It’s Time to Talk About Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

It’s Time to Talk About Domestic Violence

For the seventh straight year, Liz Claiborne Inc. is sponsoring It’s Time to Talk Day on December 8, 2010, a day dedicated to ensuring that Americans speak up about a subject that most people simply prefer not to discuss — domestic violence.  Representatives of The Hotline and loveisrespect will join other advocates on “Radio Row” at the Liz Claiborne headquarters in New York City to talk about domestic violence.

This year’s event will begin with a screening of Telling Amy’s Story, a riveting documentary which follows the timeline of a domestic violence homicide that occurred on November 8, 2001.  NBC Today Show co-host, Meredith Vieira, will emcee the screening.  The documentary is narrated by actress and member of The Hotline’s 15th Anniversary Honorary Committee, Mariska Hargitay.

To take part in It’s Time to Talk Day in your community, please consider doing the following:

  • Ask medical offices, hospitals, city offices if you can hang posters which include The Hotline number as a resource
  • Encourage local businesses to hang purple ribbons in their place of business
  • Encourage your local mayor and city council to recognize the day as It’s Time to Talk Day
  • Tweet with the #ITTTD hashtag, post information about It’s Time to Talk Day on Facebook and email your friends with empowering information about domestic violence. Help them know the signs of abuse and that help is available by calling The Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Talk to your friends, co-workers and family about healthy relationships and get the conversation started

For more information on It’s Time to Talk Day, visit Love Is Not Abuse.

Comment section

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  1. Hi I need information, i have a friend that had been a abused by her boyfriend for about 2 years, i had told her many times but she was afraid since she was undocumented and fear to be deported, now for a total diferent unknown reason she was deported and now she does not know what to do since her boyfriend is now telling her that hes going to take her son away since hes a natural citizen of the United States, she has asked me for help i have no idea of what kind of help is out there for her I hope that maybe out of 10 people that read this at least one can respond and maybe give me information on who I can talk to, and see if she can get help.

    Thank You

    1. I had a husband who changed from being a good man to a cruel, sadistic and hurtful one, not only to me but also to our children and he portrayed as being an innocent one in front of others and as if I was the apple of his eyes. Had a marriage of 25 years with threats and conditions all of the time and had to either compromise or go his way. The marriage ended in death and like you, I was abused and neglected. Being married and for the first time I endured a lot thinking it was the way a marriage had to be, according to others. I understand now that there is a law that protects abused women who are undocumented. Also, a Treat that protects children who are born in the USA of foreign parents and he could ask to have you son brought in here. Good news, you can fight this back since he is an abuser! The fear a woman goes through with having her children taken away is horrible, I went through the same thing in a very sadistic and emotional way, could have even killed myself but for the sake of my boys I remained alive and by their side, even when I was put under duress by their father and husband of mine and remain by his side. American USA laws need to change because children are not assets or possessions and are not conceived out of American soil by of an American man who should respond as a good father and to start with as a good boyfriend and husband. To be a father only just to feel important, wanted or loved is as coward as wearing a skirt and a man with manly courage would not act that way. By the way I am a naturalized US citizen now but would not have stayed with him if there was no marriage and of course no children either, would have gone to my country of origin or another one. Would suggest you get a lawyer where you are and document the abuses this boyfriend did to you. A bad man is a bad father and most likely, he abused you and being alone with the child, he will abuse your son also. I experienced that, he was a bastard being alone with the children and this tears a woman’s/mother’s heart. My heart goes to you, accept to come back if the child is brought over here and contact the police, this is something that I was not adviced and even endured rape and more than once. Prayer helped me but it is devastating that on top of that he used my personal identity to commit fraud with credit cards and left another woman who was involved with him and I didn’t know after 25 years of marriage and 5 of widowhood. May God bless you and guide you and may the Virgin Mary fortify you as a woman and as a mother as she has done it for me. Good luck and the best for you and your son and hope that bastard is punished for what he has done. Women , we are not manufacturers of babies to be given to trash who do not want to bear children of their own but take them from other women and men who are so stupid that they do not recognize the lack of womanhood in these women and their materialistic interest but cruelty to another woman and her child/ren They just want his money and benefits if any or just sex and won’t give a darn about them when they get sick. Get educated and try to be safe and happy where you are. God gave us a big world to live in, this place is a place but not the world. The family law stinks in the USA and it seems that those men involved in writing them don’t even love their mothers who are women also. God bless you and your son and protect you always, wish you happiness, safety and stability.

      1. Wow it is amazing to me after all these years of being away from my former husband that what he did still affects me and controls my life in many ways. Your story is so familiar and like mine with a few exceptions. My former spouse was abusive from the beginning. I moved to Germany right after we were married and the torture began. I felt trapped and alone without even being able to call home was paralyzing to say the least. There was help of which I did not know, but was not as available as is these days. The abuse came out of no where to me and so unexpected. Boy can I pick-em…I should have seen him a mile away. We are now divorced after 27 years of marriage on paper, I had left back in 2001 and it took me that long to get divorced, but I did and it was the best thing and the timing was right to get out for good and never look back. Although I am no longer with him it seems as though I still can not be fully happy. I try very hard and no I have never been through counseling, but truly need too! I know and admit this for sure. I have found out many things over the years, but the abuse this man put me through day in and day out has had a lasting affect on my and yes, my children. This site is the start for my recovery and seeing that yes, there are many women I can touch through reading their stories that are so much like mine and that we are not alone.
        Thank you for sharing and making me realize I need to share and start mending with the help of others.

    2. I’m sorry your friend is having so many problems. I suggest that you call Catholic Charities in your area…contact the immigration area. They should be able to give you some real help.
      Here’s a link to Catholic Charities in Oregon
      If you cannot find them in your area, they should be able to direct you to the closest office to you. You do not have to be Catholic to use their services.

      1. Catholic Charities is a great resource as mentioned by J. Your friend may also want to call us, Mayra, at the hotline where we can certainly provide you with some additional immigration resources that work alongside the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act).

        NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

        We’re here 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

        Note: If your friend isn’t fluent in English, the hotline has access to well over 100 other languages (if not much more).

  2. Broken Bones Heal faster than a Broken Spirit

    I have many blessings to be thankful for. The last event or episode of violence could have ended on a more sour note. When someone is threatening to blow your head off and bury you in the back yard – 10 or 12 times, while they are drinking vodka straight with loaded weapons lying around and screaming hostile blame for life misfortunes, this is a dangerous situation and could have easily ended in homicide. The hostility and screaming that I heard that night was clearly different than times before. It all started because he hates his current job. The report rated this episode of violence a 7. This report has helped me see issues and ingredients of domestic violence and I am more knowlegeable about escalating actions that could end in violence and even homicide. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please check out the Mosaic Method website-and take the time to answer the questions and allow them to report back- this report could save your life. I am thankful, I was not killed that night in July.

    The Restraining Order I had issued back in July has been violated twice. The Tennessee authorities seem to find my action of protection unimportant and it has been largely ignored by their criminal justice system.

