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I love the sounds when I walk my dog around the border of the local park. If I were a little more tech savvy, I’d include a sound bite. Tonight there are two t-ball games on the baseball fields, an impromptu baseball game on the end of one soccer field, a couple of soccer practices and skateboarders sliding down the ramps in the skate park.

The clank of a metal bat against a ball, the swish and smack of a ball landing in a glove. Kids calling teammates, commands from coaches, moms and dads yelling their child’s name while cheering. Happy sounds to my ears.

Sounds mean a lot to me.

There are the happy sounds described above and then there are the sounds inside an abusive home. Cutting and demeaning words. Breaking dishes, furniture and valuables. Cussing, yelling, slapping, falling, punching, kicking, even spitting.

Quiet sobs.

Because real crying would incite more abuse.

Then finally, the consistent breathing of sleep.

Safety. Peace. Silence.

At least until the morning.

The sounds of abuse are real in way too many homes. Ask. Know. Don’t let it go unnoticed on your watch.

I am praying for you.