National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Why Doesn’t She Just Leave?

By Lisa Moss

Why doesnt she leave PicHi. My name is Lisa, and I am a survivor of domestic violence. I am so grateful I could change my life, and I want to help others do the same.

I kept a journal from the last years of my marriage and had it published as Why Doesn’t She Just Leave? The title is a question I’ve heard countless times, and you probably have too. It implies that it couldn’t be that bad, or we’d just leave. My journal shows the truth through real experiences, in my own words, and will help people understand why victims don’t just leave.

I also hope that victims will read it, see themselves in me, and realize that they too can get out and change their lives. Readers will see what it’s like to be treated so cruelly that you just about give up. Why don’t we just leave? Because we’re afraid of the perpetrator’s cruelty, violence, and punishments, and because we feel defeated.

You’ll probably see a lot of yourself in my diary. Why don’t we just leave? It’s because our batterers are cruel and will punish us and our kids, and because we’re afraid. They’ve made us feel helpless and worthless, and we believe them. I used to believe what he told me: that everything was my fault, that I was disgusting and nobody would ever want me, that I would lose my children and become penniless if I left him, that I was stupid and crazy and pathetic and worse. But he was wrong!

For those women who are still living with your abuser, start thinking “Liar!” every time he insults or blames you. The truth is that you deserve a better life! If I could change my life and transform myself from victim to victor, you can, too!

I hope you’ll feel free to check out excerpts from the book as well as reader reviews. And if you know either a victim who needs encouragement, someone who judges victims, or someone who doesn’t understand why victims don’t just leave, please consider letting them know about the book.

It’s been a slow victory and years later I still suffer from the after-effects of 13 years in hell, but it’s getting better and better all the time.

Please let me know what you think and feel as you read Why Doesn’t She Just Leave? I hope that my book will make you feel that if I, a woman probably very much like you, could get away from my abuser and change my life, you can too.

I wish every survivor and victim the wonderful life you deserve!

About the author: Lisa Moss is the author of Why Doesn’t She Just Leave (IUniverse, 2001, $24.95) You can purchase a copy of the book here.

117 replies
  1. Donna says:

    It is so easy to say why doesn’t she just leave. There are a lot of feelings involved.I know this because I was there and I did that. It took me at least ten times to leave and stay gone.I went through a lot of feelings of guilt and shame when I and my children were being abused. It has been thirty years for me. My daughter is going through an abusive relationship now. I just want to be there for her and her children. She has a dog that is like a child to her. I am afraid that she is staying in the relationship because she thinks that she can’t save her dog. I lost pets because of the relationship that I was in and it is very hard on the emotions, it’s like leaving a child behind to deal with the abuse.I want to bring my daughter and her children and her dog here to live with me.To help her gain self esteem, and confidence.

  2. HotlineAdmin_RE says:

    You are right, there are alot of feelings involved for someone who is going through a domestic violence relationship. It isn’t as easy as just leaving. There can be alot of safety concerns, and reasons why a person wouldn’t be able to just pick up and go. If you are looking for support services for your daughter while she’s going through this situation, you are welcome to call the Hotline @ 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and can provide her with local referrals for domestic violence service providers. We could also safety plan with her about how to safely get out, while not having to leave her pet behind. There are resources available for finding pets safe shelter. The Humane Society has a listing of shelter programs that have paired up with their services to offer safe shelter for pets.
    You are welcome to call us at anytime. We are completely anonymous and confidential.

    Hotline Advocate_RE

  3. Lisa says:

    Hi Donna.
    Congratulations on having gotten out 30 years ago. That took a lot of strength. Good for you!
    I know what you mean about your daughter, because my daughter has been affected too.
    Have you let your daughter know that you’re there for her whenever she needs you and that you’ll do whatever you can to help her?
    Would you want to buy her a copy of my book ( ) so that she can see how similar my feelings are to hers, and that she can follow my example and get out too? I am just an ordinary woman and she will see that, if I could get out and make my life better, so can she!
    Good luck, Donna, and thank you very much for commenting on my post.

  4. Lost says:

    After ten years of verbal turned to physical abuse I was able to leave safely. It got to the point I just didn’t care to live & I told just kill me & get it over with, I left several times, but when he sent people after my family I came back. I tired to get help, but in a small ruarl town there was none. I was going to nursing school & tried to explain the problem to them & they just could not believe that no one would do anything, nor why he would continue to ruin my life. All I heard was just leave, I tried to explain but they just cut me off & didn’t want to hear it. I had no one not even my family. You see, in order to protect them I had to stay away, or he would go send people after them. It’s been four years of being safe from him, but I still look over my shoulders, never go in the same direction twice, & his words still haunt me. He will find my family & take them so I can never see them again. My daughter(she is from my 1st marriage, the 2nd marriage is the abuser) & her children are safe, they have moved. They want me to come live with them, but I know he still having me followed. I finally was able to grad from nursing school, I want to work in a hospital but am afraid to apply, for fear he wuld try something. I still hear his words that he will kill me if I work as a nurse or make sure I don’t work, so I am doing independent contract work. He still tries to mess with my fiances, even though I have gone thru great links to have double wrod pass protection on my accounts, and it takes for ever to straighten them out. I still slep with all the lights on, & check the doors three or four times to make sure they are locked. I don’t have friends for fear he will go after them like he did before, I could not live with the thought of others getting hurt because of me. I just want to go be with my family & hold them, I have missed so much of their lives, it hurts but I know they are safe & happy. We talk everyday on the phone, the grand kids & there mom understand why I cann’t come. We all know that he would hurt them, it’s the only way he knows that would cause me pain. Still hanging in there can wait until I can hod them agin.

