domestic abuse

‘He proposed in a big, elaborate way in front of my family. I was terrified. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew my life was over. I had to make my move.’: Woman escapes after decade-long abuse

“From the outside, our relationship looked perfect. We were a good-looking couple, young and vibrant. We had a wonderful social circle, luxurious vacations. No one knew I was being trained to accept abuse so horrible my hair would fall out – literally. I didn’t recognize the red flags waving right in front of my face.”

‘He was always disappearing. I created a picture-perfect life for others to gawk at and admire. I didn’t want to be alone.’: Single mom says leaving her abuser was the ‘hardest decision of my life’

“The changes in his behavior were subtle. The flirting and flattery mutated into backhanded compliments and criticisms. If I ever questioned his behavior or cruelty, he would dismiss my concerns. ‘I was just joking.’ ‘You shouldn’t be so sensitive.’ ‘Can’t you take a joke?’ I spent all my energy trying to impress him.”

‘An older man said to my sister, ‘Let me get a taste of that.’ He was sticking his tongue out and wiggling it. She instantly turned red. She was 12. He laughed and I did, too. I don’t know why, but I did.’

“This is what it REALLY means to be a man. It’s kissing my wife’s stomach and telling her she’s beautiful, even with her c-section scar and stretch marks. It’s telling my daughter ‘Honey, OWN that Jersey’ when she comes home from school crying after a boy told her to take it off because girls ‘don’t play’ sports.”

‘I was terrified something happened to the baby. He pulled me into my closet so neighbors couldn’t hear me screaming. My mom drove 3 hours in a snow storm to rescue me from him.’

“I found it scary how fast things were going, but I I loved him so much. I became pregnant shortly after meeting him. He vowed to protect us, love us, and always keep us safe. There was no doubt in my mind he was the one for me. Little did I know me becoming pregnant would awaken the monster within him.”

‘Mom, I made a mistake.’ My boyfriend left me on the side of the road, a burning sensation on my face.’: Young woman escapes abuser, ‘I only survived for my child, but now I survive for myself’

“While I was asleep, he took my phone and began browsing through my messages. I awoke to his voice. ‘Who is this guy you’ve been texting?’ He looked angry. ‘That’s just my friend,’ I explained. ‘Well, don’t text back. You’re flirting with him by texting back.’ I tried once more to defend myself, but ended up pinned down for hours while I sobbed and begged for him to let me go.”

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