Her name is Hillary Adams. If you haven’t read the stories today connected with her, I promise you after reading this post, you won’t forget her or what she endured anytime soon. As I clicked the link to the story about this today, I had no idea what I was in for.
Hillary posted a video of abuse at the hands of her father that is so chilling and disturbing, I have to warn you repeatedly before you click to watch it. In the video, captured 7 years ago, her father reveals himself to be a monster, almost enjoying the abuse. This is not discipline. It is a man out of control, and a vulnerable, disabled daughter who thankfully taped the abuse and kept it all these years.
I have done as much research on Hillary and her father as I can, the story is very new, but is spreading like wildfire across the web. Hillary was 16 at the time of the video. Whatever her offense, she is not deserving of this treatment. ALL 16-year-olds make mistakes, do stupid things, sometimes very wrong, very dangerous things. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING makes this even remotely right. This beating happened because she had downloaded music and games off the internet.
Again, I must caution you before watching this video, it is graphic and disturbing.
I do think it is important to watch this video for many reasons. First, this is going on in more homes than any of us care to realize. It is easier to believe that no one you know, none of your neighbors, none of your family members are behaving this way. But sadly, it is a secret a lot of people are keeping. You can’t spot abusers, there are some signs, but many of the people who abuse children and spouses are amazingly adept at covering their tracks. Hillary’s dad is a judge in Aransas County, Texas. I imagine that no one outside of his home knew who he really was or even had an inkling of what he was capable of. I was happy to read that he has been asked to step down temporarily while an investigation takes place.
Another reason I hope a lot of people watch this video is that if someone doubts whether what is happening to them or someone they know is abuse…seeing this video and the overwhelmingly outraged reactions to it may help clarify things and enable someone who needs it to reach out and ask for help. It sounds strange to say that—that a person wouldn’t know if what was happening was abuse. But the truth is, a child in a home like this knows nothing else, and most children believe on some level that they deserve the abuse. Also, if God forbid, you watch this abuser and see someone you know, or even yourself, get help. Report it. Don’t second guess.
While the physical abuse in this video is troubling enough, listen carefully to the words being said. “You are not fit to live in this house”. What does a 16 year old do that actually makes you not worthy of living with your family? Everyone says words in anger sometimes, but these words, laced with profanity, are horrendous. Every word said like that is a battering of self esteem, a doubting of self-worth, and it can take years and years of therapy to stop hearing them in your head.
As for the mother, Hillary has stated that her mother has left the marriage, and that she doesn’t blame her, as she was caught in the same cycle of abuse. While I understand this cycle completely, and I understand the codependent, battered wife syndrome and all of its intricacies, I have little respect for any woman who stands by or PARTICIPATES as this woman did in the abuse of her children. At some point, you have to break the cycle. While Hillary was 16 at the time of this video, I have no doubt that this abuse had gone on as long as she was living and breathing in that house. I am glad her mother has left, and is supporting her daughters. But, I cannot suppress my anger for her participation, as Hillary no doubt believed that both of her parents were against her at that time. What a horrible feeling at any age for a child.
My blood has been boiling today as I have read comments on some of the different articles about this story. Readers commented that they were spanked as a child and turned out fine. Others spoke of “different times” and how this was once acceptable. What you see in this video is not a spanking. It is not discipline. This man is clearly out of control, speaking to Hillary in an abusive, menacing manner. Anyone who sees this video as anything other than severe abuse is misguided.
Hillary has been contacted by countless media outlets, and on her Twitter stream has expressed some regret for posting the video and “ruining” her father. I can only imagine the mix of emotions that she is feeling right now. There will probably always be some amount of fear associated with her father. It is hard to reconcile fearing someone who is supposed to love you and protect you. Her father has admitted it was indeed him in the video but said the abuse was “not as bad” as it looked. I hope Hillary will not let the media frenzy get to her. For whatever reason she posted the video, it was the right decision. I wept watching it, my heart pounding. I wanted so badly to save her.
It looks like she is saving herself. And hopefully, a few others along the way.
The original article I read today can be found here.
The original article I read today can be found here.