    • Lisa says:

      I feel so upset reading about what you’ve gone through and still are going through. You must be one strong, determined, amazing woman to have managed what you have so far!
      What does law enforcement or Domestic Violence counselors tell you? Can you change your name? Change your look? Move to another state? Get out of the system in a way that he can’t find you? Have your family come to you instead of you going to them?
      I am sick at the thought of creeps like him roaming the earth.

      Best of luck. I wish I could do more for you.

      • Sally says:

        I have been through it myself and set myself free almost 3 years ago. You can change your social security number and your name. Talk to your local social security office. Good luck to you!

  5. marie says:

    In regard to the post by “Lost”. I have a question. Isn’t issuing threats and stalking someone illegal? She is essentially being terrorized and her rights are being taken away by this man. I am stunned that nothing legal can be done to stop him.

    I really do understand this thread. I lived it myself many years ago. It was not as easy as simply walking away. I had many threats made to me and I did feel defeated and worthless. At that time I certainly had NO support whatsoever even from my own family. Also those were pre-Internet days. He was very good at manipulating people to believe everything was my fault. Plus, I now understand that my parents had raised me in a way that totally primed me to be a victim of such an abuser.

    Things have changed where I used to live and there are now laws in place to protect women who received threats. There is a very different general attitude and mentality coming from police as well. However, the present situation is far from ideal. When all men understand that our society has zero tolerance of domestic violence, including issuing real threats and stalking, our work will be done.

    • unlucky says:

      Wow people don’t realy understand how BAD things get do they? I am in a abusive relationship have been for years! It’s realy hard to get out as i am a home maker (now i know why) so i have to depend on him. Any way my comment is not about me but my cousin. She was also in a abusive relationship! She was getting help an was leaving her abusier!! Their was horriable threats an the police were called, Only to say ” sorry we cant do anything untill he puts his hands on you!!” well he didn’t put his hands on her, he shot her in the head an then turned the gun on himself so for the ones whom say just leave, call the cops. What about the laws? we as abused woman have NO rights!! Untill it’s often to late!!!!

  6. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    Thank you for commenting on Lisa’s posting. It is true that, oftentimes, leaving a domestic violent situation has lasting effects. We are often asked on the hotline, why do some abusers move on to other victims and some just don’t seem to let go of the victim. The best answer I can come up to that is to remember that we aren’t dealing with logical folks; the abusers are very illogical in their motivations. After all, if they were logical, we could find complete rhyme and reason in their madness and come up with a solution for ending domestic violence once and for all forever. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

    Sorry to hear that you are still having residual effects? Was the leaving fairly recently? Do you have a domestic violence counselor you are seeing presently? If you need a good domestic violence counselor referral, please contact the hotline at your earliest convenience at 1-800-799-7233. There is an advocate available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

    Here’s to the day that comes when you can feel that you can safely be reunited with your family and may you feel comfort and happiness in your healing journey, in the meantime.

    Hotline Advocate_kk

  7. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    Yes, issuing threats and stalking someone is VERY illegal. Unfortunately, cases in the court systems are backed up and the police have a hard time in catching a lot of stalkers in the act. Sometimes, it is hard to prove up with evident support demonstrating that one is actually being stalked and not appear as being a paranoid individual to police, if there are no text messages, facebook (or other social site) comments, letters, etc. to physically demonstrate that a person is stalking them. We hear about this a lot on the hotline. When this happens, we do recommend that the person keep a journal of the happenings in order to “prove up” and “establish” a pattern of behavior of the stalker person upon the stalked. While many journal for healing purposes; however, if the journal is kept as an intended log, it can be very beneficial in the court system.

    While the laws are constantly changing to be more proactive for the victim, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

    Hotline Advocate_kk

    • Denise says:

      I live in New York State and have been threatened with physical violence by my husband . Is this a arrestable offense? He did it in front of one of my four kids.

  8. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    Unfortunately, changing one’s name isn’t as simple as it had been in the past. One of the many complaints that we hear about on the hotline is that, even if someone goes to all the hoops to change one’s own name, the courts and/or the news publications are often posting the name changes to the public, which then, in turn, defeats the whole reasoning and safety factor behind changing one’s name. As a result, it isn’t something that we necessarily recommend for someone to do.

    There are often some better safety strategies to pull into play. One of them being the address confidentiality programs that is established with most Attorney General’s offices throughout the States. For an update of whether or not there is one such program in your particular state of interest, I recommend for whoever is reading this to contact the hotline advocate at 1-800-799-7233 for the contact information available for that state, as well as other possible safety strategies.

    Hotline Advocate_kk

  9. Terrified and alone says:

    I need some help or advice from anyone!!! My boyfriend just keeps beating me over and over and over again. I have no safe place to go or call because he is always around and he always monitors my calls and doesn’t let me keep a penny of my own money. I no longer reside in my home state where I could call family or friends. His best friend is my boss and condones everything he does because he does it to his wife as well. I’m afraid if I stand up against him his friend will fire me and I will be homeless with no where to go. I’m afraid to go anywhere for help because I don’t have any kids and afraid they will just tell me that I can just leave when its not that easy. I try to sneak and save money so I can buy a plane ticket home but he keeps my only identification I have away from me. I strongly feel that if I stay here he will eventually kill me like he threatens to do. I am so lost and absolutely terrified for my life. Please someone, anyone help me figure out what else I can do because I have ran out of ideas.

