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The fourth of July is quickly approaching, and while everyone seems giddy to prepare their favorite, scrumptious barbecue delicacies - trouble is brewing on the horizon. We have to stay alert at all times, especially during the holidays. I don't know about you, but doesn't it appear strange that the holidays are now gliding in with mischiefs, unnecessary killings, and aggravated assaults?

It is true - on the fourth of July, some of us will be firing up the grill with expectations of family fun. Others will be trying to protect themselves from their abuser. If you find yourself on the flaming side of the Fourth, please be vigilant for your safety and or others.

I'm willing to bet you are apprehensive about attending the barbecue with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or teen. Why? Because you've witnessed disturbances in the past. Maybe you've experienced unwanted behaviors.

On the other hand, you may be fearful of someone else's plight. It could be a family member, a friend, or a neighbor. Whatever the case, be vigilant of your surroundings. This holiday will be a prime opportunity to survey your environment. It is also an opportune time to observe your teen's new friend.

My son called a few days ago. As we chatted, he peered out of his window. He said, "Mama! A woman is sitting outside in the rain." He continued, "Oh dang! Her boyfriend just hit her in the face!" Immediately, I told him to call the police. I also encouraged him that anytime he witnesses domestic violence to call the police.

I thought, "Wow, it's only a few days before the fourth, and people have already geared up to disrupt."

I told my son that this incident would be a pertinent opportunity to explain domestic violence to my teenage grandchildren. Share what not to allow anyone to do to them and; not impose such behaviors on anyone else. His statement to me, "Mama, I already did."

As we celebrate our country's independence, let us pray for those who are not free from the atrocities of abuse.


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