domestic assault

‘Remember how I was last night? Tonight is going to be worse.’ His eyes were pure evil. My husband held me prisoner in our own bedroom.’: 16-year-old bride survives abusive marriage, is no longer a ‘victim’ living in ‘shame’ of her traumatic past

“There was a chill in his voice. ‘Nobody will even miss you. No one cares about you. No one loves you.’ The torture went on all night into daylight. I ran out the front door looking for help. The only person that would help me was a young mom.”

‘I BEGGED my mom to get my stepfather out of my bed. He would just ‘fall asleep’ there. How convenient for him. I started thinking my mother knew, and just didn’t care.’

“In third grade, we moved. I thought it was so fancy! Surely nothing bad can happen in the suburbs. I slept over at my friend’s house one night, and was woken by something startling. I froze, I didn’t know what to do. I started to silently cry. ‘Why isn’t my friend waking up? If she wakes up he will stop.'”

‘You catch this baby, or I will.’ My son’s father fainted. He woke up, saw our newborn, then left to smoke. He returned smelling of cheap beer and cigarettes.’

“‘I’m taking our son,’ he said. It was snowing and he was wasted. ‘He will not take my child like this.’ My grandmother walked in from church. ‘Take my son and lock yourself in your room!,’ I screamed. He got in his car and sped off, fish-tailing down the snow-covered road. Hours later, he returned.”

‘I needed to tell, in case I went ‘missing.’ I was terrified. ‘You’ve been talking again, haven’t you?’ I ran into the bathroom. ‘Mom, please come.’ It was now or never. It HAD to happen NOW!’

“I snuck my younger children out. My 10-year-old and I grabbed the only belongings I had hidden. As we walked quietly to the door, his music stopped! I whispered, ‘FREEZE, DONT MOVE.’ With tears in my eyes I thought this was it, he knew I was escaping. ‘Run, run now!’”

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