    • Lisa says:

      Call the hotline 1-800-799-7233. Do it!
      There are shelters all over for women in your situation. You’ve taken the first step by leaving your post here. Take the second step and call. Please! And then, let us know, because I’m worried about you, and disgusted with your ‘boy-enemy’.

      • Terrified and alone says:

        I just left my abusive boyfriend 3 days ago unexpectedly and unplanned. I have no clothes, no money, or even my identification. I have called the hotline and they gave me information to shelters and I have called them as well. So far, I have not found a shelter because they are full. They keep telling me to call but I don’t have access to a phone throughout the day. I am more terrified than ever that he will find me. The idea of not having a roof over my head or anyway of protecting myself is making me think that I should return but i know that would be the wrong choice. Please help….

        • Terrified and alone says:

          This is the most worthless hotline on the face of the earth!!!! I have called and called and called asking, pleading, and begging for some help and have not provided nor directed me to any help what so ever. I am stranded with no money, no help, and every possibility that my abuser will find me and do the unthinkable. I listened to this stupid site thinking I would have help and support to get away and now I am just as worse off as I was with him. I would never be in this situation if I hadn’t listened to this stupid site. There is no help or support from anyone because anybody who isn’t living with domestic violence doesn’t understand anything that we are going through. There are no open availabilities for shelters and if I don’t have any kids then i’m not good enough to recieve funding just to get a damn plane ticket home. 1200 miles away is my chance of survival and I can’t even get there. I am lost for words and have given up every bit hope that I thought I had left. I hate the NDVH….you were the opposite of help and just as much as the nightmare I have been living……..

        • Sally says:

          I do understand and my heart goes out to you. Wish I could help you. Have you tried asking any churches for help? I know it’s a long shot but you might try or even go to a police station and explain your situation. Maybe they would know of a local church or agency that could help you. Dont give up!

        • Lisa Moss says:

          Go to a church or synagogue or police department or YMCA or even a hospital. If the clergy won’t help you, go to a church service and tell your story to women there. Someone will feel the way I do and help you.

          I can only imagine how you must feel, and I want you to stay free and safe. Be careful of anyone approaching you on the street. There are all kinds of people out there. Don’t go back to him because he may kill you or tie you up or torture you.

          To the hotline: What’s going on, hotline people??

          Please keep posting, Terrified. If I lived near you, I’d let you stay in my house. There are people who care.

        • Mikisha Hooper says:

          We at the Hotline share your concern and would love to be able to further assist. As you see below, I provided my direct contact information and would love the opportunity to further assist this reader.

          Thank you,
          Mikisha Hooper
          Operations Manager

        • Lisa says:

          Hi again Terrified.
          Did you call or email Mikisha Hooper Operations Manager: or 800-525-1978?
          Tomorrow is Sunday. Go to any church and don’t leave until somebody helps you.
          Please keep us posted. You could be me, or my sister, or daughter, and I want you to get help.

  10. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    Please call the hotline as soon as possible. You may need to leave first whenever it is the safest moment to do so. There are many shelters to go to all over the United States. Priority is to get you to somewhere safe, preferably within your own state initially, if you have children too. Our advocates are there 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and will be glad to work with you to help find you a safe place to go to.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  11. Help says:

    I need help getting out of an abusive relationship, I just searched about 5 different websites including this one and I need help. I didnt realize there are so many people in the same situation and i have tried and tried to get out of it but i just cant. i dont know what to do! is there anyone i can contact or talk to about this? i need help asap.

  12. HotlineAdmin_do says:

    I would encourage you to please call The Hotline as soon as possible. Advocates are available 24/7 to talk to you and help you find a safe place to go. Please call us at 1-800-799-7233.

  13. Lisa says:

    There are a lot of victims of abuse. Call that hotline number 1-800-799-7233 and they’ll tell you what to do.
    Good for you for reaching out for help! Please let us know how it’s going with follow-up posts. Good luck!

  14. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

    I’m so sorry that you feel this way.

    There are over 3000 shelters in our database throughout the United States and some of its territories. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find shelters in some communities. However, if you expand your search, to a 50, 75, or even sometimes a 100 mile radius, there can be more options can generally be found.

    If you did choose to travel far, let’s say 1200 miles away, there are traveler aid options available in some states. If you ask our advocates when you call, they can certainly look up that information for you. Because accusations of kidnapping can be an issue when traveling with children, we certainly wouldn’t encourage the majority of our callers to leave the state. Usually there are many options available within your initial state.

    Other options can included — (in no particular order)

    1. Domestic violence shelters that offer hotel vouchers to give you shelter for a few days until they have an anticipated opening.
    2. Homeless shelters can also offer a temporary solution until an opening is opened in your area that you a looking for domestic violence shelter.
    3. Church organizations, such as Catholic Charities, often offer some options for shelters for domestic violence victims.

    Sorry to hear that you didn’t find the help you need when you called us. Our advocates are very cognizant of the helplessness feelings and more because they may have had, in addition to our extensive trainings, firsthand experiences as a domestic violence survivor and/or have had to personally bear witness to another friend and/or family
    member that has gone through extenuating domestic violence situations. We do understand that each and every situation is completely different.

