. And look him in the eye. And make him live prostrate, in fear and regret, forever," says our protagonist, a DDA or advocate or investigator, who exacts revenge in ways large and small but mostly unexpected. She sees the parents who enabled, the coaches who instilled, the friends who turned a blind eye, the administrators who pretended otherwise for their benefactors' sake. She sees—all of them.
* I know entitled/privilege = redundant. But almost iambic pentameter.