    Thank you for allowing me to write about this situation. Writing and communicating about the episode is therapeutic and healing. If I can help women become educated about the dangers of domestic violence, then I am turning my negative experience into something positive and helpful.
    God Bless,


    1. Hello , I am a domestic violence survivor over the age of fifty. I have been single for a very long time very , very happy. I also worked in the hospital for over 25 years. I worked for Psychiatrist, and neurologist.s . I wanted to share that with you to try to make you understand , that domestic abuse happens to a lot of women. Please remember this important thing get away, stay away.never ever for any reason go back.I am not trying to scare you but, you have no idea how many women per day never leave the hospital they go to the morgue. These women are not on TV , but believe me this is happening daily.Please leave this situation get somewhere safe and keep your self and if you have children keep them safe. Getting safe and staying safe is the most important part of getting out of an abusive situation.You and i are some of the blessed ones that escaped with our lives.Please believe me it is very important that you get away to a safe place As i stated earlier alot of domestic abuse women never leave the hospital . Love yourself enough to never let anyone hurt you again. This is gonna take time but i have faith you can do it Love a survivor

    2. Hi Mary Pat,
      When I reached out years ago for help, the first thing my father said was what did you do to him? I almost died right there where I stood. Getting support for domestic violence is very hard, but with the help of this and many new sites I can talk about the horrible experiences I and all of you have had and need to share to start the healing. Can you believe it took me almost 30 years to figure that out. Funny thing is I finally went back to school and got my degree in of all things Psychology to start (was not possible being married) and one of the things I am good at is helping other women. Why is that? This is the place I hope to have other women help me and from what I can see this maybe the best thing I have done in a long time to find the freedom of rage and abuse that I have so longed for.

    3. Dear Mary, reading your comment was just like reading my own life experience. “When someone is threatening to blow your head off and bury you in the back yard” was exactly what I was told almost every day by ex-husband. Every day he would come home throwing things around the house because he had a bad day at work. I would apologize for his bad day just to make him feel better (he told me to do so when he wasn’t in bad mood. He said that it would make him feel loved by me and make him feel better). At first it did help a bit, but soon nothing helped.

      Even after almost 5 years of divorce, I still had nightmairs about being choked around the neck and begging for my life, or him pointing a gun at my head because I would not do the unspeakable things he wanted me to, or being beat by a belt with no clothes on because he was unhappy. There were times I wanted to leave, but he kept threatening to kill me, kill any friends who offer to help me, to kill my family overseas… Eventually after a few trips back and from the hospital, two of my Christian friends came and rescued me while he was getting drunk at a local bar. Then he filed for divorce without giving me anything except my 1985 model old car,(which I was too afraid to do so myself because everytime he kept telling me that “if you ever want to divorce me, I will make sure you won’t get to a lawyer’s door…”..

      I never got counselling either. Each time I hear news on TV about women abused or see some one with a blacked eye, I will get so scared/terrified. Then my nightmare will come back…

      This is my first time come across the site about sharing life stories. I am surprised to see so many women went through what I did…

      I hope one day I will be brave/strong enough to do what others do —- helping other women…

  3. California is the same thing. Not the lawyer or the psychologist protected me and my children from his craziness, cynical behavior, emotional abusiveness, lies and cruelty, even using me to share credit with another woman who didn’t come to light but after his death!

  4. Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for contributing to the Share Your Voice blog. I am sorry to hear about the terrifying abuse you experienced from your partner. I can tell you are a very courageous person to make it through that situation. I am really glad to hear that helped you in learning more about domestic violence. Thank you for sharing it with the blog community. It is great to hear that writing via the blog has been therapeutic for you. Please continue communicating through the blog because you are turning a negative experience into something positive and helpful. If you want to talk to us over the phone our number is 1-800-799-7233 and we are confidential and anonymous.

  5. Diane,
    Thank you so much for your contribution to the Share Your Voice Blog. It has taken amazing courage for you to leave your domestic violence situation. I am happy to hear you have found happiness! Domestic violence does happen to a lot of women. It can happen to a woman of any race, profession, religious background, and sexual orientation etc. I appreciate you sharing your story with our community. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7, and we are confidential and anonymous. Everyday we help safety plan with many victims and survivors. Our number is 1-800-799-7233.
    NDVH Blog Admin

  6. All i know is that i am so so so tired of trying to keep it together. im tired of the mind games, verbal abuse, physical abuse. Im tired of thinking about it. im tired of worrying about it. im tired of keeping my comments and thoughts quiet. im tired of being afraid of what he might do next time. im tired of him not taking responsibility and not providing for his family. im tired of him being started on drinking when i get out of work. and then having to deal with crap. im tired of having to walk on egg shells when he is drunk. im tired of him blaming me and convincing me that it’s somehow my fault. im tired of being afraid to tell him what i really think and what i feel like doing. Why do i have to fear being hit. Why do i have to fear coming to work with another black eye or busted lip. im tired of him telling me that my boys love him more than they love me since im the one always at work. Its not true but i dont know where to turn or even how to begin leaving. He will follow me. He will find me. He will trick me again.

    But there is not time for being tired. I have to take care of the boys. They love me and their love is unconditional! That i do know. And that is something he can never take away from me.

    Thanks for listening. I needed to get it out.

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for sharing your voice on this blog. It sounds like you have been through alot of very difficult times with your partner. You do not deserve anything he has done to you. Dealing with someone who has a substance abuse issue in addition to being abusive can be intense. Here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline we would be more than happy to help you explore some options and we can offer you a listening ear as well as resources to where you can get support. We are confidential and anonymous 1-800-799-7233

      NDVH Advocate

    2. Jessica,
      I am 24yrs old and have been with my bf for almost a year. the choking didn’t start for awhile, but not that that is an excuse. but it has happened 4 times now, the last being Christmas eve. and it was the worst. He never punches me but he throws me around and chokes me so hard that I cant breath. i’m not necessary innocent, I retaliate and push back or push him to start off with when he’s screaming at me. This all isn’t important, I guess my question is to anyone for that matter is Does it start of small like this? cause I’m hearing everyone’s stories of guns, black eyes and drinking every night. but he doesn’t do this all the time and he is a great bf But I have never been sooo frightened in my entire life. I told him I didn’t want to be with him and to leave me alone but he’s apologizing like crazy but still point the finger at me and saying I threw the first punch. I Know what I need to do, and that’s to change my number and dont look back but he’s so much apart of my life, and its only when he drinks but should that be my fault???. I dont want to have children with him and be locked in and never be able to get away. any advise at all would me the world to me, Im definitely in a very lost place right now.

    3. Hi Jessica,
      Wow your story is so familiar. My neighbor heard me and my former spouse (we lived in Military Housing at the time) and of course when he confronted me I was embarrassed of the thought that someone could hear what was going on in my life. So he sat with me that day and we talked and one thing he said to me was, ” Stef, everyone can tell you to leave, but until you have had enough then you will be the one to make that decision.” Well, he was right, at some point I became indifferent which gave me a feeling I have never had before and rather enjoyed not caring what he would or would not do next. I came home from work at around 8pm after a 12 hour shift and had a feeling in the pit of my stomach (not sure why), but he (the x) cornered me in the kitchen and wam suckered punched me right in the mouth. To this day I am still not sure why, but with that punch came a strength I did not know I had inside…I went to work with the lip swollen (still had to support the family) and I said no more. That brings me to today>>>