    Please give us a call again. We will work with you to find you a solution. Advocates are here at the hotline around the clock — 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

  15. hotlineadmin_MH says:

    I am very disappointed to hear that you did not receive the help you are needing when you reached out to our Hotline. I know it must have taken a lot of trust and courage to reach out and share your story, and I’m sorry that we weren’t able to provide you with the help that you need. While we have no control over the availability of services and no ability to guarantee that our callers will receive shelter and other services, it is our mission to offer every caller every bit of information, resource, and support that we know of. Please know that I am available to follow up with you about your concerns about the level of service that you received or if you would like more support in exploring resources and options.

    Mikisha Hooper
    Operations Manager

  16. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

    Ohhhh, Sally. Thank you. We do too!

    Thank you for encouraging Terrified as well. Anyone that has ever gone through domestic violence can really attest to the need for the listening ears and support through this stage, especially, after leaving an abuser. It is a frightening and lonely period of time, finding the appropriate resources, finding your footing on the ground after being in an abusive relationship for sooooo very long, etc.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  17. Tami says:

    It takes a woman 7 times to leave the abuser before the victim leaves for good. When you are in an abusive relationship, the victim is been beaten down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Each time she/he leaves, it is building up her self confidence up. She is actually building her courage up, a little at a time. I know, I am a survivor. My book, “Walk in Peace.” is about some of the things that I had to overcome. I have devoted my website to helping others. I have a four part series on Domestic Violence and also 2 scenarios’ for Teen Dating Violence Awareness. I speak at engagements as well. I only pray that the people that need help, seek it. I was in my relationship for 14 years.

  18. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    We certainly do hope that folks reach out for help. It is our hope that, through this blog and other outreach that we do, that we are also connecting to others who haven’t called into the hotline yet and giving them hope that they too can get help, especially if their scenarios are resonating with others.

    Thank you for sharing information about your book and resource. One can never really have too many resources when contemplating leaving an abusive relationship.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  19. HotlineAdmin_RE says:

    Because we are a National hotline, we are unable to provide legal advice for any one state. If you are concerned for your safety, you always have the right to contact the police. It would be up to the local officials if they would be able to take any kind of action. Either way, it might be helpful to start documenting this, and any other threatening statements that your husband makes towards you. These could be helpful if you need to obtain an order of protection in the future. You are always welcome to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline could talk to you about options, get you connected with local resources, and safety plan about what’s going on in your sitaution.

    Hotline Advocate_RE

  20. matycat says:

    Can anyone advise me?? I am desperate. Like so many similar stories I can relate to, I have finally reached the end of my rope—-the last straw was actually hearing the cry in my two teenagers voices–they got caught one night getting drunk—(found out later how often, and that drugs were a part of the picture) but that night, hearing them blame me and their dad for it all….and as much as I can sit and from a parent’s perspective feel, “you two are trying to take the focus off of your wrongdoings”….I also knew there was so much truth to what they said. Regardless of their acts that night…they were absolutely right….the fighting was sickening.

    We actually have 7 kids..and my oldest has already moved out. I never dreamed how bad this relationship was affecting my kids …common sense says kids deserved parents that loved each other, were on the same page, etc…but–I didn’t realize that they themselves were being abused–in the form of manipulation. When I learned of that—I cried so much…moreso because all this time I thought I was doing right by them to stick it out..because churches would say, “it’s better for the kids the parents stay together!” I learned too late…yes, in an ideal of 2 people having faults that need to be worked on…not when one is an abuser in which it will not end. My oldest seemed to go unscathed…yet now I have learned..all kids suffer in their own way–hers is in silence.

    Although in the course of my 18yrs marriage, I have had all forms of abuse…because in the last “year” or so…there is no physical or sexual…I am getting NO help!!! I can’t file for any financial aid from the state of Oregon because “he lives here”…..because the courts are forcing us to, because we both own the home. I have shown evidence of his abuse (and no, we have not gone to trial yet)…but I am being told we have to sell the home–I have no job, I am told, “go get one”….I went to college 16yrs ago–yet no real work history to speak of…we still have a 3yr old not in school so childcare is an issue–yet even when summer comes, MORE childcare will be needed. And it all comes down to “no restraint because no physical or sexual.” I have so much evidence of emotional, verbal, financial….but from all I have run into—it’s meaningless.

    And, my teenagers–because they have been repeatedly manipulated and brainwashed by their dad…here, I will quote my 15yr old son, “you’re right dad, she is a bitch!” When I told him to turn in his phone for breaking rules…..are “choosing” to live with dad…that is what they plan on telling the parental evaluater we are gettting because…as he threatened for years, “leave me, and I will get custody of the kids!”

    Can ANYONE tell me that they have had success in suing their abusers from the emotional damage they caused?? That they WON custody because they had SOME proof of abuse??? I seem to be getting no hope at all.

    I asked an attorney’s office today about suing him (a tort)…for his abuse…and they said, “it’s not enough evidence…and no physical or sexual.” I reminded them that the domestic violence programs THAT THE GOVERNMENT provides…specificially educates people on ALL forms of abuse…so why aren’t they there to protect us when it happens????

