Please, Stop

I’m a teacher. a counselor in an elementary school. a parent.

Please stop.

Kids in classrooms witness violence in their homes.

Please stop.

Kids play shooting games for entertainment.

Please stop.

Kids have anger they don’t know what to do with.

Please stop.

Kids hurt.

Teens hurt.

Parents hurt.

Why is everyone hurting?

Please stop the hurt.

We go to movies and get shot.

We go shopping and get shot.

We go to school and get shot.

Please stop.

Please look at children – in their eyes.

Please listen to them. What he’s saying is important.

Please read to them. It feeds the heart and soul.

Please don’t get self-medicate. He’s watching.

Please don’t spew venomous words. She hears them.

Please don’t let retaliation and violence be an option. He learns from you.

The time is now.

We have all the luxury the world offers in this country.

And yet we are poor.

Please stop the pain.


  1. I love this piece, Brenda. Thank you for teaching our children – sometimes teachers are the only ones who can clearly see abuse in the home. Speaking as a former abuse victim, I will always be responsible for staying in my abusive marriage for so long and thereby helping damage my children’s tender hearts and minds. I work hard NOW to help them overcome their past. However, when I was in the thick of things with my husband, I could not see their pain. I ignored my own pain until the last year of my marriage, and from my depths of self-loathing and confusion, there was no way for me to see their hurt. I am eternally responsible for this.

    I write to encourage you to become aware of the invisible signs of abuse in the family. My children were not beaten during the marriage, but their minds were nonetheless battered and bruised. As the children’s teacher, you may not have the power to affect the adult abuse victim’s perspective, nor is that your task. But if I could have asked you to do something for me when I was blind, I would have asked you to encourage my children and refuse to turn away from their pain.

    • Kellie,
      Thank you so much for your words. I appreciate them very much. Presently, I’m working as a counselor in an elementary school and have also worked as a counselor for families and children at a local domestic violence shelter. You are right on all levels. Now I am a local advocate for the agency providing prevention education. That experience allows me to advocate for children in the school environment who may be witnessing DV. I honor you for having the courage and the strength to leave your marriage. You are a role model of strength and integrity for your children. Thank you for sharing not only with me but with my readers on how we could have helped your child and how we can help other children witnessing family violence.

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