HomeOpinionWhen Sisters Turn on Each Other

By Diana May-Waldman,WWH/CJE- When women intentionally and maliciously turn on one another, it really bothers me. I am especially frustrated when I see another woman re-victimize someone who has already been victimized. That’s like pouring salt in someone’s wound. Discounting them. Dismissing them. It seems cruel to me.

Rosaura Torres wrote a book about the years of abuse she survived at the hands of her husband. The book, Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge details her life, beginning when she was a child and ends with her story of survival and fight for justice when she is finally left with loss of vision in one of her eyes.

Torres abuser was a cop. Who do you call when your abuser is a law enforcement agent? How do you even begin to penetrate the blue curtain of protection?

Torres is the youngest of nine children. Her parents came to the U.S from Puerto Rico in 1949. She grew up in poverty.

In an to attempt to understand herself, Torres looks into trying to understand her parents. Her mother seems to have some secret sorrow in her heart, that she quietly carries and can never really bring herself to talk about it. Her father while seemingly present in her life, has numerous affairs throughout his marriage, that mostly go unnoticed and are accepted for the most part.

He mother stays devoted to him until his dying day.

Torres goes on to say that her father was never physically abusive to her mother–he was just a womanizer.

I pondered the first few chapters and realized that perhaps Torres was revealing things about herself that she may or may not have even come to understand. She was taught tolerance and she was taught to keep secrets.

Torres says that even though she was told that she was attractive, entering her teenage years, she never really believed it. That feeling magnified for her when she became pregnant and the relationship with her child’s father ended.

When Torres meets the young, good looking rookie cop, she questions why he would be interested in her. She describes herself as an uneducated woman with fatherless children. Why would this man want to marry her? But, he does and Torres is happy, even though her father thinks her sister was more deserving to marry the police officer.

Torres talks about her new mother-in-law and how she felt her new husbands mother didn’t think she was good enough.


A self proclaimed journalist at LIPNews… Lancaster Independent News took an interest in Torres story. She spent a lot of time with her discussing the book and gaining Torres trust. Within days and without warning the “journalist” posted on her blog a scathing review of Rosa’s book—even though she admitted several times that she didn’t actual read the book. Instead she skimmed the book and posted parts of it with her opinion.

Below is part of what LipNews had written:

Correct me if I am wrong, but is it not abuse/assault for her to be “smacking him right across the face”?
This whole sick (should I say “sic”) tale is nothing but a mess. Like a Jerry Springer episode. And I hate reality TV.

She goes on to say:
It is entirely my fault. I could never have imagined the book being this awful! It is essentially a terribly written soap opera.

I believe Sadler, a very large man, hit his wife frequently over the course of years. I’m not saying she didn’t at times hit back, but the end result was a terribly dysfunctional family with three children caught in the middle of a war.

To that I say, what the fuck? She believes Sadler (who is the character Mark in the book) was a very large man who frequently hit his wife and the end result was a terribly dysfunctional family with three children caught in the middle of a war.

Well, no shit. Domestic violence affects the entire family.

The “journalist” goes on to say this:
—- Yes, I believe Rosa’s current actions have a “revenge” factor. It is what it is and all of us seek revenge at one time or another.
—- I also became very uncomfortable with her “social media” presence. She would repost my stories on her three Facebook accounts, her twitter account, her Google Plus account and who knows where else. She was fond of using the words “sister” and “warrior” in her posts and that made me very uncomfortable. She would let me know how many “followers” she had and as, I guess, an incentive for me to write more, would tell me that “many people” were reading my site. I didn’t believe her, I didn’t care and none of that affected the content of this site.
She told me over the phone a month and a half ago that she didn’t want me to think she was a “religious nut” and said she hadn’t been to church in years. She invokes God constantly in her book. Her final chapter says she will “walk with God.” Well, I can say that, too! Heck, anyone can say that! Her constant “God blesses” and “Amens” everywhere she posts border on absurdity.

Again, the “journalist” admits that she never actually read the book. If she did she would have read that Rosa was raised a staunch Catholic in a Latino family who was often confused by what she was taught and what she felt, but had over the years developed her own personal relationship with God.