    • Casey says:

      I can totally relate to your situation I have been married for 29 years i considered myself I a bright person until I met this bum I had 2 children from a previous relationship he also had 2 children from his previous relationship when he first moved in whet me he payed no rent bought no food bought his kids over and basically was never there at the time I was working as a computer operator for a retail store he had no car so he used my car at first there was physical abuse that I put a end to because I did call the police and did file charges. but the verbal abuse never ended and goes on today which I now have had my fill of. in the beginning I opened up a joint account and he would take the money out from the beginning its always has been about him. anything I take a joy in he criticizes until I would finally give it up after we were married he insisted I quit my job which I did then he was laid off a year later . he constantly accuses me me of every male past and present, I was stupid which I hear every daily my kids are grown now but I have had enough he is now losing his house and of course this is my fault because now I’m not working and he wants me to leave which I would truly like to do do but I’m not working and have nowhere to go. If i had only left years ago love is not everything especially when your have verbal abuse

    • Lisa says:

      Hi matycat.
      I know what you mean. I had no idea how badly my kids were being affected either. But it’s not too late to show them that you can and will take care of yourself and them.
      Don’t think about suing him, just think about getting him the heck out of your life and your kids’ lives as soon as possible. See a lawyer about divorce, and if you don’t like what one tells you, see others. The first consultation is free.

  21. HotlineAdmin_RE says:

    It sounds like you are in a difficult situation. You’ve finally reached your breaking point, and yet when you’ve reached out for help, you haven’t been able to find any. Many people dealing with emotional abuse face the same problem, with getting the courts or law enforcement to take their situation seriously. No matter what lawyers are telling you, you deserve support. Alot of times in situations where children grow up in an abusive home, they can become your secondary abusers, which is what sounds like has happened with your teenagers. It is not your fault that this is happening. You are always welcome to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline could talk to you about options, get you connected with local domestic violence support services, and safety plan about what’s going on in your sitaution. If you have a safe computer to do some research on, you could try or for assistance finding legal services for the custody case. It sounds like you have been doing the best that you can trying to find help, and if nothing else, our Hotline is always available for support.

    Hotline Advocate RE

  22. Terrified and alone says:

    I apologize for my rude comment about this site. I know that it is not this site’s responsibility to find me safety after I have left my abuser. It was a very scary place for me at that time. I did receive some help and my family was contacted and got me a bus ticket home. I am now back at home safe with my family!!! We are taking every step necessary to help me get better and protect my family from my abuser. Although I am away from my abuser I feel the emotional pain and abuse everyday and its soo hard to cope with. I would like to try some counseling but I don’t have any source of income to pay for it, any advice? Lisa, thank you so much for your constant contact and encouragement! I wish I could find some other word than thank you but that’s all I really have. I’m extremely grateful from the bottom of my heart!

    • unlucky says:

      I am so HAPPY for you that someone got you some help!!! as it is a very scary feeling an you do feel alone also you feel like you are the bad person. But you are NOT!!! Glad you are hom e with family an reciving all the love that you truley deserve!!!!!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Terrified…. No, I’m changing your name to scared but not terrified any more! :)
      I am sooo relieved! Thank you for taking the time to let us know that you’re okay. I was worrying about you and feeling so helpless!
      When I first got out, I remember the feeling like chains were being removed from around my neck.
      I got therapy through United Way. There are places where they’ll help for no pay. You are obviously strong and very resourceful, and I think you’ll do just great. If you want to contact me directly, there’s an email link on my website
      I am so proud of you and so happy for you!

    • Sally says:

      Terrified,I had been checking back to this site only in hopes to hear that you had safely made it home! I am so very happy to hear that you did and I am happy to hear you are on the path to controlling your own life. I accidently stumbled onto ths site doing research on DV for a speech I am working on in college,the stories however reminded me of my own expeience with DV. I left my exhusband 3 years ago and it was hell!! After many many years of emotional,verbal andd physical abuse I truly understand what you are feeling.My heart sank when I read your desperation and I wish there was something I could do for you. It sounds like there is a long distance between you and your abuser which is GREAT and that you have family that loves you. Remember that what doesn’t kill us,only makes us stronger and you will gain strength and wisdom from your experience! Good luck to you,only YOU can control your life now!

  23. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

    Thank you for updating us about your situation. You’ve been in our thoughts and we’ve all been hoping that everything is working out for the best for you.

    We understand that it is a very, very scary time, combined with a rush of emotions and thoughts trying to figure the next move. When you are in that situation, the world can never seem to keep up with the faster pace that you are seeming to go through at the time.

    As for counseling, please call The Hotline. The advocates can match you up with a domestic violence program in your area that can provide support groups, counseling for you (and the children), legal advocacy, and other means of support. These are all offered at no charge to you in your local domestic violence program. We’re encouraged that you want to try counseling ‹it can be an important step in the healing process, and we want you to find the support you deserve.

    You may also want to ask the advocate at The Hotline about the address confidentiality program, as well as the Crime Victim Compensation programs which can help you get on your feet as well as help to provide another buffer of safety.

    We are thankful to hear back from you and relieved that you are safe. That is the most important thing in the world. Everything else will come in due time.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  24. unlucky says:

    WOW people sure don’t understand do they?? As i read these coments it makes me sick!! As i live in a abusive relationship physical & mental an for people 2 say just leave. Wish it was that easy!!
    My cousin was in an abusive relationship also with a child. She had decided to leave, well the threats started, she had her own appartment a job ect. The cops were called about the threats an of corse nothing was done!! They gave a protection order (a peice of paper) an said we are sorry but their is nothing we can do unless he puts his hands on you!! Well he didnt put his hands on her he stuck a shot gun to her head & pulled the trigger an then turned the gun on himself. Well now i guess she had something to tell them but the sad part is that she died due to the gun shot to the head! So for those whom say why don’t you just leave? why don’t you just call the police? These r the reasons!!! Just to name 1 of many!!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      that is exactly what im afraid of… i dont want to get killed for leaving…cops wont do shyt unless he hits me…he has made it to where i dont know any of his friends (if he has any) so to run even to another part of the city he can find me. he know everything about my life yet he dont want to share even childhood memories.