    4. Jessica, I can relate entirely to your story. I also had children during my abusive relationship. It’s so lonely in that situation. Who do you talk to, will they help, what will you do if they don’t? I went to pastors, police, health care professionals but in those days the laws weren’t as clear cut as they are today, society was less psychologically aware and more accepting of that type behavior in a marriage. I was forbidden friendships, relationships with family, had to account for every minute of everyday. I’ve had broken bones, black eyes, loose teeth, bald spots where my hair was pulled out, guns pointed at my head and threats to my children’s lives. I had no education, no financial resources of my own. I get it but I finally got away.
      Yes, it’s scary but what’s worse is what it is doing to you and your boys psychologically and where it might lead.
      Realize that you ARE enough. You CAN do this. You are NOT who he say’s you are, you know this in your heart. You are STRONG. You would have to be to endure the abuse and continue to function. Make a plan. Talk to a pastor, a friend, a family member, ask the police for a brochure of resources available in your area and hide it in a safe place. Talk to one of the many resources made available through this hotline.
      You’ve got this! You’ve taken the step to talk about it, even if it’s anonymous. You owe it to yourself and your children. Today, my children who are grown now are thankful that I made those tough choices even though our futures looked bleak at the time. My life has been good and their’s were changed for the better. I became a business owner, respected in my community and active in political affairs. All that from a lonely, scared, abused uneducated woman. You can be all that and more but the choice is yours. You deserve better.
      Love begins and ends with respect. If that is missing what do you really have?
      Take heart, be of good courage. You CAN do this.

  7. I have been living in fear for 2 years now and I am physically and mentally tired. I try to tell myself that there is something worth holding onto and then I realize that I allowed him to take all of that away from me. Actually smiling and having something to laugh about is a vague memory. I thought I could handle his abuse or some how change him, but he has changed me and for the worse. From name calling, punching, kicking, slapping, pulling my hair, breaking my things, throwing coffee on me, hitting me with a broom so badly that my back was bleeding, stripping me of all my clothes and making me stand outside naked, forcing me to stand all night, shoving food in my face, duck taping a wash cloth in my mouth, and forcing me to walk 2 miles home in the winter. Those are recent events that have just happened in the last 30 days. I have been humiliated and degraded to the point that I have no respect for myself or life. Now I’m 1,800 miles away from anyone who knows me and my life is in his control and I really don’t know how much longer that will last. Thank you so much for allowing me to vent my feelings!

    1. Wow! What terrible things you are enduring — and to top that off by the isolation your abuser has done to keep you from your family and friends. Very typical so that they can maintain power and control. No one should have to endure that pain. We’re glad that you had a moment to be safe.

      Please feel free to contact the hotline to discuss some possible safety strategies when you get an opportunity to safely do so.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  8. I have been out of my abusive relationship now for almost 5 years. People say it gets easier over time and in some ways it has. Other days I feel so alone and if I sit and think, he and that relationship is all I think of. I have a son with this person and my son is my saving grace. He is the reason I left, my son gave me the courage to stop it all. I kept thinking that I could change my ex but I couldn’t and I felt like a failure that day we left. I can deal with what happened to me but what I struggle with the most is how I was not there for my newborn child. I wasn’t allowed to go see him in the intensive care, he was 7 weeks early, unless my ex was with me or he said I could go. I wasn’t allowed to pick the baby up when he cried because my ex was beating me so bad that I was crying for him to stop. I don’t really have anyone to talk to. My parents are fantastic but if I mention my ex the become so angry with him that it is difficult to talk, the friends that I had that were there through everything aren’t anymore, so I just keep everything all bottled up and pretend that I am ok, when somedays all I want to do is cry.
    Thanks for listening.

    1. Hey, Andrea:

      Children can, indeed, be a powerful motivational factor in us seeking safety in an effort to protect our children as well. They need our nurturing for their own development as well. You would probably be surprised at the support that your family and friends may give you, if you were to reach out to them.

      Keeping things bottled up isn’t necessarily the best way to go. Feel free to call the holtine and speak to any one of our advocates so that you can tell your story, as well as gain some insight on how to approach your family and friends in such a manner that you will meet the least resistance. We can also direct you to some counselors in your area that are versed in the dynamics of domestic violence and give you some guidance as well.

      BTW, crying is okay. It is one way to release our emotions. There are other ways too that we can learn to release our emotions through counseling, which is a healing process for ourselves.

      Give the hotline a call when you get a chance. An advocate is there 24 hrs day, 7 days a week.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

    2. Please don’t be sad. I know I tell myself the same thing and it is hard. I was in an abusive relationship and he drank alot and abused prescription drugs. I constantly broke it off and went back with him. One night when he was drinking and getting nasty I asked him to leave but, instead he called the police on me and hurt himself and I was arrested. Of course I went back left and last time I went back and now I am pregnant. He still in his mind tells me he never hit me that I am the abuser and I harass him. Thant since I am on probation he will have me arrested and take my baby. I have never hit anyone in my life and I come from a good family and currently raising my other two children. This man is a monster. He tells me no one loves me and I have no friends and make me so depressed and I feel sad and lonely. I feel like I cannot even go talk to anyone because no one cares. He make everyone trust and believe in him. My family cant stand him though. I am sorry you and I both have to go through this. Try and have a wonderful holiday with your son and god bless you! Kathy

      1. Kathy-
        I too kept going back. I kick myself in the butt sometimes now because I had the opportunity to just leave before my son was born, but I didn’t. My ex would tell me the same thing that no one wanted me, I am a horrible mother and wife, etc. You start to believe it and one day you wake up and can’t even remember how you got to this cruel and unhappy place. My parents couldn’t stand my ex so I slowly isolated myself from them and all of my friends. I was so ashamed that I had let things get so bad that I just stayed home. It is unfortunate that many of us have/are going through these hard times and my heart goes out to you and your children and you will be in my thoughts. I wish you all the best and the strength to get through each day. I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well and god bless you. Andrea

  9. I left my abusive boyfriend 3 almost 4 years ago. I am still dealing with a lot of things from it. Angry is most of what I am trying to sort through. Most of our friends didn’t know and still don’t know and the few that did didn’t know the extent of what went on, I am now getting the help I need from a specialized therapist as I have PTSD. I stayed for almost 9 years, why? He had made a casual threat to take my beloved cats away from me, right before I learned he was having an affair early on in the relationship. I was afraid for my cats as he didn’t do much for them and wouldn’t take care of them, I felt like I was being manipulated but didn’t know what else to do. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get him to leave, his good friend was the manager of the apartment building we lived in, he even got the manager to talk me into staying. I felt like I couldn’t go as this guy would have just let him back in anyway.

    He knew I didn’t want to go home, we were in a new city and I loved it, I was in a place to pursue my goals he couldn’t make it. He would barely work and it all fell to me. Yeah it was crazy to stay for animals but I did, when I made the decision to stay the only family member I had in the new city I lived in dropped me like a bad habit, he didn’t know my reasons just that I was staying. That particular family member still won’t talk to me to this day even though I have been out of that abusive relationship for a few years now and it has been close to a decade since the incident. I didn’t get it we were close and hung out all the time and then suddenly it was like I never existed to him. I know his actions were why I hid the abuse I felt like anyone learning that about me, meant they would run off. I figured that they would think I was a needy, codependent loser. Who would want to be friends with someone like that. I noticed that each time we had a problem and he lashed out at me, I started avoiding old friends. He didn’t like most of my friends even my best friend who is my cousin who I grew up with like a brother. He only liked people in my life who could get things for him. Honestly I thought that this was just how relationships were, my parents were always fighting and treated each other badly so my example was this. I didn’t want to tell them what was going on as they had so many problems of their own so I kept quiet.

