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Imagine a beach, a quiet place, with only the noise of the sea and the gulls in the background. There are boats floating near the shore and a few people swimming in the water next to them. It's a hot day, and there are some people lying on the sand enjoying the sunshine and slowly going brown. There are no shops, no people making noises, no loud music, everything is peaceful. There is just the sea, the sun, and the beach, a little paradise.

The beach is on the south coast of Scotland, near a little town called Gatehouse of Fleet in the county of Dumfries and Galloway. 22 years ago my family and I found this place for the first time and we have never really left it. Every year in the summer while other people go on holiday to foreign countries and exotic places, we go to our private paradise and relax. There is a little campsite with tents and caravans next to the beach, and this becomes our home for one month every year.

For a child a beach is a wonderful place. Here I found lots of space to run and play on the sand or to swim in the water. Being a campsite there were always lots of other families with children to play with. Another of my favourite activities was climbing on the rocks and cliffs around the beach. Rock pools were very educational places where I used to study the little fish and sea animals. Silence was also important, at school I was always surrounded by people and noise but the beach gave me the chance to be on my own and think, or read, away from anyone else.

Although the sea can be beautiful, this beach is sometimes a dangerous place to be. When the weather is bad there are often storms with strong winds. When this happens the waves can get up to 2-3 metres high, definitely not weather for swimming. Every year some of the boats anchored on the beach are lost because the sea is so rough. I remember holding down our tent to stop the wind blowing it away on many occasions. However, if the waves weren't too high all the children and some adults used to go swimming in life jackets, as it was very exciting.

Sailing is a very serious activity in the UK, and this beach is no different. There are large racing boats for three or more people, smaller boats such as the Topper for just one or two people, fishing boats and windsurfers. In fact people on this beach are willing to try any type of water-sport, water skiing, speed boating, even the recent sport of sail surfing is becoming popular. Over the years my family has had 4 different boats, from a small Topper to a large Caprice for racing. We have sailed, raced, and fished off the boats, and have even capsized in bad weather a few times.

If this beach had been next to a town or near a popular tourist area I don't think we would have continued going there. But its location is very beautiful indeed. It's in the middle of green countryside with many different types of plants and flowers, and in the background the hills of Galloway can be seen. Lots of photographers and artists come to the area also known as the Solway because they can capture such beautiful scenery.

Even after 22 years, the beach is still a sanctuary for me. It's a place away from the rest of the world where I can forget about life's problems, and just relax. In today's modern, busy world, everyone should have a place like this.
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  |  9528 learners#Science #Unclassified

Today, in the early twenty-first century, most countries no longer have kings and queens. However, some countries have remained as monarchies, including England and its former colonies. However, even in these countries, the monarch is a ceremonial figure who no longer has any real power over his or her subjects. These countries are called constitutional monarchies because they are democracies in which the monarch remains the official head of state.

Many years ago, the kings and queens of England did have real power, but gradually this power was transferred to the people and their elected officials. It is interesting to examine how this transition occurred. Even in very early times, the king of England did not have absolute power. He was the most powerful man in the country, but he could not entirely force his will upon others. If he became too demanding, he might face opposition from powerful local land-owners. These men, called the barons, might resist a king who tried to become too strong. This is exactly what happened in the year 1215. The king of England had made many unreasonable demands upon the country, and the barons decided to resist. They forced the king to agree to a list of rules that would limit his power. These rules were written in a famous document called the Magna Carta. This document described not only the rights of the barons, but also of the common people of England.

During the next few hundred years, the kings still had much power. However, some other people, such as the landowners and the richer men of the towns, also had influence. Their meetings became known as Parliaments, and the king had to share power with the parliament. During the 1640s, one king tried to rule without Parliament, and tried to take away the rights of Parliament. This led to a civil war, and the king was defeated. England soon became a monarchy again, but it became clear that Parliament would have more power than the king. Until the twentieth century, the Parliaments of England became more democratic, as more and more people were allowed to vote.

