Rosalyn looked briefly at the house she had lived in before she got married. She remembered all the nice things that happened there, but she didn’t have time to linger at the memories of a distant past.
Rosalyn was twenty when she met Craig for the first time. Craig worked at the same place as Rosalyn. The first days they worked together went normally, but at the end of the week Craig decided to ask Rosalyn if she wanted to eat supper with him. She was delighted to be asked, she had liked Craig the way he had liked her, and he liked her better than any other girl he had ever met. It went fast. After a few weeks they got engaged, and five months after the day they first met they got married.
The first days of the marriage had been splendid. Rosalyn couldn’t see any thing bad about her husband. She loved him above all.
Then the change came. One day they came home from a nice day spent shopping in the city. Rosalyn thought Craig seemed bothered by something, so
she asked him what was the matter with him. "What’s a matter," Craig yelled out, "you dare ask what’s bothering me. You looked at a lot of men today. I have
never been so embarrassed in my life." "What are you talking about?" Craig nearly spat when he answered: "Like the way you looked at the clerk in the jeans
shop." Rosalyn talked slowly to him "I have to look at the clerk. I can’t talk to persons without looking at them." Craig looked into the air next to Rosalyn for a
few seconds, thinking about an answer. He finally said: "Then maybe you shouldn’t talk to them at all!" "But I have to talk to them," Rosalyn talked slowly, as if
she was explaining something to a baby, "I can’t go to the city without talking at all to other men." "Then maybe you shouldn’t go to the city at all!" Craig hit her
stomach with a closed fist, She looked at him with fear in her eyes, but he didn’t look angry anymore. It looked as though he had been brought out of trance.
He looked down at her and said in a sobbing voice: "I’m sorry…. I don’t know what happened to me. I’m sorry." Rosalyn accepted the excuse then left the room.
But already the next day Craig was beating her up again. Over the next few months Rosalyn had to endure regular beatings, even though she hadn’t done anything. One weekend Craig had to go to a neighbouring city to attend to a meeting. This weekend Rosalyn called her mom over for dinner. Her mom was the only one of her parents still alive. Her father had died in a motorcycle accident a few years before she met Craig. Rosalyn told her mother all about Craig. Her mom feigned a pout, then said: "Oh, he’s probably not so bad, is he. Craig would never hurt you. I don’t believe you at all." No matter how much Rosalyn tried to explain the business to her mother, she simply wouldn’t listen. She didn’t believe that these things happened in even the most distant vicinity of her own family.
When Craig came home after the weekend Rosalyn’s mother was still there, and she told him how stupid she thought Rosalyn was who could even say these things. Craig told his mother-in-law that he didn’t understand where she found these crazy ideas. He told her that he had never put his hands on Rosalyn in any way that was violent.
Over the next few months Rosalyn had to suffer more and more beating. Craig often grinned while he was beating her up, as if he enjoyed it. One day after Rosalyn had been beaten up she ran away from her husband to her mother’s house. When she saw her daughter she got worried. Rosalyn had bruises and cuts all over her body. She asked her what had happened to her, but when she told her, she laughed. "Are you into that again," she said. "Do you still mean that he beats you up. He assured me that he didn’t beat you up. Are you sure you didn’t just fall down the stairs?" Rosalyn understood that her mother wouldn’t help her. She went to a motel to sleep for the night.
Craig was really mad. He wanted to find his disrespectful wife. He called around and finally found the motel where she was sleeping. The residents of the motel woke up in the middle of the night to see a woman being dragged by her hair to a car, and see the car drive away.
Again Craig beated her up, even more furiously than before. He told her she needed to learn some respect. During the next days Rosalyn was beaten up several times every day. At the end of that week Rosalyn called the police. The trial against Craig was a short one. The jury didn’t think that a charismatic young man like Craig could beat up his beautiful wife, so he was set free.
Craig looked at Rosalyn, his angry eyes glistering like fire. Finally he yelled: "I have never been so humiliated in my life. NEVER!" Rosalyn looked at the man she once loved, but who now was a man she wished she had never met. Her counter attack came quickly and was well planned: "I don’t care. I want a divorce." Craig looked at her with astonishment in his eyes. This was something he had never expected. His answer was a stammering mixture of words. "You want what? Do you really want to humiliate me that much?" "I can’t take it anymore Craig. I’m sorry but I have to get out of this marriage." Craig looked at her with disbelief in his open eyes, but then his eyes narrowed and he slowly started to walk towards her. "If you divorce me I will hunt you down where ever you are and make you understand that I am the one you should be with." When he came near Rosalyn, she ran into the kitchen and picked up a kitchen knife. "Don’t come any closer. I am fed up with you and your beating." Rosalyn waved the knife furiously in the air in front of her face. Craig didn’t stop moving, he walked closer as he silently said: "You don’t dare"
That night as Craig was about to hit her, Rosalyn struck out at him with the knife and came in between his ribs. A soft gurgling noise came as he tried to catch some breath, but instead felt his lungs being filled with blood. He fell to the floor with a soft thud. Rosalyn looked down at the person she hated most in the whole world. His eyes were fixed on her, wide open. She could see that he had been struck with terror the second he felt the knife penetrate his chest. Suddenly Rosalyn understood what she had done, and she instantly got afraid. She believed that if the police found out they wouldn’t see this as an act of self-defence, but rather as a cold-blooded murder.
Rosalyn fled through the door and ran down the street. She looked briefly at the house she had lived in before she got married. She remembered all the nice things that happened there, but she didn’t have time to linger at the memories of a distant past. Her mother still lived there, but she didn’t come to open the door when she knocked it. She probably wasn’t home yet. Rosalyn had a key of her own, so she unlocked the door and went in. Rosalyn sat at a chair in the kitchen for several hours. Only looking vacantly into the air in front of her.
When Rosalyn’s mother came home she saw Rosalyn sitting in a chair. Rosalyn’s eyes were red, and her face was white as snow. Rosalyn’s mother sat down in front of her and said: "What’s wrong?" Rosalyn moved her red eyes until they met her mother’s and answered: "He tried to attack me, and it was the only possible way." A tear broke loose from her face and came to the ground with a sound that would be barely recognisable in any other situation, but here stood out against the silence as a beacon at night. Her mother instantly understood where she had failed." I am sorry I didn’t listen to you sooner. I’m sorry that it had to come to this. I think we will go to the police now and get this whole thing to an end."
The trial lasted for several months, and was thoroughly covered by media. Rosalyn was counted guilty of murder, but her punishment was shortened by the fact that she had acted in self-defence and that Craig had terrorised her for several months. It was further shortened by the fact that she had reported him to the police, and that they shelved the case. She was sentenced to only one year in prison. This case was the first in the history of this country. It was vital in the construction of centres to help abused women.
NB: All characters and events in this story are purely fictional, and any similarities between real life persons and events are purely coincidental.