    I started having migraines and just couldn’t really admit that I was in an abusive situation. I learned after I left this relationship from my dentist that stress was ruining my teeth and I had ground them down 1/8″ of an inch in my sleep. However somewhere deep inside I realized something was terribly wrong. I noticed when I needed his help financially he lost interest, if I was in between jobs he treated me like a burden and was meaner than usual. It was during one of those times I asked him to move out, he did but only 3 doors down.

    It took me 2 years to get away from him, it wasn’t easy. My father got sick and almost died it really effected me and he wouldn’t help me even though I helped him for years. I knew I had to finally go for sure and keep him out of my house when I woke up one morning to learn he was looking at child pornography on my computer. It made sense my ex was very controlling especially sexually, he didn’t like to be seduced or let me have control. It made sense that he probably had those tendencies. When I asked him about it he said it was an accident, I knew it wasn’t. But I never bothered him about it.

    I still fear him and avoid him if I can which I have been successful at, I was able to save my cats. He didn’t care about them and even adopted more pets less than a month after he was finally away. For awhile there were little things that I think were his doing, my new boyfriend who is wonderful came outside and had 2 flat tires one day, he did other things like that really shook my confidence. I stopped doing a lot of things that have made me happy. I gained weight for the first time ever in my life. I couldn’t control it. It was like being without him was worse in some ways. My whole identity came from being in that relationship.

    I was in a mountain of debt as everything was in my name I have been able to get most of it caught up. This was another big reason why it was so hard to leave, I was supporting 2 and could barely save any $ to get away. I made new friends and ironically enough my ex’s attitude about not liking my friends or people in my life actually helped in this regard. I ended up with friends of my own who were not connected to us, the only people he did like were his friends and they were all people that were individuals who could get him something. My new friends were supportive and didn’t run away from me, they know something happened but no details. I am finally putting my life together after all this time and I hope to use my experience in a creative way.

    I am not a stupid person, actually I have worked for some world renowned authorities who have trusted and respected me. I am also an attractive person I had part-time a modeling career throughout my 20’s. So to believe that this happens to stupid ugly people who are desperate isn’t true. Most of all we want to leave but we don’t know how? We often have things like kids, dogs and cats that we can’t just leave. When someone plans on moving it is stressful enough try walking out of your life with the clothes on your back and now where to go and see where your mind goes. Who is going to take you? If you call the cops he can come back. It was why I never did. That and the shame of knowing that the cops were there knowing that people will judge you. Somehow in all of what goes on in these situations it becomes the victims fault and no one bothers to ask why the abuser does what they do. So you don’t call as more people will attack you and it is much easier to deal with one person.

    Yeah it was dumb for me to get involved with a guy who had some red flags but I didn’t know they were going to be a phenomenally bad as they were and I didn’t deserve what I got. None of us do.

  10. G Salazar:

    You are soooo very right. None of us do know what we are really, truly getting into. We find ourselves disregarding the signs (red flags) similar to the hot stove analogy that I like to give.

    When we are young, we are told to stay away from the stove because it is hot. However, as we get older and taught how to cook small things at a time, we learn that the stove isn’t really necessarily our enemy. The older we get, we find ourselves justifying our experiences with the stove, telling ourselves that we haven’t been burnt — even as our hand may come within an inch or less of the burner. We become more and more complacent about the stove and continue to make all sorts of reasonings (justifications) of why the stove is not a danger to us, all the while knowing that it could potentially harm us. Eventually, we find ourselves justifying things right and left, even if we do get burned (saying something like, well that was just one time out of the many times I have been at the stove, for example).

    It’s so important that we recognize the red flags and the justifications in order to keep ourselves safe. They aren’t bad all the time, but it is the bad things that we must remember to keep ourselves safe.

    So glad to hear that you have left your abuser 3-4 years ago. Hope that your journey after that time has been a safer path that you have taken since that time.

    Insofar as the PTSDs, we can point you in the directions of some counselors in your area that may be able to give you more direction on this that are versed in the dynamics of domestic violence. Just give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

    NDVH Advocate_kk

  11. Kathy:

    Oh, I am so glad that you mentioned “He makes everyone trust and believe in him.”

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that this is part of the dynamics of the abuser — the manipulation factor. Friends and family, and others (community members) may think he is charismatic and charming and wouldn’t suspect a thing about what the abuser does behind closed doors. This is oftentimes what takes family members and friends by surprised when they finally understand what is happening — and, oftentimes, it is way too late to do anything about it.

    You add. though, that your family doesn’t like him and it is difficult to talk to any of them about him. Perhaps, they aren’t able to put their finger on why they don’t like him yet, but their intuition from an outsider point of view can be handy at times. They may be more approachable than you realize right now.

    Too, know that any of the hotline advocates have and do talk to people just like you in your situation. We oftentimes will help you safety plan for the time being and brainstorm on other strategies, as well as can provide you some local resources for counseling and/or support groups for yourself, which is especially useful while you are still in a relationship. Additionally, there are other resources for legal advocacy, child care assistance, and many more things through the various programs in the communities. Feel free to call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 anytime to talk. There’s always an advocate here to answer the calls.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  12. Hi Stephanie,
    You are an extremely brave and strong woman! I am glad to hear you are in a better place today. Thank you for your feedback about our site. It means a lot to hear from you that the National Domestic Violence Hotline website has helped aid in your recovery. We are here 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 if you would like to talk to an advocate about couseling referrals.
    Take care,
    NDVH Advocate-kl

  13. I have to change my life. I lost my job 10/2009. This gave my husband all he needed to do his best at hurting me. A week doesn’t go by that he doesn’t tell me how i am nothing, that I am a begger, that I am fat, ugly, I don’t have a job, that I am not part of his family, I need to get out so that he and the children can enjoy their lives. The funny thing is he verbally abuses them. He is physically abusive to me. INo one can ever do anything to please him. When he is outside around peolpe there is a show as if he is a very good man, once those doors are closed and the outsiders have left THEN THE HELL BEGINS!! I pray it not to late for me to cjhange my life around. I am so tireed. I feel sooooo alone. It seems everyone talks but they don’t really listen. Can someone just TELL ME HOW TO GET HELP. I HAVE NO JOB NO INSURANCE. I have to find a way out. I want live. Help me find the help I need.

    Thank you,

    1. I understand exactly how you feel!! My boyfriend verbally and physically abuses me every other day but he acts like he is the perfect well mannered gentleman when ever someone else is around. He cannot and will not ever be pleased. I honestly feel like a slave cause I have to say “yes sir”. He tells me I deserve to be in pain because I make so many mistakes and I bring it on myself. He refuses to let me work out yet he always claims that I’m fat and lazy. I’m so sorry for what your going through because the same is happening to me. I will keep you in my prayers!

  14. Cynthia,

    The good news is that there IS help out there and you are not alone. There are all sorts of services out there, waiting to help you, at no charge to you — shelter, support groups, counseling, legal advocacy, child care assistance, and so much more. It all just starts off with a call. No insurance is required either.

    Please feel free to call our hotline to get the resources that best match your needs. An advocate is always available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week @ 1-800-799-7233.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  15. Domestic violence laws are abuse against fathers in custody battles. Domestic violence laws need to include laws that include false allegations of abuse especially during custody cases. Mothers in IL are encouraged to file Orders of Protections against fathers during divorce cases or custody cases. This is abuse against fathers, whose protecting the men from this abuse. A sheriff told me 98 percent of OP’s are false. So basically 98 percent of fathers are being mentally abused by these orders of protection. We need laws to protect fathers against fale allegations.