Today, England still has a constitutional monarchy. But not all English-speaking countries recognize the English queen. For example, the United States became an independent country over 200 years ago and has become a republic ever since. In some countries, there is debate about the future of the monarchy. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand still recognize the queen of England as their own queen even though those countries are no longer governed by England. Many people in those countries want to abolish the monarchy. They believe that their countries should now have their own head of state. On the other hand, some people in those countries want to keep the monarchy because it reminds them of their country's early history. This is an ongoing topic of debate for Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders.
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  |  9231 learners#Culture #Essays

During the past several decades, there have been major changes within most Western countries in people's attitudes toward sex, and in sexual behaviour. For people who have lived throughout this period, the changes have seemed quite remarkable. Until the early twentieth century, people in most Western countries did not have permissive attitudes regarding sexuality.

For the most part, young people were expected to wait until marriage before having sexual intercourse. Of course, some premarital sex did occur, and prostitution was not rare. However, sexual behaviour was relatively restricted. As the twentieth century progressed, there was a gradual trend toward liberalization of attitudes toward sex. However, this trend was greatly speeded after 1960, when the first birth control pills became available. These contraceptive pills made it possible for women to engage in sexual intercourse without much risk of an unwanted pregnancy. As a result, many women were more willing to have premarital sex than was previously the case.

Also during the 1960s, Western countries were reaching high levels of wealth and education. A new and very large generation of young people was approaching adulthood, and there was a mood of rebellion against traditional norms. There was an increase in the number of people who engaged in sex before marriage, and also a greater openness about such behaviour. By the 1970s, sexual attitudes had become quite liberal, and many young people were quite promiscuous in their sexual behaviour. However, this pattern reversed somewhat during the 1980s. There was increased concern about sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, moreover, many young women had been uncomfortable with the idea of unrestricted sexual behaviour. As a result, sexual attitudes became slightly more conservative during the 1980s and 1990s, although they remained much more liberal than in previous decades.

In the early twenty-first century, most young people in Western countries begin having sex during their high school years, although some people wait until they are considerably older. Some young people are promiscuous, but most engage in monogamous relationships that typically last for a period of several months or a few years. When one relationship ends, another usually begins soon after. This pattern usually continues until marriage. After marriage, most people have sex exclusively with their spouse, however, some people do commit adultery. Sexuality has changed a great deal in recent decades. It will be very interesting to see how people's sexual attitudes and behaviour will change in the future.
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  |  9213 learners#Education #Lectures

Charles Darwin made what might be the most important scientific discovery of all time the theory of evolution by natural selection. It was Darwin who first understood how it was that plants and animals evolved over time to produce new and different species. At first, this theory faced much opposition, but since that time it has been supported by evidence from many areas of science.

Darwin was born in a small town in England in 1809. When he was a young man, he went to university, first to study medicine, and later to study religion. However, Darwin found his schoolwork to be very boring. Instead, he preferred outdoor activities and was very interested in nature. While Darwin was at university, the British navy was planning to send one of its ships, called the Beagle, on a voyage of exploration. As part of this voyage, the ship would need a naturalist, who could study the various plants and animals that might be found. Darwin was recommended for this job by one of his professors, who had been impressed by Darwin. Darwin was chosen as the naturalist of the Beagle, and the ship left England in 1831. The ship's voyage took Darwin around the world, and he observed many species of plants and animals on his trip.

In one place near South America, known as the Galapagos Islands, Darwin observed many unusual species of birds. Several of these birds seemed closely related to each other, but they differed in interesting ways. For example, some birds had long beaks that could reach insects hidden in the bark of trees, but other birds had thick beaks that could break open the shells of nuts. What Darwin realized was that certain characteristics could help an animal or a plant to survive and reproduce. Individuals that lacked those characteristics would become more likely to die without reproducing.