  25. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

    Unfortunately, Unlucky, at the hotline, we hear so many different horrible events and cases where the police hinge on the physical factor before they do anything and many horrendous scenarios. Our job at the hotline has been to do some strategy with the caller with some ideas for safety, as well as some steps that they can do in order to prepare to leave wherever possible. and provide them a number of resources to utilize in a dire situation, and try to help them to rebuild their own self confidence in the ability to do some things for themselves and give them hope. We rely on the caller to be able to best assess the immediate danger that they are in since they are there in the situation, not us. Once they make the decision that they must leave, we can put into play any number of resources and help them find some shelter; unfortunately, that shelter may not be in their immediate area, depending on the availability of the shelter spaces at times. So many shelters need funding to expand or there needs more funding for building shelters in more rural areas as well.

    It is true, indeed, that many folks (especially friends, family and/or the general public) don’t understand why the victim just doesn’t leave. There are so many reasons that keep them there — fear from threats if they do leave, financial dependency, the belief that they are not smart enough to survive and/or able to find a job on their own to support themselves (sometimes due to the abuser keeping them from getting the proper education and/or have the ability to drive any where), they are so alienated and isolated that they are unaware of the free resources available to them, the belief that leaving with children can be impossible to leave (many abusers keep the victim purposefully “barefoot and pregnant” so that it will make it harder for the victim to leave), etc. among so many other reasons. We hear it all at the hotline all the reasons that they do stay. We try to shed light on some possible flaws in their beliefs instilled into them so that they can see that there are really many options available to them.

    Thanks be to all the folks who are, obviously, concerned enough to help. Everyone is amazing – especially when they come together to help others.

    We try to reach out to as many people in as many extensions throughout various forms of media and products as we can, but we also rely on the help from the general public to help pass the word to those folks who do need some help wherever possible, especially those isolated from the world around them. We also need folks like you, Unlucky, to speak out to the legislators and others to help make them understand the gravity of the situation which keeps a victim staying in the relationship so that they can better understand why so many more resources need to be available throughout to make it easier and easier for victims to leave when they finally do choose to leave.

    Thank you for illustrating, Unlucky, some of those situations of how bad that they can get.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  26. Lisa says:

    Hi unlucky.
    It is pretty sickening, isn’t it.
    I have a fantasy of a nationwide education campaign kind of like they did about smoking years back, to make people aware of how many abuse victims there are all around them, what the signs of abuse are, how to help, and to maybe have celebrities encourage people to call the police and report it, instead of looking away. And the laws need to be changed so that we don’t have to wait for a perpetrator to murder his victim for something to be done!

  27. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    Thank you for your supportive comment. Just wanted to add though, that there are places you can go to, if you are ready to leave as well. The domestic violence shelters are designed for a short stay (usually 30-45 days) in order to get you on your feet and empower you to move forward in your life, and at no charge to you. The verbal abuse is always a fore-front for more physical attributes of domestic violence, and the scars run much deeper and take much longer to heal. These domestic violence programs offer, too, support groups and counseling services that you could go to as well, even if you chose not to go to stay at the shelter itself; and, again at no charge to you.

    It’s never really too late to leave an abusive relationship.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk
    24 hrs a day, 7 days a week

  28. DazedandConfused says:

    I hope you will not leave me any email messages (email is required to post) because all of my correspondences, email, phone, Facebook, etc. are monitored; I will have serious reprecussions if I get caught.

    I am so confused about my marriage. My husband can be the most unbelievably loving person, and so attentive and he has so many good qualities. No one outside of our home would ever believe he is mean; everyone loves him. He is like this amazing “golden boy” that astonishes everyone with amazing athleticism, funny personality, etc. Even me too. BUT, then there is this other side, that only I see…

    My husband is so unbelievably jealous and insecure; I have never even heard of anything like this. I can be walking down the street and just looking in the direction of a car with a man (could be any age from 16 – 90 years old) and I will get accused of knowing him, he’s an old boyfriend, or I was flirting. Most times, I don;t even see this “man,” I was looking at something else. Also, because I have been married before and made the mistake of honestly saying at the beginning of our relationship (before we were married and when he was ALWAYS nice) that I had had a few boyfriends in my teen/college years, I am now almost daily called a whore or some variation thereof. I have beaten, spit on, degraded and humiliated. Still, I love that guy that the rest of the world sees and who, at least 50-60 percent of the time is the person I live with. There is a really great person there. But it is like living with a split personality. The good guy is really really good. The bad guy is really really bad — horribly abusive.

    It is so weird. I am educated (graduate school level) and was very successful before I married my husband. I was also trained and worked as a Guardian Ad Litem (Child Advocate), so I have abuse recognition education. And yet, here I am smack dab in the middle of it. I didn’t even see it coming.

    My husband was an angel the first six months of our marriage, and then one day, he thought a man sent an inappropriate email to me, and everything changed. In my opinion, the email was not that bad, definitely not a deal-breaker, just some guy e-flirting and I did not flirt back, just kind of blew it off. Now for 2 years since, I have lived with almost constant daily abuse. I want to say it’s getting better because it is mostly verbal, and less physical now, but that just sounds stupid. I am completely controlled, am not allowed to talk to friends, I am not allowed to work, all emails are monitored, I am not allowed to spend too much time even at my own parents home. I am forced to sell my business which I owned for 4 years prior to knowing my husband, which has supported our family (did I mention the marriage came with a 4 year old step-son, who I adore), and which I am now not allowed to ever go to becuase it is associated with my “past.” Oh, and I have had my passport burned and any photos or items that were from a time before I knew my husband. I was actually beaten with the wedding album from my prior marriage when he found it in my parent’s house one time. He snuck it out, brought it to our house, asked me “WHAT IS THIS?” shoved it in my face and proceeded to hit me with it. But that is not the worst beating, not by far.