  16. Daniel,
    Custody battles are difficult for all members of the family. While there are certainly abuses of the system (which is tragic for the families torn apart during this difficult period, especially fathers who have the purest wishes for their children) it’s problematic to insinuate that often mothers use a PO as a means of revenge or as a way to ensure they win custody.

    While we can’t speak to the sheriff’s assertion that 98% of POs are based on false allegations (especially not knowing that stat’s source or validity), we can speak to what we see and hear daily at The Hotline. It remains that 1 in 4 women will be abused. We know that often victims do not come forward and report their abuse because they fear they will not be believed. We also have seen how protective orders can save lives.

    The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence released a pdf with some very interesting stats about this very topic:
    ttp:// We are thankful that you’re considering the important rights and roles of a father. We encourage you to look at some men groups within the movement to hear additional viewpoints:

    NDVH Blog Admin

  17. I am 21 years old. I have been with my boyfriend for about 6 years now. The hitting and choking been started but I was young and naive and thought that it was okay. I feel so alone. My mom died a year ago and the year before that both of my grandmothers died. My father died when I was younger. This guy was there through it all. I kind of felt like I needed him or something. I have called the police several times before but he came right back like he was making extra keys or something. We have one child together who is a year old and its so hard because I am in my first year of nursing school. He has physically and mentally abused me in front of my child and he has threatened to kill both of us. He has everybody fooled!!His own mother is blinded and I really have no one to turn to. Please help me!!

  18. Carol:

    Thank you for your encouraging words in this posting. Those are certainly the types of words of encouragement that any friend/family member can do as well. Kudos!

    NDVH Hotlline Advocate_kk

  19. One immediate thought, Jody, is whether you own or rent where you are living. If you are renting, go speak to the landlord and they may be able to change the locks for you, if you are determined to stay where you are at this time. Know, too, that the Crime Victims Compensation Fund could be available to you as well. What they do is that they provide financial assistance to injuries related to the incidents, any counseling for yourself and your child (you didn’t mention the age of the child), and/or any moving/relocation expenses. This latter will cover the moving expenses and, typically, up to 3 months rent (up to about $600/month, dependent upon the state you are in it could be more or less than that).

    Typically the Crime Victims Compensation Fund operates out of each State’s Attorney General’s office, but if you need a contact number, please call our hotline (1-800-799-7233) and we’ll give you the Crime Victim Compensation Fund’s number for your state. The Fund is available to victims of crime (funded by fines and restitution fees that criminals have to pay into when they commit any offenses). To qualify, you may need to have called the police (which it sounds like you have done in the past) and/or have a protection order in place; however, contact them anyways even if you think you might not qualify for some reason. The worst that they can tell you is “No” and you can either appeal their decision and or move to a plan B that you might have.

    Kudos for juggling being a Mom, going to school for Nursing, and figuring out a solution.

    There is a great quote that was on a invitation I received many years ago from a domestic violence program that I keep at hand and give to callers from time to time. It says:

    “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” Somehow, it seems to give words of strength to live by.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  20. Mona:

    Thank you for sharing your incredible story with Mary (and all of us). I particularily loved your comment about “Even after almost 5 years of divorce, I still had nightmares….”. This is something that people from the outside looking in don’t often understand; they seem to think that once you leave the situation it is over and we all should be able to move forward without any complications whatsoever.

    The emotional scarring from the emotional and physical abuse can and does run deep. We are often recommending that folks coming out from the domestic violence situations get some counseling (preferably with a counseler that understands the dynamics of domestic violence). It helps with the processing of the trauma that one has endured, identifying red flags, redeveloping one’s intuition, and finding strategies to help cope with various triggers that we may encounter in bringing back old memories of old wounds from time to time.

    It is never too late to get counselling and I would certainly urge you to do so as soon as you are able to do so. Call the hotline when you (and others reading this too that have gone through similar situations) can so that the advocates can match you up with some domestic violence related counseling in your area. Even if they may not be able to assist you directly (because of having a case load high with those immediately out of the situation), they may be able to direct you to others that can counsel you who may also do it free of charge and/or on a sliding scale rate.

    One thing that we all need to remember — counseling is never a bad thing. It is something that helps us heal and move forward.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

    1. ma’am,
      Thank you for your kind words and your encouragement to get counseling. I wanted to talk to someone many times, but each time I got discouraged because I was afraid I wouldnt be able to stop crying or I will dream about the horrifying past again. Even now while I am reading all other’s stories and your comments, I can’t help but crying all the time. It just hits home particularly hard for me. Some friends told me that I should call and volunteer in counselling by doing so, it may help other people and sooth my own pain, too. I wonder if it will really help… But I don’t know how to start…
      I also heard that knowing different languages is my advantage of helping other people who speak my language but with limited English. I hope and I do want to get help myself so that I can help others one day…

  21. I separated from my husband in September because he was abusing me bad. He left so many bruises from kicking me and punching me and throwing me against the wall. It went on for a couple of years and I could not take the abuse any more. I am so happy with my life the way it is now. We have a 17 month old son together and he is my everything. He is trying to get custody of him right now and I dont know what I would do if i lost him. I am so afraid that hes gonna get custody and I will lose everything. I need a lawyer but cant seem to find the help i need so i really need some help. anyone have any advice?

  22. Alyssa,
    I am glad to hear that you were safely able to leave your relationship and that you’ve been happier since. In many situations after the relationship has ended, an abuser will continue to emotionally abuse their ex by using their child or children as leverage. This can be difficult to deal with because you care about your son and may not trust that this abusive partner could be an effective or safe parent. There is a good website that might help you start doing some research on laws in your state regarding custody. It’s called They operate an email helpline too, that could be useful for getting some direction. Also, has information for people involved in custody cases. They have articles on safety planning and mental preparation. You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, for help finding local DV service providers. We are here 24/7, and everything is anonymous and confidential.

    NDVH Advocate RE

  23. Hi, I have read so many of these stories of abuse. I too am in an abusive situation! I have had him arrested twice and now we are states apart. But, through phone calls he insists it will never happen again and he will never love anyone like he loves me. He has almost convinced me to get back with him! My problem is that I’m so attracted to him and in love with him that I want to be with him, but fear that he could hurt me or kill me. My family is furious with me for talking on the phone with him daily! If I don’t talk to him, he goes out of his mind and calls my girlfriend (he got her number from my cell phone when I was with him) and accuses me of being with other men! He doesn’t have my number!
    This all started within a few weeks of me being with him. We were only together a couple of months when I had him arrested for the second time. When we were together, he would freak out by throwing a recliner with ease across the room, punching things and calling me every four letter word under the sun. Until he attacked me in the face and head with punches. The first time was only one punch! My brother has witnessed my bruises. He has a severe drinking problem that gets worse as the day goes on. Mentally, I don’t know how to get him out of my heart! Any advice will be appreciated!

  24. Hello, I am Brittni and I am 19 years old. I am being abused and have for about one year. The abuse is getting worse and worse as time goes on. I know being with him is so wrong. But I ask the survivors how do you find the strength to leave? I have called the cops and he has many court cases pending. Now when i try to leave or call someone he stops me and wont allow me too. I have suffered black eyes weeks after weeks, broken ribs and bruises up and down my arms and legs punches to the head causing a concusion and many other injuries but still something in my head is stopping me. I just want to hear some more of your stories to give me more hope and faith to leave and know i am worth more than this. I am reading my story realizing how stupid I am for staying but I just need someone or something to give me that push. I thank you all.