Over many generations, the useful characteristics would then become more and more common, as the surviving individuals passed the characteristics on to their offspring. Eventually, after many generations, the changes would be so great that a new species would exist. In this way, a single species could divide into two or more new ones. This was called the process of evolution by natural selection. When Darwin returned to England, he studied plants and animals in more detail. After much research, he began writing a book about his theory of evolution by natural selection.

When the book, The Origin of Species, was published in 1859, it was very popular and very controversial. During the next twenty years, Darwin continued his scientific research, and he wrote several more books. By the time of his death, in 1882, many biologists had realized that Darwin had made one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. or the first time, scientists could understand the origin of the many different species of plants and animals.
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  |  9020 learners#Science #Stories

Of the fifty states in the United States, forty-nine are located on the mainland of North America. The other state is Hawaii, which consists of several islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is known as an especially beautiful and interesting place. The Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanic eruptions that pushed molten rock, called lava, above the surface of the ocean.

Some of the islands no longer have any volcanic activity, but there are still active volcanoes on two Hawaiian islands, Oahu and the big island which is known simply as Hawaii. One of these volcanoes, Mauna Loa, still erupts sometimes, with spectacular explosions of lava. Another volcano, called Mauna Kea, is now dormant. These volcanoes are both very tall and reach over 4000 metres above sea level. The air above Mauna Kea is so clear and thin that scientists use the mountain as a base for observing the stars. The islands of Hawaii are located in the tropics, and they are known for their beautiful weather. The temperatures are usually in the range of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, and the days are usually sunny. This weather allows people to enjoy swimming and surfing on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii.

Despite the sunshine, most of the islands also receive enough rainfall to support many beautiful flowers and trees. The first people to live in Hawaii were Polynesian groups who arrived from other islands in the Pacific, well over 1000 years ago. The islands were visited by European explorers during the late eighteenth century. During the early nineteenth century, the islands became unified under a single king. However, during this time, many Hawaiians died from diseases that were brought by European and American visitors. The Hawaiian islands are excellent places for growing sugar cane and pineapples. In the late eighteenth century, some Americans began large farms, called plantations, in Hawaii.

The Americans eventually gained control of the government, and Hawaii became a territory of the United States. The United States built a naval base on the island of Oahu, at Pearl Harbor. This base was attacked by Japan in 1941, but it was soon repaired. The naval base is still in use today. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there was great demand for labour on the sugar and pineapple plantations. People came to Hawaii from many lands, and Hawaii became a place of many cultures. The native Hawaiians mixed with people from places such as Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal, and Puerto Rico, as well as the mainland United States.

Today, many Hawaiians can claim a diverse heritage. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States, with the city of Honolulu as its capital. Today, there are more than one million people in Hawaii, more than half of whom live in Honolulu. Each year, many more people visit Hawaii as tourists, to experience the beauty of these islands.
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  |  9116 learners#General #Essays

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most famous people in American history. He was never a President of the United States, but he made great achievements in many areas of life, including business, literature, science, and politics. Benjamin Franklin was born in the city of Boston, during the year 1706.

In his early years, Franklin was very poor. As a young man, he worked for his older brother, who was a printer. However, the two brothers soon argued with each other. Benjamin decided to leave, and he moved to the city of Philadelphia. He worked very hard and soon became a successful printer. He published his own newspapers, and he also published books called almanacs, which contained many wise sayings. Many of the wise sayings in Franklin's almanacs are still repeated today. Franklin's printing business was very successful, but he was also very interested in science. He performed experiments on the topic of electricity. Some of these experiments were very dangerous.

In one experiment, Franklin was almost killed when he went outside during a lightning storm and flew a kite that had a metal key attached. However, Franklin was lucky enough to avoid injury, and he learned new facts about electricity. In addition to scientific research, Franklin was also an inventor. He invented a new kind of eye-glasses called bifocals. Bifocals are eye-glasses that allow people to see things that are far away, but also allow them to read things that are very close. Another invention was a new kind of stove for burning wood. This new stove was much more efficient than the older stoves had been. He also invented a lightning rod, which keeps houses safe from lightning.

