relationship violence

‘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.”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘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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