Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The not-at-all amusing topic of domestic violence June 22, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I took a photo of this photo at a domestic violence awareness event in Faribault. The word STOP and outstretched hand (exactly how I landed, palm down when I fell) hold double meaning as it relates to this post. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


PERHAPS I’M MORE SENSITIVE than many people on the subject. But I have personal reasons for my feelings about domestic abuse. Many women who are friends or family have been directly or indirectly affected by domestic abuse or violence. Some of those victims are dead. Shot. Beaten. Attacked. Dead. (Click here. Here. Here. And here.

So when someone sees my broken left forearm, laughs and suggests that my husband assaulted me, I get angry. Inside. I try to react with words that are kind, yet clearly reveal that I am not amused. There is nothing even remotely funny about domestic violence or any violence against a human being.


A snippet of a domestic violence poster published by the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. File image.


I understand the medical personnel who ask me to repeat the story of my fall. It’s their job to be aware of possible domestic violence, sometimes hidden by the victim. They need to look for inconsistencies in my story, especially since I fell and broke my right shoulder just a year ago (while at the hospital to donate blood).

But I want to state here, publicly, that my husband of 36 years has never abused me. Ever. To suggest that in jest offends me. I heard the “humorous” accusations last year against Randy and now I’m hearing them again. Not funny.


Domestic violence cycle of abuse as photographed at a local awareness event. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


That said, if you sincerely suspect a friend or family member has been abused in any way, don’t ignore what your gut, your observations, are telling you. Seek professional advice at a women’s shelter or advocacy center so you can help. Likewise, I urge you, if you are an abuse victim, to seek help. You deserve to live a life free of any type of abuse.

There, I got that out.


© copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


25 Responses to “The not-at-all amusing topic of domestic violence”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Anyone who knows you well knows how passionate you are about getting the word out about domestic violence. I suspect people think that they are “funny” when they say that but you are right–it is nothing to joke about. At all. I understand your ire when someone suggests that and I suspect you let them know your position on it as well. 🙂 Heal quickly.

  2. valeriebollinger Says:

    You’re right…it is not funny when people ask you if Randy hurt you. Thanks for speaking up.

  3. Kiandra Judge Says:

    You are right, it’s not funny at all. Good for you for speaking out. Unfortunately abuse is in my family past. My great-grandparents (who I never knew) and then the next generation. My dad’s generation said “no more”.
    We just had a family reunion last weekend and it still gets brought up by my dad and his cousins, the abuse they suffered. It’s not a subject to be taken lightly and even though those who carried out the abuse in my extended family are gone, the pain is still very real for those who suffered it.
    It’s never ok in any form and we must make every person aware of that.

    • i will always speak up.

      i am sorry for the abuse inflicted and endured in previous generations of your family. but i am thankful for the NO MORE stand ending the cycle of abuse. and, yes, the emotional pain lingers.

      • Kiandra Judge Says:

        Thank you. It’s hard for me to reconcile that abuse it in my family history but it was the fault of those who inflicted it and not me.
        Continued healing for my dad and others who suffered.

      • it is never the fault of the abused. never. i’m thankful you recognize that. prayers for continued healing for your dad.

  4. Murphy's Law Says:

    Nicely said Audrey. Nothing funny about suggesting, even in jest, that anyone’s broken arm is the result of an abusive spouse, or anyone else for that matter.

    Back in the early 70’s I fell down our cellar steps, head first. Like a bullet. My arms were pinned to my sides. When I reached the bottom of the staircase I was still in fast-forward so the side of my face and my arms were scraped on the rough cement floor. I was finally stopped by the litter box! Yeah, the one I hadn’t gotten around to cleaning yet!! Ewwwww.

    So off to the ER we went. The ER was crawling with police because there had been a stabbing. Oh good!! Entertainment while I wait. In addition to all the scrapes, burns, bruises and bumps, I had a fractured and dislocated shoulder. Ya think?!!

    In a flash my husband was escorted away by two cops and a detective. Sitting there in a wheelchair, holding my bra in my hand, I was grilled by two cops and a detective….for a long time. And I guess that wasn’t enough fun for me, the ER Doctor strolls over, grabs my arm and shoulder and pops the shoulder joint back into place. I don’t know what that did to the fracture, but it felt like he relocated my shoulder to some place it shouldn’t be.

    We were finally discharged when they were satisfied that no abuse had taken place. It was a freak accident. When I think of the stories we hear on the news about women and children pleading for help because they’re being abused, and everyone turns a deaf ear, it just makes my blood boil.

    I agree Audrey, those “humorous” accusations don’t come close to being funny.

    In your case, I’m just sorry you didn’t have a litter box to stop your fall!

    Sure hope your arm isn’t too uncomfortable. I put you at the head of my prayer list so I wouldn’t fall asleep on you. Hope it helps!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    • prayer always helps, ginger, and i am humbled to be at the top of your list.

      that is quite a story about your fall and the subsequent inquisition and shoulder yanking. oh, let’s not forget the litter box. i’m sorry. this sounds like a nightmare.

      did anyone tell you your bone broke because it wasn’t strong? i’ve heard that about a dozen times. i’m vindicated on that, too, in writing from the doctor. a bone would have broken no matter bone health, she basically wrote. i defy anyone not to break a bone given my type of fall. done with rant.

      again, thanks for your humor and prayers. i’m just delighted to have you here in the comments section.

      • Murphy's Law Says:

        Why thank you. I’m delighted to be here!! When I first poked around checking out a couple of blogs I thought I’d like to follow, I half expected to be blocked because I’m not a blogger myself. But I have found the blogging community to be a welcoming one and everyone makes me feel right at home. Now I have blogging friends! How neat is that!!

        To your question….. I was never told my bone wasn’t strong. The charming ER doctor told me, “You should have watched where you were going.”

        Well, hell, Audrey, I did watch where I was going. I watched my entire ride down the flight of stairs right up to the litter box!! Lol.
        🔹 Ginger 🔹

      • arghhh…that er doctor had zero bedside manners. i hope you gave him the same response you just wrote here.

        the blogging community is fabulous. i have several dear friends whom i initially met through blogging. and many whom i consider cherished virtual friends.

  5. Ann Vohs Says:

    Thank you Audrey for speaking out.

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I would suspect that one would need to understand domestic abuse from a personal perspective to understand that it’s not something to joke about. Families never completely heal from this kind of pain.

  7. becky spitzack Says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Ruth Says:

    A serious topic to talk about and create more awareness. Encouraging people to follow their gut and speak up is important. You are right to let others no their is no humor in their jest.

  9. ***when someone sees my broken left forearm, laughs and suggests that my husband assaulted me**


    This, my dear, is part of the problem, the way abuse continues & breeds & is made light of…

    Thank you for “EDUCATING.”

    Once men begin standing up and saying “NO MORE,” transformation will happen.

    We must change the MIND SET of how people think about it.

    –It is our business
    –saying ‘boys will be boys’ is offensive
    –laughing and making a joke about DV is unacceptable
    –if one is verbally abusive, this is also a FIST
    –Until men become part of this epidemic, nothing will change ( they are !!) Have you heard of Men As Peacemakers?

    xx from Duluth.

  10. Bella Says:

    well said Audrey and thanks for keeping the message of domestic abuse on the forefront

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