Franklin was also interested in making his city a better place to live. He started a public library, and he helped to organize a hospital and a fire department. In addition, he supervised the postal service, which operated profitably under his command. In his later years, Franklin became heavily involved in politics. For most of Franklin's life, the United States was not yet a country. Instead, the United States were still colonies of England, but Franklin encouraged other Americans to become an independent country. When the United States became a country, Franklin became the American ambassador to France. The French people liked Franklin very much. Franklin later returned to the United States, and he died in 1790.

Today, many Americans still admire the brilliant achievements of Benjamin Franklin, who did so much to improve people's lives. The picture of Benjamin Franklin can be seen on the American hundred-dollar bill.
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  |  9072 learners#Science #Biography

In most English-speaking countries, a person who is accused of a crime has the right to a trial by jury. In a trial by jury, the guilt or innocence of the accused person is decided by a group of 12 people, called jurors, who must listen to the evidence about the case. The idea of trial by jury is over 800 years old, but there was a time when criminal cases were decided in other ways.

Today, many of these methods seem ridiculous and cruel. Many accused people were forced to undergo a trial by ordeal. There were several different kinds of this trial. For example, in the ordeal by fire, an accused man was forced to carry a red-hot piece of iron in his hand. People believed that if the men were innocent then the gods would protect him, and his hand would not be burned or blistered by the iron. Another form of the trial by ordeal was the ordeal by combat. If one person accused another of a crime, they would be forced to fight each other with some weapon.

People believed that the gods would help the man who was right and allow him to win the fight. Yet another kind of ordeal was the ordeal by water. If a woman was accused of a crime, such as witchcraft, she might be thrown into a river with rocks attached to her. People believed that the gods would help an innocent woman and allow her to float on the water. Gradually, people realized that the trial by ordeal was a completely worthless way to judge a person's innocence or guilt. They wanted a less barbaric way to decide criminal cases. During the twelfth century, a new method was introduced by one of the kings of England, Henry the Second. Henry said that criminal cases should be decided by the opinions of twelve honest men who knew about the crime, the victim, and the accused person. This was the beginning of trial by jury in English-speaking countries, and the method soon became very popular. People trusted this new method much more than they trusted the old methods. Later, the system of trial by jury changed somewhat. Instead of having a jury of twelve men and women who knew about the crime, juries were chosen so that the twelve people did not know anything about the crime. This change ensures that the jurors do not have any bias or prejudice about the case. When jurors do not know any of the people involved in the case, their decisions are more likely to be fair and accurate.

Today, citizens in many countries are called occasionally for jury duty. This can be inconvenient for people who are busy with their work and family life. However, many men and women are willing to serve on juries because of a feeling of responsibility to society. The use of juries in criminal cases helps to ensure that justice is done.
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  |  9054 learners#Culture #Essays

Many people admire the paintings and sculptures that artists create. Some very beautiful paintings and sculptures were created by two men who lived in the same country at the same time. These men were Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They both lived in Italy around the year 1500.

Leonardo da Vinci is most famous for his painting called the Mona Lisa. This is perhaps the best known painting in the world. The Mona Lisa shows the head and shoulders of a dark haired woman. When people look at this painting, they are often captivated by her smile and by her eyes, which have a look of mystery. Another painting of Leonardo's is called The Last Supper. This painting shows a famous scene from the Christian religion. In this painting, Jesus Christ is seated at the middle of a long table, with his followers the disciples seated around him. Many of the paintings that were created at this time have a religious theme.

Leonardo was not only an artist, he was also interested in engineering. He actually worked for some time as an advisor to a military leader, helping him to develop new machines for use in war. Leonardo also made rough drawings of machines that are similar to those that were invented much later, such as submarines and helicopters. Obviously, Leonardo was an extremely creative man.

