Right out of the chute, let me say this is not a money-making scheme or fund-raiser.
Think about it. There are beautiful things forged on an anvil. They are beaten down, molded, remolded, and purified by fire to make the item malleable for shaping into the useful, beautiful item it will be in the end. This is not unlike what happens to any victim, be they child or adult.
This is an individual choice and opportunity for victim/survivors to claim their victory by wearing a symbol of success; an Anvil. It can be any kind of abuse, child or adult. It can be physical, sexual, extreme emotional or any kind of abuse situation you survived.
This one is mine, ordered from the U.K. It is an anvil enclosed and when opened there are two hearts inside.
You want it, you find it and you order it in your price range. You have it as a silent reminder that you are a survivor, or when asked about it, can use it as a catalyst to share your story with a “happy reminder that you are the “beautiful result” of the workmanship of the anvil.
This is an individual choice and opportunity for victim/survivors to claim their victory by wearing a symbol of success; an Anvil. You want it, you find it and you order it in your price range.
While this anvil would be a universal symbol of victory over abuse, it also can, in the text of the Bible, fulfill King James Bible Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
I Googled “Charm anvil for bracelets” and came up with many resources, and all prices and kinds including an ankle bracelet. Prices I saw ranged from $12.95 to $259 +SH
This idea was first suggested to me after discussing Greyhound Lady Walking’s “anvil” scene with my husband. He thought perpetrator/abusers should be made to wear anvil’s around their necks to identify them in the 21st century, and in the tradition of the Scarlet Letter A of old.
Good thought but without practical application. I decided it would be better to have the anvil be positive and thus belong to the survivors as a positive. Thus the “Abuse Anvil” would signal success, strength and strong women (and in some cases men.)
Let me share two excerpts from the Greyhound Lady Walking novel which illustrate why the anvil made its way into my radar for a symbol for victim/survivor success.
1st Excerpt Chapter 21
It was now three days before the wedding. Dalton saw Sam walking the greyhounds out in the fields. Reading her body language, he knew he had to talk with her about the last preparations before the wedding. Joining her, they walked hand in hand and watched as Baby Doll taunted Big Buddy into playing rough. When Buddy would start playing rough, suddenly she would have had enough. Baby Doll would yip at him and rear up on her hind feet, coming down on him with her front feet. He’d calm down and even run away sometimes, but he’d soon be back teasing and taunting again.
Dalton laughed as he watched, and turned to Sam. “Ever watch them and wonder if they learned that from us, or if we learned it from them?”
Smiling, she didn’t answer. She knew he was leading up to something.
“I guess I’m not much of one to know what goes on in the mind of a woman, but it does seem to me when there’s going to be a wedding a woman thinks about her dad. Whether she wants to or not.” He waited, but got no response. “You never told me about what happened with your dad after you were in the military and Dani was killed. Did he come to the services?”
He had about decided they weren’t going to discuss it when she didn’t answer. Sam climbed up on the rail of a fence and began to speak to him quietly.
“They let him know about her death and the services. He chose not to come. He had an important talk to give to his fellow retired military men. A month after her burial, I went to see him. When I pulled up out front, he walked out onto his porch. I didn’t even get out of the car. I just signaled the men in the truck behind me, and they used their wench and crane to deliver a package onto his sidewalk that was encased in a wooden packing crate. Then we all drove off.”
Trying to picture the scene, Dalton wondered what she could possibly have given him at a time like that. “You going to make me ask? What was in it?”
“An iron anvil weighing two thousand pounds. Inscribed into the metal was the scripture from the Bible which talks about it being ‘better to have an anvil attached around your neck and be thrown into the depths of the ocean than to hurt a child’. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.”
*****2nd Excerpt When Dalton had secretly visited Sam’s dad to see if he was repentant or maybe to find out if he was as bad as she remembered.
Dalton could still see the face of the man he visited. It was evident that Sam and Dani took after their mother, as this man was a very large man with a thick mane of black hair, finely streaked with white, and Paul Newman blue eyes. In his military days, he probably kept his hair regulation short, and this longer hairstyle made him look somewhat unkempt. Nothing else about him or his house gave that impression. Dalton was sure he could have done the “white glove” test and the house would have passed with flying colors. The décor was predictable, with pictures of military equipment, old squadron groups and friends, many plaques, framed citations, and the occasional medal on display. No doubt, this man had achieved much professionally.
Dalton smiled at one framed certificate, which read in part, “To the S.O.B. (stubborn old bastard), from the survivors of your torment and torture.” It was signed by twenty or thirty military signatures with varying ranks.
As he arrived at the door, Dalton thought he’d never see the inside of the house. When he knocked, he was immediately confronted by two of the largest German Shepherds he had ever seen. He was thankful for the restraining door between them.
“Shut up, Commander. Get back, Danger.” The large man arrived at the door carrying a glass half full of what smelled like expensive bourbon. “Yeah, what do you want?” He was glaring at the well-dressed man at his door, and took in the expensive car visible when he looked past his shoulder. “I’m not buying anything.”
“Mr. Huston, I’m Dalton Marrs from Oklahoma. I’d like to speak with you about your daughter, Sam.”
A stony silence prevailed as the man’s face betrayed nothing, not even recognition. His body posture had already been one of defensive readiness, and he let the silence grow like some kind of insidious threat. At one point, Dalton wondered if he was considering opening the door and setting the dogs on him.
