26October

The Impact of Domestic Violence

Shalom Bayit


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Shalom Bayit’s impact is built on individuals speaking out and collaborations within our community.  Amy Robinson first connected with Shalom Bayit through her involvement with Congregation B’nai Torah, after her sister, Nique disappeared in July 2011.  Seven days after Nique’s disappearance her body was found. Four and a half years later, on February 5, 2016, Nique’s husband was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life without parole, plus receiving an additional 15 year sentence for eavesdropping charges. These words are from Amy’s “victim impact statement,” presented at the trial.
"On July 16, 2011, several members of my family, Nique’s friends, coworkers, neighbors, and I all participated in a search party. I did not have much hope that the search would uncover anything of substance, perhaps a small clue at most. I saw the group arrive that was to be searching that part of the area, and less than five minutes after they arrived, I heard a scream from the woods, and I knew then that they had found much more than just a clue.
 
I ran, and I found Nique's coworker standing near a large pile of leaves. She said to me, "Look! There is her hair!” Nique' was still covered with leaves, but as I looked, I saw what was undeniably the back of my sister's head. She had been placed face-down and covered with a pile of leaves. Everyone seemed to be in complete shock and horror. I immediately called 911. I was on the phone with 911 for 7 minutes – the longest 7 minutes of my life. I just stood there, vigil over the scene, making sure nobody touched or moved anything, refusing to move until help arrived.
 
Weeks later, I had to take a three month leave of absence from my job. I found myself incapable of focusing at all, though I desperately wanted to wallow in the distractions of work. I would reread news articles, in the same way you might reread a book, desperately hoping that your favorite character won't die at the end.
 
My father put it best shortly after her death when he said, "Wow, for a little bitty woman, she sure does leave behind a big hole." My sister and I were best friends. We talked on the phone nearly every day. I feel her absence every day, in nearly every aspect of my life. Every time my children do something funny, or we see a new movie, I am reminded that those are memories that she never experienced. When my children are acting up, and I want advice from my big sister, she isn't there. She won't be at my children’s Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. I will never have another friend that can remotely take the place of the relationship I shared with my sister, and while some days are better than others, that remains constant. Every irritation, every joy, every moment of laughter will forever be punctuated by the absence of sharing it with my sister.
 
On the seemingly "lesser" charge of Eavesdropping: while it certainly has a lesser effect than my sister's death overall, the knowledge of the circumstances and evidence of this charge has had a surprisingly negative impact on me. It was known that Matthew watched and recorded nearly everything that occurred in the house, so she and I talked chiefly while she was in her car. We felt that there, on her cell phone, we were free to be candid with one another, away from prying ears. The evidence brought forth to support this eavesdropping charge suggests that in fact I never had a private conversation with my sister - the man responsible for Nique's murder was *always* listening."

Written by Amy Robinson, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson

Amy Robinson is a professional voice actress and a mother of two. She began volunteering with Shalom Bayit following her sister's murder by her husband in 2011. Amy does what she can to try and tell her sister's story in hopes that other women may avoid the same fate.