The “journalist” then gets sidetracked and starts talking about football and drinking. That’s where I come in and make a comment on her blog:

Diana May-Waldman

wow…you want to talk about a revenge factor? To post personal conversations that you had with her, is out of line. I am a journalist who interviewed this woman well over a year ago. She never once claimed to be anything, but an ordinary woman who made mistakes, tried her best and at the time– didn’t think much of herself. For Pete sake, you want to victim bash? She lost part of her sight due to abuse.
How dare you say that you lost track of the men, the babies, the financial stuff. You are woman bashing…and God knows we all have our own crosses to bare.
I found this woman and author to be refreshingly real and honest. If you had a lick of sense then you would know and understand that her family and unbringing is predominatly religious and she struggled with it, but maintains her own personal relationship with God. Women have to look out for their “sisters” and by golly survivors are warriors. With that said, I applaud this woman for putting the truth out there. This wasn’t about sales, this was about courage and healing. How can you not get that?
The journalist asked me if I read the book to which I responded that I did. She then went on a rant abut more football and crab cakes.

Eventually the journalist gets around to addressing me and questions why in part of the book did Torres admit to throwing a glass of wine in her abusers face and slapping him and also wanted to know why her children were upset with her.

Huh? Maybe, she should read the book.

The journalist and one of her cronies continue to question why Torres did this or why she did that and went on to recite how they would have handled it. If that wasn’t bad enough, the journalist began to pick apart some of the sentence structure and spelling in the book.

I confronted her and told her that I felt she re-victimizing the victim. Oh that was when all hell broke loose and she began to berate me and become abusive to me. I kept my cool and attempted to appeal to any compassionate side she might have–hoping she would stop.

She said that she had pulled up the article that I had written about the book for Worldwide Hippies over a year ago.

“I just wanted to add for Diana – most of your piece is about the second man. I noticed you said: But, on the morning of September 27, 2002, Torres was severely beaten and left on the side of the road, while the State Trooper drove away.

Then to my complete horror, the journalist said this:

She was not “beaten” in the “conventional” sense with fists. It is with a car – she is going to get in the passenger seat and he pulls off with her hanging onto the door. He stops and she drops. I’m not trying to in any way make light of this – but “beaten” implies fists. She then repeatedly calls this same man to get him to drive her to the hospital and he refuses. Why would she repeatedly call him????????

So now this so called journalist wants to define what a beating is. I was unaware that there was something called a “conventional beating.”I had to wonder had this book been about rape, would she had defined what that was too? Since when does a beating imply that it must be done with a fist. I suppose since Torres had only been blinded in one eye and not had her face crushed, she wasn’t beaten?

To say this implies that unless she was left for dead, she she wasn’t beaten well enough.

The journalist goes on to take pages from the book and point out abut how Rosa had forgotten quotation marks in the book.

One more time I remind the journalist that Torres clearly states in her book that she did NOT have much education, but felt it was important to get her message out. And at this point, please be reminded again, that the journalist openly admits she has NOT read the book…just skimmed it.

This is where she slammed down her Jack Daniels and begin calling me a child. Okay, I made the part up about the Jack Daniels. But, she did remind me a of drunk that you couldn’t reason with, even when you had presented her with the facts.

It was then stated that they felt Torres should prove her abuse. They asked me if I was there…did I witness it. Again, to ask these questions only dismisses what Torres had gone through. As if they believed she wasn’t telling the truth. They were re-victimizing her. They also went on to tell me that Torres failed to call the police and had she called the police, the police were by LAW required to report it.

I’m not sure what planet this woman lives on –but again Rosa’s husband was the law! And she repeatedly states in the book, this was the problem. Who do you call when your husband is the law?

Later that evening, I decided to research the blogger. I researched her because her blog mostly sites stories about crime and abuse and she seemed to have a small following.

In my research I discover that this woman had been a victim of sexual abuse and incest, which she herself had written about. It helped me to understand her better and to understand the depth of her anger. The depth of her pain.

I took that research a little deeper and spent some time on her past blogs where I witnessed her attack several other individuals whom she didn’t agree with. Once she is done ripping them up, she dismisses and blocks them.