    So, here is the crazy part. I don’t want to leave. I just want it to stop, I want the nice person who I married. I NEVER (I swear) saw this bad person before we were married. I never suspected it would be like this. I just want the nice person who I love. That person owns my heart; and I feel like I would literally die of a broken heart if I had to think of living my life without him or breaking up our family. I love my son so much, but in reality I am the step-mom. I have tears pouring down as I write this. I am so confused. I hope someone out there will tell me that maybe this is just a phase, and we can overcome this. I know I will not get a divorce. I would rather just die.

  29. Jennifer says:

    i think im in an abusive relationship. we are currently being investigated by aministration for childrens services. which the only thing i can show is a dirty urine for weed which i never smoked in my home and i never left my kids alone to do it. my spouse questions how long i take to go shop or get food. any trips out of the house with the kids are frowned upon. conversations in public with anyone is a no no cuz i may say anything and he just want me silent. i dont want to stay here but i dont want to be stalked and killed. it feels easier to stay. and i know if i go im gonna be stalked. he has threatened to kill everyone. a few times he did that and even once in front of my friends. this man never hit me that may be one reason i feel i stay cause im not considering it abuse. but it feel like he hit me everytime he walks in the door i have to be on eggshells when i talk to anyone he jealous of who im textn he dont want me talking to anyone. i want to leave him. im scared to leave him. he at work right now im home with my kids. i feel like if i dont leave they will take my kids for staying. but if i leave IDK what HE will do…

  30. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

    Dazed and Confused:

    First of all, please rest assured that your email is secure and would never email you without permission.

    We can certainly understand about your not wanting to leave and wanting to salvage your marriage, if it could ever be restored to its original point where it was really seemingly a good marriage. The pivotal point in deciding whether or not to leave has to hinge on whether or not it is safe for you to stay — either physically or emotionally. It may mean that you need to plan to leave temporarily until things can be restored through counseling and a healing journey type of process to ensure your safety in the interim.

    There are counseling options available for both you and him (separately of course so that separate issues can be focused upon), if that is the step that you wish to take. You can certainly feel free to contact the hotline for more details about the counseling options and creating some safety boundaries for you and him.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk
    24 hrs a day, 7 days a week

    • DazedandConfused says:

      Thanks. I was reluctant to return back to this site because I thought the advive would be “Just leave that guy now!” I am glad to see there is some wisdom and compassion in your organization that understands that sometimes running away is not the solution (but I know we all need to think of our safety). I do feel physically safe at the moment; and as far as emotionally, I think I am ok, but not 100%. My husband has sworn and vowed to get better and I hope he does. My challenge now that he has backed down is to not let my contempt and resentment overflow into our conversation and start this whole cycle back over. I am grateful for the level-headed advice you are providing on this blog, and altough the future is uncertain, your advice has given me strength. Thanks again.

  31. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    I’ve retracted the name of the city for your protection and keeping in lines with the guidelines of the community.

    If you go to the GET EDUCATED tab of the NDVH website, you will see that many of the identifiers that you mentioned are indeed flags of being abused. Choosing to leave can indeed be a difficult decision to make. You will only know when it is safe to leave; no one else can safely make that judgement call for you.

    If you can contact the hotline, we can go over some safety and planning strategies for you to have while you are still in the same household. Once you choose to leave there are many resources (safe houses, crime victims compensation, relocation assistance programs, address confidentiality programs, and more) to help you be safe while you move forward in your life.

    Choosing to leave is always a difficult decision. We can help you brainstorm and weigh things out. Thank you for sharing your story.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk
    24 hrs a day, 7 days a week

  32. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

    Dazed and Confused:

    You are quite welcome, and please know that we are here for whenever you need to brainstorm for safety strategies, etc. Thank you. too, for the compliment of our organization as well. That certainly means a lot to us.

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  33. HotlineAdmin_KL says:

    Dear Sally,

    Thank you for the support you are giving another person on the blog. I bet it is helpful for other members to hear about your situation, and to learn from your experience. If you would like more information for your speech, feel free to give our hotline a call at 1-800-799-7233. Our advocates would be happy to help you find additional research about domestic violence.
    Take care,
    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kl

    • Sally says:

      It is no problem at all. I know there was a time in my life,while trapped in an abusive relationship,that I myself had never felt so alone. I am now a 40 year old college student and I am leaning toward a degree in Human Services. I want to help women who are going through what I myself have been through. What education requirements are there in becoming a hotline advocate? I am just curious.

  34. NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


    The educational requirements vary – some may have social worker degrees or criminal justice degrees, or varying other degrees. Many have had personal experiences, directly or indirectly, and we all go through regular inservice trainings to keep on top of various issues that may come up, in addition to our initial training that we go through when we all begin working at the hotline.