  25. Brittni, I need help also and I can’t tell you what to do! I love the man I love! I have never felt more love and I am in my 50’s! How sad is this? I have never felt more love from anyone butfrom an abuser! My granddaughter is your age! So now I’m really hitting home! Who am I to go through such abuse? I would never allow this for any of my 7 granddaughters! And now…here I am!!! I only know the feelings that this abusive man has such a hold on me! I want it all to end, but I want the feeling of his awesome love that I have never had before! He is so abusive, he wants control of everything! He is so good but yet so bad! So, we are in a very abusive state! You are so young! I have only felt this for the first time in my 50’s! Get out sweetie! You have a whole life time of happy years! Just get out out and move on!

    1. Brittini and Paula:

      Just reading through your communications back and forth are just prime examples that domestic violence isn’t just a certain age thing. It can happen at any point of time in our lives. It is, also, no fault of our own. The abusers are quite manipulative at times and weave us into their web long before we realize it. As I have mentioned in prior blog responses, they seem to prey upon nurturers at times because nurturers tend to want to please and help at the same time. This is meaning that nurturers tend to want to help them succeed, to do better of themselves and we willingly provide that support and encouragement to them. They thrive off of that because, after all, it is all about me, me, me.

      Nurturers aren’t really expecting anything in return, after all too, we all do so with unconditional love in mind and they tend to work on the premise of conditional love; for example, they will love you more, if you stay at home with them rather than have a night out with the girls to see a movie, or such.

      Brittani, you asked of the survivors how do you find the strength to leave. That’s a great question and one that is different for each and every person. On average, we find that it takes 7 times for a person to leave. For some, they have strength to say “no more” at the first argument, some at the first time they have been hit, sometimes it is after they have been choked or strangled; others, it may be at a much later time in their lives. The threshold is different for everyone and is complicated about how much they feel that they are in love with the person.

      Grant it, too, sometimes all the good memories that one has with that person get in the way of the survivors better judgement, which makes it seem like there is hope that the relationship will work. What has to be taken into consideration is the safety factor. This is what I discuss with many callers. I believe that the line in the sand must be explored and drawn when the safety is being compromised — whether it be emotional or physical safety being compromised.

      Too, Paula, while we do get older and we may fear that we might end up being alone in our lives should we get out of an abusive relationship, it is never too late to get out of an abusive relationship. We all deserve happiness in our lives and don’t have live out the remaining 50, 60, 70 years of our lives in an abusive relationship. There are many, many doting and caring men out there that are looking to be in a very loving relationship.

      Kudos to the both of you discussing the strength to leave aspect in a domestic violence relationship. It is always our hope and dreams that each and every person in a domestic violence will find their own strength from the depths of their souls so that they can truly enjoy the remainder of their livest without the constant fear that is had in an abusive relationship.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  26. I need help. I am in an abusive situation. I am afraid to call, afraid to take the step in talk to someone over a phone. This is why. I have three boys and I am pregnant now. I have became dependent of my boyfriend, for he is the only source of income and I am currently a full time student at my college. All of our belongings which are my kids and mine are at our home where i live with my boyfriend. He is extremely verbally abusive and does not care if anyone is around, even my kids. I haven’t left because I am scared of being homeless, losing everything, no income, and having to quit school, which if I quit I would be losing a great opportunity to being successful and caring for my family on my own. Please i need someones help, I need someone to get back to me. My boyfriend has became aggressive towards me, verbally abusive towards my and my kids, and have broken several items. I tried to email someone before and no one has written me. I have no one to help me, hear me, understand me, or anything. I need out. I know this, but I dont want to lose my kids because I wont be stable if I leave. I hope I hear from someone. soon…

  27. Voyles,
    I can understand why you would feel apprehensive about taking the step to leave the relationship. It sounds like your boyfriend has been able to isolate you and keep you dependent on him for resources. He has no right to intimidate you, or to make you and your children feel unsafe. It can make you feel helpless and without options, but there is help out there. It sounds like you are investing alot in being able to continue your program at school and being able to be independent of this person. There are local DV programs that might be able to help you have a safe place to go with your children and to have some time to think about next steps. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things that might happen, but there is always an advocate available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, who can talk to you about options and any safety risks that you are concerned about. We are here 24/7 and everything is anonymous and confidential. You can call the Hotline for support, safety planning, and assistance finding and getting connected to local resources that provide assitance. We encourage you to contact the Hotline or a local program because internet communication or email may not be safe.

    NDVH Advocate RE

  28. Mi pregunta es soy mexicana y mi esposo es ciudadano americano y tengo dos hijas cuidadanas americanas estubimos en los E.U y a ya fui victima de violencia domestica por parte de mi esposo.
    El me estaba arreglando papeles para legalizarme pero fui deportada en en año 2003 y desde entonces vivo con mis hijas aquì en Mèxico y desde hace 4 años mi esposo se vino a quedar aquì en Mèxico pero estos años los hemos vuelto avivir con violencia pero ahora mi esposo no quiere mantener amis hijas y estamos en un proceso de divorcio desde el 2010 y el se aferra a que no tiene dinero para mantener amis hijas, lo cual el tiene propiedades en los E.U y por eso aqui el no trabaja para no mantener amis hijas y aqui las autoridades no nos ayudan porque el no trabaja y ya llebo tres demandas de divorcio y el no quiere firmar y solo esta jugando al decir que se divorciara voluntariamente. Que puedo hacer? mis hijas estan estudiando son de 9 años y 15 años y yo no puedo viajar para ver si puedo divorciarme a ya. Mi esposo nos esta haciendo mucho daño y ya me comunique con la Embajada Americana de aqui de Mèxico y con relaciones Exteriores y no se puede hacer nada porque mi esposo se encuentra aqui con las leyes mexicanas y el esta recibiendo los taxes de mis hijas y tambien mio y yo no puedo hacer nada al respecto .
    Porfavor ayudenme ! Caulquier informacion este es mi correo.
    Por favor ayudenme. Yo no puedo viajar alos E.U tengo una deportacion y no puedo arreglar mis`problemas aqui en Mèxico necesito viajar para poder divorciarme a ya el aqui no quiere por que no quiere mantener amis hijas y no quiere secer el 50% que me corresponde.

  29. Antonia:

    Gracias por comunicarse con nosotros. Este problema viene con frecuencia. Puesto que usted está en México, usted puede desear para intentar llamar a la línea gratuita nacional local de la violencia doméstica existe. El numero es 800-911-2511. Este número sólo se puede utilizar en México.

    También, una de las agencias que trabaja con asuntos de inmigración, con una mayor comprensión de las leyes de la VAWA (Ley sobre la Violencia contra la Mujer), son las Caridades Católicas. Su sitio web ofrece una gran cantidad de información sobre la inmigración en Inglés principalmente, pero hay algunos materiales disponibles en español ( Para recibir asistencia individual, que le instamos a comunicarse con ellos. Más información acerca de ponerse en contacto con ellos se puede encontrar en Espero que esto te ayuda.