I begin to understand and question the depth to the pain this woman must be in. I witnessed how she had gone through her days bullying people. Yes, she is a bully who friends her victims, then attacks them. Sadly, most bullies are in a lot of pain.

Most bullies have negative feelings about themselves. Most bullies seem to be aggressive, lack social skills and unselfconsciously attempt to transfer their pain and anger to other people.

Now that I had a better understanding of the “journalist,” my shock and horror towards her behavior quickly became feelings of compassion and empathy.

However, until one is willing to the do the work that is necessary to heal old wounds, they will continue to lash out at others. And at what point do we expect people to take responsibility for their actions?

Studies have shown that an abused person is at a higher risk of becoming an abuser if they don’t heal. They have an increased tendency to “act out”and inflict abuse on others because of their own hurt and anger.

The “journalist’ and Torres are two women who share backgrounds of abuse. One has done the work needed to heal. One has not.

It took a great amount of courage for Torres to write her book. I also feel in writing the book, she found some healing. She let the secrets out that she was taught to keep. That is never easy. Her book was painfully honest, even during the times in which she reveals things about herself that were hard for her to face.

Maybe, this is what the blogging journalist is trying to do. Write it out in attempt to get rid of it and heal. But, her blog is almost ten years in the making and her rage speaks loud and clear. I wish that I could hug her.

In the end we are SISTERS and WARRIORS that have to keep reaching out to one another. We have to keep holding each other up and not pushing each other down.


When Sisters Turn on Each Other — 20 Comments

  1. She read the article and coming back with a vengeance….please be kind, she is merely finding her way.. whatever it takes..we are here for her.

  2. Thank you all for your kind comments. Someday we really are going to make the world a better place for women an children and we can only do that if we stick together and keep helping and reaching out to one another.

  3. Dearest Diana,

    I thank from the bottom of my heart
    for writing this article. It helps so much.
    I appreciate the story of Ms. Torres , it
    is always helpful to realize you are not alone
    and someone cares. Your article is so
    important to me , and others like me.
    What you have done to speak up and
    to stand up means more than I can express.

    Sincerely, kara lin

  4. Diana, you are the angel of the day. How loving of you to see, or even hypothesize, the deeper source of the harsh attack of Rosa. As sad and deep as the roots may be it was an unprovoked and ruthless verbal surprise assault on an unsuspecting survivor. That’s not okay to hopefully most of us.

    Like you had commented on Ms. Holzinger’s blog, I also find Rosa refreshing in her honesty. By the time anyone accuses her of misdeeds she can quickly assure – “It’s in the book.” How many victims recognize or admit their own failings or how they were reduced to using violence themselves as the abuse continues? It’s easy to say what others have done to us. It is much more courageous to admit before strangers our own regrettable participation. Many of us were were pulled down before we rose up. Rosa takes the shame out of that by admitting and regretting those dark times.

    I thought the observations you made of Rosa searching – possibly without realizing it at the time – over the dynamics of her own early life for what brought her to where she found herself – were insightful.

    I read the “About” section of WWH and you are the quintessential writer for this website: “…The purpose of the site … we are you and I together ~The People~ Who seek Peace, Justice, Love, Harmony – Promote Basic Human Rights and Positive Change in the world!…”

  5. Thanks Paula. And by the way if you ever want a spot on worldwide Hippies/Citizen Journalist Exchange, let me know. I am always looking for writers with a niche and writers who are advocates for women.

  6. I too have written a blog based on Rosaura’s book, unlike the writer you mention here, I actually read the book before putting words on the computer. I spoke Rosa, asked her any questions I had so that a year from now I would not be in the position to be writing how stupid I was for not doing my research before taking on an issue.

    I too was told by the “writer” that she has done this for 9 years and I only did it for a month. Well I have to say proudly that my blog on Violence Against Women was not a tirade on getting police officers fired or an overview of unsolved crimes in a city I don;t even reside in.

    My blog while it was early days for me as a writer, was done with integrity, never naming any person who has never been charged or convicted of a crime. I told several stories of real abuse against women all over the country, including but not exclusively about Rosa.

