I Am Not Your Victim vividly details the evolution of domestic violence during the 16-year marriage of author Beth Sipe. Encouraged to publish her story by her therapist and co-author, Evelyn J. Hall, Beth relates the background and events leading up to and immediately following the tragic act of desperation that ended the life of her sadistic perpetrator. Beth's subsequent mishandling by the police, the military, a mental health professional, and the welfare system illustrates how women like Beth face further revictimization and neglect by the very systems that should provide support and assistance. Insightful commentaries written by experts in the field follow Beth's story and deepen readers' understanding of the causes and process of spousal abuse, why battered women stay, and the dynamic consequences of domestic violence. This updated edition includes new commentaries and an epilogue that tracks what happened to Beth in the years following the book's publication.
Chapter 1: A Fine Romance
A Fine Romance
On a cold, wintry night in January 1971, I first met Steven Sipe. Susan, a good friend of mine, had been pestering me for weeks to meet him, but my standard reply to her was, “I'm not interested.” On that particular night, I went out with Susan and my sister, Nancy, to the 18-Club, a hangout mostly for young people. Soon after we arrived, Steven, or Sam as he liked to be called, came over to our table with one of his buddies.
They introduced themselves politely enough, but to me, Sam seemed cocky and obnoxious. They were both Air Force guys, stationed in Blytheville, Arkansas, about fifteen miles from Steele, Missouri, where I lived. I deliberately gave him the cold ...