    Hotline Advocate_kk/tn

  30. Hello all, im currently undergoing and abusers of sorts. Well lets see, where to begin. Hmm. I met him two years ago, and moved from my family three months after turning eighteen to be with him. So we’ve been together two years. Hmm looking back i dont really remember where the abuse started. At first it was just verbal, he’d emotionally abuse me. saying that his mind told him to say it (he has OCD and takes pills for it). So after a while he began hitting me, not too hard. But one time I fell off the bed and almost knocked myself out on the desk. He stopped and apologized saying that I should leave him. He was crying as he was holding me, and grabbed my hand (to make me hit him) but I didnt. A time before that he had me pinned on the floor, with his foot on my head, not too much pressure, but he said for me to stay down there, since im beneath him. As a woman I know whats its like to be “strong” I wont let him put me down, I wont be a victim. I stand up for myself, and brush it off, saying im stronger than this. Because I know he says things on purpose to hurt me. Some of it maybe true, but Im not going to allow him the satisfaction of making me cry, or seeing that he’s gaining power over me. Im an emotional creature, and need an emotional person to understand me, relationship wise. But he doesnt understand when I try to voice my opinion. He’ll agrue with me and it make me just want to not show it at all, but thats not fair to me. I finally have my voice and they want to silence me. Im a feminist and he HATES IT. If i bring up an opinion he says to keep it to myself. It starts alot of fights and he tells me to tone it down. Sometimes when I try to talk to him he will get mad and start yeliing. If i try to walk away he will “trap” me either block my path or squeeze my arm so that I cant get away. he will either hold me down against a wall or on our bed if we are in our room. Or just hold me in place. then he will continue to emotionally abuse me, saying im lazy and if i dont do anything for him im worthless. If i dont take care of him he gets mad. Its like I cant say no, and thats its easier to go along with it and just shut up and not complain, but i know thats not the way to be, but if i do what he says hes happy and doesnt hit me, but im not happy. I want to be able to talk to me, and not yell. Any advice for that? Ive alreay tried to tell him how i feel, and if i say im going to leave him he will just yell and say hes gone through too much bull with me to jsut quit. Plus im about 3000 miles away from any family or friends. I have none, except his family. he has no friends either, but lately he’s been having dreams that he’s cheating on me. He says hes not.

    His mom, whom we live with, talks crap about me, and he covers for me, since I stay in our room alot. But you’d think a boyfriend who say something along the lines of “i love her, please dont talk bad about her.”

    But his mom says my feminism is bull—- and yet, she had two husbands that abused her, and she left them, and is currently remarried to a man who is everything she shold have had in the first place. And yet her son hits me, talks to me in a tone which I dont appreciate, and she takes his side. Why is that? she says im not innocent :S but I dont deserve this. I mean i’d understand if I was out all hours of the night cheating on him. but theres really nothing I do thats bad, at all or enough to get them to be like this. Please help me. What do I do?? Im really in need of a friend……….

  31. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your story. Certainly it will resonnate with many others, whether in whole or in part. Chances are that many are experiencing similar issues and, the more that we speak up, the more that others will also realize that they are, or have been, in a domestic violence relationship. So typical about your story, in general, are the uses of power and control he exerts over you in many forms and fashions. For a relationship to work, both partners need to work together, support each other, respect and value each other, etc. With it being so onesided, as it appears that he is to you, that is where the line gets fuzzy and questionable; and, when the violence (emotional and physical, as well as economical and others) is added to it, that is where the domestic violence gets more firmly defined.

    One thing that you mentioned in your sharing was the fact that, although his mother had been in two prior domestic violence relationships, she still sided with her son. Unfortunately, this is where the old adage of “blood is thicker than water” comes into play and really rears up its ugly head and proves how much of that adage is really true. We tell callers that, even when they think that their abusers family is on their side, don’t trust them much, or at least be very, very cautious, when trying to plan to leave or expecting much support from them. The abuser’s family very, very, very often does take the abuser’s side, even it when it seems so apparent when their child is at fault. So sad, but true. Some of it may come from fear that, if they don’t, they may feel that the abuser will turn to them to abuse them; some of it may be just blind-faith and love that their child can do no wrong. What ever the case, it is sad that they don’t often come to render aid to the person that their child is abusing.

    When you mention that you need a friend, it sounds like he has also alienated and/or isolated you from your family and friends. That is also a flag that you are in a volatile relationship.

    You are more than welcome to call us any time at 1-800-799-7233. We are here 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. We can certainly help you strategize and think creatively about some safety planning, etc.

    Again, thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully, it will help others to sift through what it going on in their lives too.

    Hotline Advocate_kk

  32. The Beating Death of Lilly Mae Thornton as told by her neice Carolyn Thornton Harnage of Statenville, Georgia (Founder Silent Ministries Recovery Outreach)

    The Inspiration for Domestic Violence After Care Services for Rural Communities; Beginning of Battered Women’s Ministry And Angels of Mercy

    Perhaps one of the most horrible events of domestic violence occurred within the sanctity of the home of my wife’s Aunt Lilly. This true story and the details are a reason that I possess the drive to advocate for battered women. If there was ever a true story that should rattle family members, law enforcement, and social services agencies it is the one I am about to tell you. It is the story of the beating death of a young and beautiful Echols County, Georgia mother named Lilly Mae Thornton.

    Lilly Mae Thornton had five brothers. R J Thornton was the eldest and is also this author’s late father-in-law. Then there was Willie Lee Thornton, Albert Thornton, Randall Thornton, and Wilson Thornton. Lilly Mae was the apple of these brothers’ eye being their only beloved sister. Lilly Mae was married at the young age of 20 to another young Echols Countian named Talmadge Thornton. Lilly and Talmadge had three young children when the tragedy occurred. There was Gail, Edward, and Franklin with Gail being the oldest of the siblings at jus three years old. It is said that Talmadge was a hot-tempered man and that he was jealous man. It is also said that he was a little crazy at times. Lilly had reported the attacks to the sheriff many times but nothing was ever done. Talmadge had been “locked up” for beating Lilly many times but nothing was ever done. Talmadge had shot Inman, Lilly’s father in the leg one time in a drunken rage over his possessiveness of Lilly but, again, nothing was ever done about it.

    People who lived in the day said that neighbors who heard of the attacks only thought they were family disputes. Some have said that Talmadge was in with the sheriff and that many of his infractions were overlooked and covered up. We can only imagine that it possibly was due to the fact of the “man’s world” mentality that was so aggressively embraced in those days. Some say Talmadge drove a log truck and was a likeable man to some, a bad drinker, and a belligerent man to those whom he chose to be. Almost all of the folks we spoke with say he was a very jealous and possessive man over my Aunt Lilly. Lilly had left Talmadge several times and each time he had talked her back into coming home. Talmadge threatened Lilly after each attack of possessiveness, rage, and jealousy that he would kill her parents if she didn’t return home. One tragic day Talmadge would attack Lilly in a drunken rage that would end lives and change the lives of their three small children forever. Talmadge and Lilly were fighting over Talmadge’s possessiveness. Talmadge was also jealous of Lilly’s mother and father. Talmadge was a bad drinker. The alcohol combined with his bad temper provided my aunt with a hellish life.

    One day Lilly had come home from her parents when Talmadge threatened to kill her mother and father if she didn’t return to him. Gail, Franklin, and Edward were home. Edward was just a toddler. A family lived just down the road from Lilly and Talmadge. A little girl from the family was passing by walking on the dirt road. She ran home and told her family that she could hear screaming coming from within the home. She told one that it was screaming like she had never heard before. She told her father that “that white man was killing his wife.”