    It continues to amaze me that the word blogger somehow gives certain people the right to make things up and insinuate they have done their homework when they have not.

    Your article is very good and you are very perceptive as to why some people should stick to letters to the editor and refrain from reporting “fiction” as “fact”. Don;t publicize a book for a year you have never read.

    Don’t put pictures of people on your blog who have never been charged with a crime.

    Rosa is a strong woman trying to help others through her experience. Others have used her to continue their own vendetta against law enforcement. I continue to tell Rosa if her abuser had been an electrician, the writer who spent so much time on her would never have written word one.

  7. I am so deeply touched by the strength and support of for this story. Once again, women (most) are ready and willing to wrap their arms around one another. We are making a difference and working toward changing things.

  8. All I could say is Wow! At first listening to that journalist that was right out attacking Rosa, I was in shock. How could this woman be so heartless and cold? Basically like you said, re-victimizing Rosa all over again. It was unbelievable the things she was saying, especially being a woman herself, you would have thought she was a man writing the story and his opinion because some men (and I did want to say most men there but decided against it), but some men do not and could not sympathize with a woman pain and I have read many stories that men have wrote and they have torn a woman and her story to pieces, mainly because of ignorance or just to be maleficent towards the woman because of some underline mommy issue he is having, so therefore is a woman hater who has no sympathy for or thinks they got what they deserved.
    That woman was portraying herself as a man and his same ridiculous, unknowing attitude, but thats the thing with her, she does know. She knows how it feels to be a victim and o live through the horror she has had since a child and I can’t believe she would cause pain to others in order to heal herself. Which she is nowhere near to actually trying to find closure or to even start the mending process.

    I do praise Rosa for sharing her story. I know it took so much strength to let go of the pain and let it out for the world to hear. And I know she was not doing it for attention or money, she was doing it for herself to start getting stronger and to let go of the secrets that haunt her. She probably had no idea how much her story would touch people, empower women but its purpose was to empower herself. I do understand her story cause I too have lived through physical, emotional and sexual abuse since childhood, and now I’m a mother of 3 and everyday I make a conscious effort to not become like my mother. I did in one aspect become her is I too am a addict and have been since a child. Now a recovering addict and never again will I go back or ever put my kids through my life. Drugs were my way to bury and hide the pain and secrets I carried. I have never put my hands on my kids and like I said it is in my mind everyday. Just like you had stated about research, that how likely that someone who has lived through abuse, become abusers themselves. And so I have never put my hands on my kids in fear that I would become her. Plus I do not drink alcohol, (in my opinion one of the worst drugs out there) and I do have a counselor. One thing that I have done was write since I was a child, since I had no one I could talk to, my notebook was my best friend. I would just let it all out on those pages and still to this day have those notebooks and I continue to write. I couldn’t imagine putting all that out to the public so Rosa is a hero to so many women that need help and are to scared or they need to heal and not feel alone. I hope one day and I hope it soon that the journalist gets the help she needs to heal and I really wish she would see what she is doing is wrong and she is now the abuser. Thank you for sharing this story it is amazing and hope the best for everyone. Also I’m sorry for the book I just wrote, I don’t usually do that but this story touched me.

    • I loved your book….Please realize that by sharing your story will help, not might help…will help…Your voice, will help bring ACCOUNTABILITY for all Survivors and Victims of Domestic Violence…Together we stand strong…God bless you my sister/warrior….Much respect.

  9. Diana,

    Thank you for standing up for Rosa. I think it is horrible the way she was treated on LIPnews blog. I admire you for feeling compassion for the blogger who attacked Rosa. I won’t call her a journalist because she has no clue what a real journalist does. She obviously has a lot of growth and healing to do to get past being such a hateful person. I agree with all that you have written. She low self-esteem and makes herself feel better by attacking others. It is best to turn away from such negativity. Thanks for standing up for women.

  10. Rosa, I applaud you and the courage it took for you to write this book. You are helping women and sharing your courage. Walk tall, sister. Walk tall.

  11. Diana…..Thank you for all your support for me and others…..I pray that one day she will find that peace within herself. Diana, you are a true warrior.

    Much blessing to you always,

    Warmly and with much respect,


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