Michelangelo was about 23 years younger than Leonardo. In addition to being a painter, Michelangelo was also a sculptor, and many experts consider him the greatest sculptor of all time. One of his most famous sculptures is David, which is a statue of a young man who was a famous figure in the Bible. Another great sculpture of Michelangelo's is called the Pieta. The Pieta shows Mary, mother of Jesus, holding the baby of her son across her lap.

Michelangelo is also famous for painting the ceiling of a church known as the Sistine Chapel. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Julius, asked Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of this new church. This project required many years of hard work, and the Pope complained that it took too long. However, when the work was finished, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was covered with beautiful paintings of many scenes from the Bible.

Fortunately, many of the works of Leonardo and of Michelangelo can still be seen today in the art galleries of Europe. During the past 500 years, the color of the paintings had faded somewhat, but in recent years, some work has been done to restore the paintings to their original appearance.
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  |  9205 learners#General #Stories

Most people would like to have an attractive physical appearance, but some people become very worried about the way they look. This can sometimes lead them to do things that are unhealthy. For example, many women believe that they must be very thin in order to be attractive. They see pictures of fashion models who are very thin and then believe that an attractive woman must look the same way.

However, many men prefer the appearance of women who are not so thin. In order to become thin, some women try to reduce the amount of food that they eat. When this is taken to an extreme, a woman might eat far too little food to remain healthy. Her weight may become dangerously low, as she tries to become thinner and thinner. This condition is called anorexia, and it affects many thousands of women in Western countries. Anorexia is one of several conditions known as eating disorders. Another eating disorder is called bulimia. A woman who has bulimia will sometimes eat large amounts of food, but then will try to eliminate the food, by vomiting. This is intended to prevent any weight gain, but it is also a very unhealthy behavior.

Unfortunately, some women are concerned about being very thin, but some women have different concerns related to the appearance of their body. For example, some women believe that their breasts are not large enough, and will undergo surgery to enlarge their breasts. In this surgery, some artificial substance is implanted inside the breast to make it larger. Many women have had this surgery, but many of them have suffered serious health problems as a result. In recent years, many men have also become very concerned about their physical appearance. For example, some men believe that they must become very muscular in order to have an attractive appearance. To achieve this appearance, some men use drugs called steroids, which make it possible to gain large amounts of muscle. However, steroids can have very unhealthy side effects.

In addition to drugs, some men have used surgery to change their physical appearance. For example, some men have had implants to make their arms, legs, or chest appear larger. It is unfortunate that so many people feel so unhappy about their physical appearance and that they do unhealthy things to change the way they look. Of course, everyone should try to be healthy, but people must also learn to accept their physical appearance. Many different body types can be attractive, but there is no single ideal body type. There is no need to use unnatural methods of changing one's body.
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  |  10556 learners#Social #Essays

I'm here today to talk about a disturbing question, which has an equally disturbing answer. My topic is the secrets of domestic violence, and the question I'm going to tackle is the one question everyone always asks. Why does she stay? Why would anyone stay with a man who beats her? I'm not a psychiatrist, a social worker or an expert in domestic violence. I'm just one woman with a story to tell.

I was twenty two. I had just graduated from Harvard College. I had moved to New York City for my first job as a writer and editor at Seventeen magazine. I had my first apartment, my first little green American Express card, and I had a very big secret. My secret was that I had this gun loaded with hollow-point bullets pointed at my head by the man who I thought was my soulmate, many, many times. The man who I loved more than anybody on Earth held a gun to my head and threatened to kill me more times than I can even remember. I'm here to tell you the story of crazy love, a psychological trap disguised as love, one that millions of women and even a few men fall into every year. It may even be your story.

I don't look like a typical domestic violence survivor. I have a B.A. in English from Harvard College, an MBA in marketing from Wharton Business School. I've spent most of my career working for Fortune 500 companies including Johnson & Johnson, Leo Burnett and The Washington Post. I've been married for almost 20 years to my second husband and we have three kids together. My dog is a black lab, and I drive a Honda Odyssey minivan.

