domestic violence

‘I met a guy. He was unlike any person I’d ever met. We fell in love hard and fast. Slowly, he earned my trust.’: Woman credits husband for helping her overcome childhood abuse

“When we got married, I had no idea how to relax my body. How to communicate without completely shutting down for days. I struggled to show emotion, to be vulnerable. It took 5 years of marriage for me to believe he wasn’t going to hit me when he got mad. The simple act of raising his arms triggered me and made me flinch.”

‘When he hit me the first time, I fought back like an animal. Until I had to decide if I wanted to be the woman who fought back or the woman who lived.’: Woman details journey through physical, emotional abuse, ‘I have an incredible life now’

“He showed up at my house. I was convinced I was going to die. I was obsessively checking my yard each morning for rat poison in case the dogs went out. I was afraid. Afraid I’d have to fight him off. I just wanted to be strong enough to survive. When I realized I could deadlift his body weight, I felt less afraid.”

‘The first year of marriage is supposed to be hard.’ I caught him in a lie, and he broke. ‘That’s what bad people do.’: Woman escapes abusive marriage, comes ‘full circle’ and re-marries

​“I stood in the dark, gravel parking lot, sobbing, hoping he would follow me and tell me to come back home. That everything would be okay. He never came. Instead, my friend showed up and put her jacket around me. It was cold. I didn’t understand why she did that, what I’d done to deserve it. ‘Because I love you.’ My breath caught. It hit me that I didn’t understand that kind of love. He was determined to sink. I had to choose whether I’d go down with him.”

‘I invited my husband’s ex-wife to my wedding. In our family, we’re not ‘half’ or ‘step.’ We’re just family.’: Mom and stepmom come together to peacefully co-parent after feud, ‘women should always support each other’

“As I was falling in love with him and his daughter, he and his wife were getting a divorce. We were both young, immature, and jealous. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Hurtful words were thrown around for years. One day, we decided to meet up and talk. ‘Can you meet me at the coffee shop?’ That was the day two women came together in vulnerability.”

‘Does he own a firearm?’ I told the operator ‘yes.’ They found it hidden, loaded, in my daughter’s toys.’: Woman leaves abusive marriage to set strong example for 3-year-old, ‘My daughter’s smile is worth every struggle’

“What they said next sent chills down my spine. ‘It seems he had it loaded and ready to threaten you in case you came back.’ He was arrested and booked that night. I loved this man, madly. I received a call from my husband in jail. ‘Hello?’ His response, ‘I’ll never forgive you for this. You ruined my life.’ I hung up. I knew I had to pull all my pieces together – if not for me, then for her. My daughter would never get to know this side of me.”

‘No wonder things got so volatile, living with someone like THAT.’ You hear them talk at dinner parties.’: Woman urges ‘it’s not your job to fix an abuser’ after finally deciding ‘humiliation, shame’ was enough

“You had a huge fight with your partner. You wonder if you are being abused, or if it was ‘just a mistake.’ You watch them chat and laugh with your partner at holidays and school functions, and you know they will never believe what happens behind closed doors.”

‘Learning his mistress was pregnant with twins felt like his hands were still wrapped around my neck.’: Woman escapes domestic abuse relationship after neighbor overhears desperate pleas for ‘help,’ raising little boy has been her ‘saving grace’

“I’d get dressed, only to realize my keys were gone from their usual spot. ‘Babe, I took them by accident,’ he’d tell me. My husband had his cellphone number programmed to receive all the notifications when visitors buzzed our apartment. No one could visit me. At 7 months pregnant, I rushed into my closet. I was in the fetal position cradling my stomach. I whispered to my baby, ‘Mommy will always protect you. We’re going to be okay.’ ‘Get out of there immediately,’ my cousin told me.”

‘I picked out songs for your funeral,’ my sister told me. I feel nothing. I start shooting heroin into my IV.’: Young woman survives harrowing heroin addiction, says her son ‘hands down saved me’

“’How did I get here? I don’t want this life.’ I walked by the gun case and decided to take one rifle. My parents called the police. I downed an entire bottle of antidepressants and shot up the rest of my heroin. I sat on the edge of my hospital bed, sobbing. My doctor knew what I had been doing. She knew I had a syringe in the cabinet above my bed.”

‘His scheme to butter me up to lose his virginity worked. ‘Wow, he really cares about me.’: Domestic violence survivor reveals she’s been ‘scared to speak my truth’ for years, but finally realizes ‘I’m stronger for what I’ve been through’

“I was sitting in my room doing homework. His ex-girlfriend called. He was caught red handed. He drove to my house with flowers and sobbed. ‘I’m so sorry. I’m just so insecure because you’re so out of my league – I got nervous and cheated.’ I was so angry. My relationship was destroying my family. Nevertheless, I went to Disney with him anyway. I stood in the middle of Magic Kingdom crying, alone and terrified.”

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