    Word spread quickly that something bad had happened at Talmadge’s house. When brother R. J. Thornton got word he went to Lilly’s’ home. The sheriff had already arrived and met RJ outside. He told RJ not to touch Lilly and told him that Talmadge had beat her to death with a tire pump. Then Talmadge shot her in the head. When RJ found Lilly she was lying dead in a pool of blood. Talmadge had run and had taken the three year old with him. Edward and Franklin were by their mother crying, red and wet with her blood. The three children Gail, Edward, and Franklin had witnessed the whole beating. Talmadge had beaten her so hard that her eye had popped out and was lying on her face. Her bloody, beaten face was unrecognizable.

    Sheriff Raulerson had told RJ to not touch her face. He said that if anyone touched her face it would cave in it was beaten so badly. She was twenty years old. Talmadge had taken three year old Gail to Lilly’s parents and left her that evening. He ran. He wandered all night some say to create an alibi. But the next morning knowing the brothers would kill him he returned to the bloody house where he had so savagely and indescribably beaten his beautiful wife, my Aunt Lilly, to death in front of their three children. He sat down, placed a pistol in his mouth, and pulled the trigger hoping to end the guilt of his savage act and capital punishment he knew was coming. Talmadge did not die. He was carried to the hospital. RJ, Albert, Willie Lee, Randall, and Wilson gathered at RJs. The meeting was about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. If there was ever a crime of domestic violence that needed avenging it was this one. Death was not good enough for Talmadge Thornton for killing their beloved and only sister. The five brothers were about to leave for the hospital where they could finish the job that Talmadge has left undone. They were going to kill Talmadge. A car drove up and a man told RJ that Talmadge Thornton had died. They buried Aunt Lilly in Sardis Church cemetery. Talmadge was buried beside her. Speaking to family members years later Jerry Thornton, oldest son of RJ said he never understood why this jealous, drunken, raging Talmadge was allowed to be placed beside the family’s beautiful Lilly. We tried to follow the family trail. Gail moved Atlanta. We found no information on Franklin. Edward committed suicide at nineteen years of age. One wanders what could have been done to prevent this calamity. Was the law too slack? Did cronyism play into why Talmadge was never punished. Why did my beautiful Aunt Lilly’s pleas for help go un-noticed? Why were the ears of the law deaf to her cries for help? Why didn’t neighbors intervene?
    Today, Silent Ministries is just a small beginner advocacy of a ministry. My husband, Jimmy, was a victim of abuse, emotionally and physically. I have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects and death that cruel tempers, mixed with alcohol, and mean–tempered men bring to their wives and children.As ministers we have encountered so much blood, so many bruises, and the disgusting smell of cowardice on those who beat helpless women and children. In my mind I see the gallows as the only real remedy for these cowards. Their victims should be allowed to puncture their hanging bodies with pitch forks and breathe the joyous relief from knowing that they can go home tonight and not be afraid. But in my heart I know that these men, these cowards, these mindless excuses of a holy creation need God. I believe that with all of the therapy that is available and with all the accumulated jail sentences, there is no long-term answer for an abuser but God and a good beating out behind the wood shed.

  33. Jim:

    Quick note, I deleted your last name from the posting to keep in lines with the community guidelines.

    That is an incredible story that you have shared. Thank you for sharing that story with us.

    Domestic violence in the rural communities is, indeed, a hot topic as well. As many shelters and domestic violence programs as they do have across the United States (and globally as well), there is a definite need for more domestic violence and shelters everywhere. As an advocate, I’ve had times to do some really creative thinking when working with victims that are 200 or more miles away from the nearest program.

    More funding is needed to reach the rural communities, but your story definitely hits upon the definite problems with domestic violence being in rural communities. After all, one of the things that abusers do to further alienate their victim is to move them further and further out into the rural communities to make sure that they are isolated from all forms of communication — ie, internet services, television, radio, etc. Now, on the flip side, not all people who move out to the rural areas have abusive partners; however, abusive partners do tend to take advantage of the rural areas.

    Of course, we cannot advocate any violence even if it is started with violence; however, we do understand your sentiments shared in wanting to ensure that the domestic violence abuser is justly punished through the courts of law.

    Thank you for sharing the story with us. I’m sure that it will resonnate with others that are located in the rural communities as well.

    Hotline Advocate_kk

  34. i am usa citizen of usa living in united states since 1984, recently i married overseas spouse my from my home country. its shame to say she is from my born country india. i applied her green card on august 6, 2010, she and her son came in usa on july 6th, 2010, we had green card interview on november10th card came in mail november 2010. with hin 11 hours she made false allegation about domastic violation agaianst me; i won the case on januvary 20th 2011 in court, my case got dismmiss, i like to make my american people wise please be aware of this immigartion fraud used by foreighn spouses on us citizens, she used our vawa system to gain her residency in united states,she got conditional green card now, i reoprt vawa about she missused there system for gaining residency, my email—lets stop this nonsense against misused our vawa system.i belive in vawa system and my support is hundred percent with them regarding domastic violense, iam also father of 12 years old daughter so i understand where women stands for in this country, but iam against thoes women who missused our vawa system for there own benifit——-guide me aand give me suggetion on this matter—–truely sunil

  35. I am a victim of domestic violence. I have tried restraining orders and they dont work because by the time the cops get there he is gone. He is rammed my car with me in it. I had to remove the restraining order because i was not able to sleep during the whole time because he would stalk me at night and during the day. Right now he thinks that i am cheating on him because i have been refusing to have sex with him. At work i even have to pick up the phones during meeting because he thinks i am cheating. I know my family has tried to help and beg to have me stay away from him but I am to much of a coward to face my fears. I have three kids and my grandmother that lives with me. I am also the full time worker and the main provider in my home. What do i do, pick up and leave with three kids and an elderly woman. I feel stupid everytime i go and put another order on him and then remove it because of how fearful i am. He hasnt laid a hand on me in over 5 years but the verbal abuse and constant threats are driving me crazy. I cant turn to my family anymore.

  36. It sounds like you are in a really difficult situation. It’s not uncommon for an abuser to escalate the abuse and threats once a restraining order has been issued. It sounds like in your case, the restraining order has not been helpful because the police have been unable to enforce it. This person has managed to continue to have emotional control over you, even while you’ve been trying to end the relationship. It’s not uncommon for this to happen. He knows what makes you fearful and he knows how to get to you. You are not doing anything wrong by wanting to end the relationship. You have the right to make that decision, and for you and your children to feel safe at home. You can always call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are competely anonymous and confidential. An advocate would be able to help you safety plan around what is going on and talk to you about options that you might have. There also might be local resources that would be available to help.

    Thank you for reaching out
    NDVH Advocate

  37. Sunil,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. To maintain confidentiality on this blog and staying within our community guidelines, we have removed some identifying information from your post.

    The Violence Against Women Act was enacted in order to provide protection under the law for underserved communities experiencing domestic violence or other crimes, including immigrant and Native American women. Over the years, the passage of VAWA has impacted legislation on both the state and local level, and led to over 660 laws created to combat domestic violence and other crimes.

    I understand why you would feel frustrated about the false accusations that your former partner made against you. It sounds like at a time when you were expecting to start you life together, she had other plans. Sharing your story will hopefully shed some light on how the system works for some and not for others.

    NDVH Advocate

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