So my first message for you is that domestic violence happens to everyone, all races, all religions, all income and education levels. It's everywhere. And my second message is that everyone thinks domestic violence happens to women, that it's a women's issue. Not exactly. Over eighty five percent of abusers are men, and domestic abuse happens only in intimate, interdependent, long-term relationships, in other words, in families, the last place we would want or expect to find violence, which is one reason domestic abuse is so confusing.

I would have told you myself that I was the last person on Earth who would stay with a man who beats me, but in fact I was a very typical victim because of my age. I was twenty two, and in the United States, women ages 16 to 24 are three times as likely to be domestic violence victims as women of other ages. and over five hundred women and girls this age are killed every year by abusive partners, boyfriends, and husbands in the United States.

I was also a very typical victim because I knew nothing about domestic violence, its warning signs or its patterns.

I met Conor on a cold, rainy January night. He sat next to me on the New York City subway, and he started chatting me up. He told me two things. One was that he, too, had just graduated from an Ivy League school, and that he worked at a very impressive Wall Street bank. But what made the biggest impression on me that first meeting was that he was smart and funny and he looked like a farm boy. He had these big cheeks, these big apple cheeks and this wheat-blond hair, and he seemed so sweet.

One of the smartest things Conor did, from the very beginning, was to create the illusion that I was the dominant partner in the relationship. He did this especially at the beginning by idolizing me. We started dating, and he loved everything about me, that I was smart, that I'd gone to Harvard, that I was passionate about helping teenage girls, and my job. He wanted to know everything about my family and my childhood and my hopes and dreams. Conor believed in me, as a writer and a woman, in a way that no one else ever had. And he also created a magical atmosphere of trust between us by confessing his secret which was that, as a very young boy starting at age four, he had been savagely and repeatedly physically abused by his stepfather. and the abuse had gotten so bad that he had had to drop out of school in eighth grade, even though he was very smart, and he'd spent almost 20 years rebuilding his life. Which is why that Ivy League degree and the Wall Street job and his bright shiny future meant so much to him. If you had told me that this smart, funny, sensitive man who adored me would one day dictate whether or not I wore makeup. How short my skirts were? Where I lived? What jobs I took? Who my friends were? and where I spent Christmas? I would have laughed at you, because there was not a hint of violence or control or anger in Conor at the beginning. I didn't know that the first stage in any domestic violence relationship is to seduce and charm the victim.

I also didn't know that the second step is to isolate the victim. Now, Conor did not come home one day and announce. You know, hey, all this Romeo and Juliet stuff has been great, but I need to move into the next phase where I isolate you and I abuse you. So I need to get you out of this apartment where the neighbors can hear you scream and out of this city where you have friends and family and coworkers who can see the bruises. Instead, Conor came home one Friday evening and he told me that he had quit his job that day, his dream job, and he said that he had quit his job because of me, because I had made him feel so safe and loved that he didn't need to prove himself on Wall Street anymore, and he just wanted to get out of the city and away from his abusive, dysfunctional family, and move to a tiny town in New England where he could start his life over with me by his side. Now, the last thing I wanted to do was leave New York, and my dream job, but I thought you made sacrifices for your soulmate, so I agreed, and I quit my job, and Conor and I left Manhattan together. I had no idea I was falling into crazy love, that I was walking headfirst into a carefully laid physical, financial and psychological trap.

The next step in the domestic violence pattern is to introduce the threat of violence and see how she reacts. And here's where those guns come in. As soon as we moved to New England, you know, that place where Conor was supposed to feel so safe, he bought three guns. He kept one in the glove compartment of our car. He kept one under the pillows on our bed, and the third one he kept in his pocket at all times. And he said that he needed those guns because of the trauma he'd experienced as a young boy. He needed them to feel protected. But those guns were really a message for me, and even though he hadn't raised a hand to me, my life was already in grave danger every minute of every day.

