domestic abuse

‘Why didn’t you call the police?’ ‘I would have fought back.’ ‘Well, why didn’t you?’ ‘You got married really young. Did you see the signs before you were married?’: Woman ‘angry’ she was never ‘educated on what abuse is’

“I would hear the words, ‘I want a divorce,’ for the first time, on our honeymoon. A friend had an intervention with me. An aunt told me, ‘You know, you don’t have to do this,’ right after we were engaged. I remember scoffing, thinking, ‘All it takes is commitment.’”

‘Yes darling, what is it?,’ she said. ‘If I told you something, will you promise me nothing would to happen to my mom, sister or dad?’: Woman overcomes PTSD to find her ‘happy ending’

“I told my grandmother everything I could remember of that night, every detail of what he told me. My whole life changed in an instant; one day I had a family, then my family became smaller. I blamed myself for what had happened. I always thought I was dirty and an awful person because of what happened.”

‘Every night, I put a sign on our bedroom door that read, ‘come in and kiss me on the cheek. I didn’t cheat on you.’ I accepted his marriage proposal after 2 months. Almost immediately after we were married, the abuse began.’: Woman overcomes domestic abuse

“I thought I hit the boyfriend jackpot, my knight in shining armor. He wined and dined me and spoiled me rotten. Within 2 weeks he decided it was unbearable to be away from me and was going to pack up his life and everything in it to be with me.”

‘Who is this naked girl on the screen? She looks a lot like me. Wait, wait, wait.’ My fingers began trembling.’: Sexual assault survivor speaks out against stepfather’s abuse, ‘I finally have power again’

“I found a video file. In tears, I kept repeating to myself I was strong. The camera was planted upside down and was sitting on a brown bookcase, hiding between books in my room. I watched myself on the screen. ‘What the heck. What the heck. What the heck?!’ My thoughts began to race. I had so many questions.”

‘There’s a problem in our relationship.’ My father stopped the car. I had an instant sick feeling. In a blink, my hero was gone.’: Woman overcomes abandoment issues, sexual trauma, ‘I can finally stand tall after 36 years’

“At age 13, I fell into a relationship with an older man. He carefully groomed me and became the father figure I was missing. He showered me in gifts and affection. But there was a price to pay. He would follow my school bus and watch me get off. He controlled my every move. Every week, I prayed I’d be the long-lost child reunited with her daddy.”

‘He locked me in the basement for days. I had asked him to help with baths for our kids. Then he took his own life.’: Woman reclaims self-worth after husbands’ suicide

“I kept wondering how I would get out. He must have decided the kids were too much to handle on his own. I sat in ICU while he was declared brain dead and thought about everything that happened. I felt sadness, anger, shock. The biggest emotion I felt was relief. I no longer had to fight to be respected. I felt free.”

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