“Come in. I’m out on the back patio.”
He led Dalton through the house and outside in the back. It was a hot Texas day, and he wasn’t making use of the air-conditioning inside, so it didn’t surprise Dalton the man led him to a chair in full sunlight. It was probably his subtle way of making his guest sweat. He watched as his host walked to the outside bar. Pulling up a big decanter and looking at Dalton, he offered, “Two fingers enough?”
“Yes, thanks, I’m driving.”
Dalton accepted the drink and squinted in the bright sunlight to see his host’s expression. Again, there was nothing revealing.
“I’m betting Sam doesn’t know you’re here, right?”
“Right. This was my idea, and I needed to get a couple of things straight in my mind. We’re getting married, and that is usually when a woman wants her father around.”
“Hah! Not Sam, I’d wager. I’m betting if she knew you were here she’d either tar and feather you or you just may not be getting married after all, smart guy. She has her own set of rules, and you don’t get far trying to make her follow yours.”
At the use of the term “smart guy,” Dalton actually relaxed. He knew her father was all she had portrayed him to be, and he wouldn’t have to waste time figuring out if there was a misunderstanding between them. Dalton still wanted to know if there was any hope in the future for something redeemable.
Mr. Huston, I’m not here to ask for Sam’s hand or anything like that. I just want to understand my wife and be there for her. To me that means knowing all I can know about her, and I had rather hoped to find you to be a reasonable man, maybe one who had learned from his mistakes and might want to set things straight with his only living child.”
“You puffed up son of a bitch, don’t you try to pass judgment on me. You’re no kind of real man if you’ll take a squalling female’s word for it all and go by that. She and her sister were two of a kind. Ingrates. Just like their mother. I tried to get them to make something out of themselves so they wouldn’t go through life being sniveling cowards and afraid of their own shadows. I made them stand up for themselves, and I was doing fine, too, until their damn female hormones kicked in. Dan went off in a huff and never came back. Got herself killed ‘cause she couldn’t stand up to some bastard. Good enough for her. If she’d stayed here and learned about life she wouldn’t have gotten into all of that stuff.”
It was hard for Dalton to believe his ears. A father was sitting there berating his daughter, who was murdered. He would have expected a strong, military hero to want to tear Hale Ford limb from limb, but he blamed the victim. Classic signs of an abuser. He was even identifying with the abuser. Dalton stood to leave.
“Leaving already? Can’t handle the truth? Gonna go back to Sam and tell her what a bastard her old man is and what a great man you are in your prissy clothes and your fancy car? You’re just what I would have predicted she would end up with. Some sorry ass ‘she-he’ guy who needs a woman on his arm that’s more man than he is. Well, you can thank me for that part, ‘cause I made Sam what she is today. She’s no wimp, and she doesn’t crawl under the bed and hide from anyone anymore. You better mind your ways, smart guy, or she’ll have you for breakfast right after you finish doing her dishes in your frilly white apron.”
Dalton was fighting down all kinds of reactions at the same time. His clearest instinct told him to kick this old man from one end of his property to the other for all the times he beat Sam and Dani. Another part of him knew that this was Sam’s father, for better or worse. He struggled to get on top of his emotions and accomplish what he came for. He sat back down and stared into the face of the violent, unrepentant son of a bitch and smiled.
“You know, I’m relieved you’re all I thought you would be. If I ever wondered what kind of woman I was marrying, or how strong she was, now I am assured I am marrying perfection. Not only is Sam Huston the most beautiful, loving woman I have ever met, but she is all woman. She has broken me without having to lay a hand on me. She turned me from being a jet setter, bent on living a selfish life, pitying myself for my losses, to being a man in touch with who he is, hell bent on pleasing my wife. In other words, she beat you. She won. She survived your destructive, despicable treatment and found herself. She came out better than you could ever have imagined. And when her sister Dani died, she fought on for justice, and she did it on her own. Unlike you, her father, the one she couldn’t even turn to for help in bringing her sister’s murderer to justice, Sam turned to helping others and helping them get through life and not be a victim.”
“Get out of my house. No one asked you to come here. I’ll sic the dogs on you.”
“When we walk down the aisle, we won’t be thinking about you or about the past. You really will be dead to Sam. I’ll see to that. In the future, she will have children to love and adore, and she will forget the hatred in her own childhood because that’s what Sam is about. Moving on and doing good. So when you wonder about your grandchildren and if you have any grandsons, you’ll be stuck in your selfish world with your limited power, bossing around two dogs named Commander and Danger. I imagine they are supposed to project your manhood. Is that what all this was about? Your manhood? You thought without sons you weren’t a man? Well, you aren’t.”
Dalton stood and looked into a face of pure hatred and thought he’d only seen that look once before, on the face of a Nazi war criminal who stood unrepentant to the end of his life. Even though he had only seen the criminal on a TV screen, the hatred permeated the viewer until you could smell the emotion of evil.
“I’ll see myself out, Mr. Huston. Thanks for the drink, and I appreciate your time. It makes marrying Sam just that much sweeter. Oh, and as far as wearing a frilly white apron goes, if she asked me, I’d proudly do it. I’d still be ten times the man you’ll ever be.”
And so my friends, you see why I encourage you and others who read and hear about the “Abuse Anvil” to get one and proudly wear it. As for me I shall wear mine around my neck with pride, and if asked about it I shall share about being a survivor and be ready to share how to do that if the person inquiring is a victim.