Conor first physically attacked me five days before our wedding. It was seven am. I still had on my nightgown. I was working on my computer trying to finish a freelance writing assignment, and I got frustrated, and Conor used my anger as an excuse to put both of his hands around my neck and to squeeze so tightly that I could not breathe or scream, and he used the chokehold to hit my head repeatedly against the wall. Five days later, the ten bruises on my neck had just faded, and I put on my mother's wedding dress, and I married him.

Despite what had happened, I was sure we were going to live happily ever after, because I loved him, and he loved me so much. And he was very, very sorry. He had just been really stressed out by the wedding and by becoming a family with me. It was an isolated incident, and he was never going to hurt me again.

It happened twice more on the honeymoon. The first time, I was driving to find a secret beach and I got lost and he punched me in the side of my head so hard that the other side of my head repeatedly hit the driver's side window. And then a few days later, driving home from our honeymoon, he got frustrated by traffic, and he threw a cold Big Mac in my face. Conor proceeded to beat me once or twice a week for the next two and a half years of our marriage.

I was mistaken in thinking that I was unique and alone in this situation. One in three American women experiences domestic violence or stalking at some point in her life, and the CDC reports that fifty million children are abused every year, fifty million. So actually, I was in very good company.

Back to my question. Why did I stay? The answer is easy. I didn't know he was abusing me. Even though he held those loaded guns to my head, pushed me down stairs, threatened to kill our dog, pulled the key out of the car ignition as I drove down the highway, poured coffee grinds on my head as I dressed for a job interview. I never once thought of myself as a battered wife. Instead, I was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man, and I was the only person on Earth who could help Conor face his demons.

The other question everybody asks is, why doesn't she just leave? Why didn't I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don't. It's incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over seventy percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she's gotten out. because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries, denial of financial resources, and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn't she just leave?

I was able to leave, because of one final, sadistic beating that broke through my denial. I realized that the man who I loved so much was going to kill me if I let him. So I broke the silence. I told everyone, the police, my neighbors, my friends and family, total strangers and I'm here today because you all helped me. We tend to stereotype victims as grisly headlines, self-destructive women, damaged goods. The question, why does she stay? Is code for some people for? It's her fault for staying, as if victims intentionally choose to fall in love with men intent upon destroying us.

But since publishing Crazy Love, I have heard hundreds of stories from men and women, who also got out, who learned an invaluable life lesson from what happened, and who rebuilt lives, joyous, happy lives, as employees, wives and mothers lives completely free of violence, like me. Because it turns out that I'm actually a very typical domestic violence victim and a typical domestic violence survivor. I remarried a kind and gentle man, and we have those three kids. I have that black lab, and I have that minivan. What I will never have again, ever, is a loaded gun held to my head by someone who says that he loves me.

Right now, maybe you're thinking, wow, this is fascinating, or, wow, how stupid was she, but this whole time, I've actually been talking about you. I promise you there are several people listening to me right now who are currently being abused or who were abused as children or who are abusers themselves. Abuse could be affecting your daughter, your sister, your best friend right now.

I was able to end my own crazy love story by breaking the silence. I'm still breaking the silence today. It's my way of helping other victims, and it's my final request of you. Talk about what you heard here. Abuse thrives only in silence. You have the power to end domestic violence simply by shining a spotlight on it. We victims need everyone. We need every one of you to understand the secrets of domestic violence. Show abuse the light of day by talking about it with your children, your coworkers, your friends and family. Recast survivors as wonderful, lovable people with full futures. Recognize the early signs of violence and conscientiously intervene, deescalate it, show victims a safe way out. Together we can make our beds, our dinner tables and our families the safe and peaceful oases they should be. Thank you.
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  |  9047 learners#Social #Speeches
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Basic - American
A Picnic by the River
Basic - American
The history of tea
Advanced - American