“Jaymee Barton was only 1 year old when domestic violence robbed her of her mother.
While her school classmates talked about their moms and dads, she talked about her grandmother or gave short, vague answers about her parents. It was too uncomfortable revealing what transpired, too difficult to talk about her mother who was 20 when she died.”
“But Barton, now 20 herself, is ready to speak. She said hearing the stories of other abuse survivors and victims has given her reason. She said she wants those suffering from domestic violence to know that there’s a way out, that there are those who are willing to help.”
Such a brave and persistent young lady, this Jaymee Barton. She is on a mission, and it is not impossible. Her goal is to raise the awareness of domestic violence in Fond du Lac, Michigan, as her mother died at the hands of her father when Jaymee was just a toddler. Jaymee also has a sister who is just 11 months older than she. How did they grow up with any sense of normalcy?
Well, Jaymee’s maternal grandmother was there to guide them in their youth, and would often take the sisters to “Light Up the Night” domestic violence events, and proceeded to bring them for the next 19 years. The girls listened to other domestic violence victims speak out about their own abuse. The much needed “normalcy” for these girls was nurtured by their grandmother and aunts.
Try to fathom the pain of the knowledge that your mother was killed by your father. Jaymee speaks of how painful it would be while she was in school and the other children would ask her about her parents. How does someone explain to another the magnitude of that tragedy without experiencing some distress; not to mention the emotional trauma involved.
Jaymee speak of these things in her mother’s memory and continues to speak out about it. There are many victims that feel the discomfort of re-hashing old memories because the memories tend to dredge up the past; leaving them feeling haunted and helpless. But with the commonality and the camaraderie of other victims, she knows only too well that this will only help others, and not hinder. To receive a pat on the back or a big hug after she is done speaking is comforting to be sure, but Jaymee doesn’t do this for accolades or praise.
She does so because her mother would be very proud of her. Reading her story will make us all swallow with a hard lump in our collective throats, or at least it should. This determined young lady speaks volumes when she quotes: “Even my mom’s memory gives me a lot of strength,” she said. “Every time I talk, it’s for her. It’s for others, to let them know they can get out of an abusive situation.” Sigh.
Fond du Lac Reporter – 3 related articles