    When there is a job posting available with us, a job description and posting will be listed on this site –

    NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  35. Julie says:

    I took my three children and left my abusive husband 35 years ago. The fear of that day is still fresh in my mind. He had assaulted me the night before, then, in the morning, he got up and went to play golf. I knew, finally, that morning that I had to take the children away. I loaded them up in the car, with the dog and cat, and we fled town. I was so nervous I could hardly find my way out of our city. It was pouring rain which meant his golf game would probably be cancelled. As we drove away I knew we would not be fully safe, but we were successful in getting out of town. At that time there were no shelters, when neighbors or the children called police, the officer always let my husband return to the house. Any woman in an abusive relationship knows your life is threatened when that happens. Many times I had to run, hide, be creative about getting away. Our history was intense and life threatening. Even after the police rescue dme from his kidnapping one night (he took me to a field and said he would kill me, with the children)… I escaped again and pressed charges. The prosecutor withdrew the charges. I was finally successful in reopening them, then going to a jury trial. Even then, it was a hung jury, but, I do believe that fear of being found guilty of felony finally ot through to him. But ‘why doesn’t she just leave?”… there are so many reasons and most of them
    have to do with fearing that he’ll find you and kill you and/or the children.
    Police officers in that city, for the most part,
    were just not helpful until he kidnapped the children one day. After that event, there were a couple of
    officers who would come to secure my house after public assaults, his breaking down the door, etc.
    It was very difficult to get away, but I have been grateful and reaffirmed
    that we finally did get away.
    You need a plan, you need friends, you need to not believe his lies about your incompetency, etc., you
    needlaws and officers on your side, you need a place to go, you need counseling,
    and you need protection.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


      We’ve come a long way indeed from many, many years ago, although at times it can be still just as challenging as it was back then. Thank you for sharing your story of survival. It is a great witness that it can be done.

      You are right, too: “You need a plan, you need friends, you need to not believe his lies about your incompetency, etc., you need laws and officers on your side, you need a place to go, you need counseling, and you need protection.” The Hotline works with callers on these very things on a daily basis, as well as being creative about getting away.

      Kudos for your success in spite of the great odds decades ago!

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  36. Julie says:

    just hoping this will be incentive for others to get out smartly… believe you can do it and do it.

  37. Laura says:

    I was so mad when reading it. The way he treated everyone in the house. The ending left me wondering however… What happened with the children? How are their anger issues? Did he leave her alone? If anyone can answer these please let me know. I would like to know if it all turned out for her. Is there a second book with these answers in it? I hope the best for Lisa and especially for those children!!

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

      Dear Laura:

      I, personally, have not read the entire story that was presented through a blog on here. Whenever we do read anything anywhere (whether it is a small article in the newspaper, a larger article in a magazine spread, or even a book), it always does leave us with many, many questions. What happened? What were the causes? What is the current story of the folks written about? Just like when we are left with clifhangers on a Lifetime show and/or made for theatre movies. We all wish we could hear/see/read more about the story to fill in for the gaps of all the questions we might still have.

      In many situations though, privacy is necessary about after the story is told in order for the people in the book to be able to move forward in as normal an environment after such adversities and traumas that had been crossed to get them to the point where they can move past the situation.

      It is easier to for someone to tell the story so that it can be shared with others; oftentimes, with the intent that it rings a message to others, so that they too don’t have to follow the same journey as was told in the story and they can too survive. It is harder to tell the story after that point in time.

      Judging from the responses generated, it might encourage the author to tell the rest of the story one day, if it isn’t already in the works.

      Thank you for the encouraging commentary that you left on this site after reading the book.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  38. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi Laura,
    You must be a very special person to be so compassionate. Thank you for caring.
    I’ll tell you what happened.
    While I was still with my ex-husband, I was always terrified that he would find my journal. I was very careful what I wrote, so I didn’t dare put in the details about what I was doing: I had gone to a lawyer and told him that I wanted to get out of my marriage but was very afraid. The lawyer contacted a judge requesting that my husband be removed from the house, and he was removed! I was shaking with fear, but almost immediately felt hope for the first time in many years. The feeling was like chains being removed from around my neck. It’s a feeling I remember to this day. My husband sued me for custody saying that I was the abusive one, and it was rough going for a while until I was granted custody and he got visitation. I got an order of protection for myself and my kids, so my husband (who I now call “the ex-” because he was not “my” anything except maybe my torturer) couldn’t bother me because he wanted to keep up a good front for what other people thought of him.
    My son was very little and all the following years I raised him with love and acceptance. He doesn’t seem to have any anger issues, is very gentle and easygoing (and that’s a knock wood!). My daughter was older and had been affected. She was a very angry teenager, and seemed to have taken over her father’s role in the house, while her father never, and I mean never, had her over for visitation, and had a bedroom only for my son. My daughter behaved so cruelly that I actually hated her for years and was almost as afraid of her as I had been of my husband. (Am I going into too many details? Just read what interests you). The whole time I stayed in contact with my counselor from Coalition, the angel I dedicated my book to (Micki), and she offered me advice. As she heard about my daughter’s violence, she encouraged me to call the police, and I finally did. My daughter was mandated to therapy, and it was a turning point, although a very uneven one. It took a long time for my daughter to control her behavior, appreciate me, and see what her father is like. She had a boyfriend who was like her father, and now has a nice boyfriend. I hope that her getting closer to me has helped with that change, and probably also the wonderful man I am now married to helps a lot too.
    There isn’t a second book, and you’re the first reader I told all this to.
    I am currently in therapy and have been keeping a journal of what I’m feeling and learning and how I’m changing bit by bit from feeling worthless and frightened, to not being so afraid any more and learning that I deserve love. I may publish this journal if I feel that my experiences could help others.
    Thanks for asking, Laura, and thanks for caring. Did I answer all your questions? Please feel free to contact me at any time.

  39. susie says:

    Why is it always for the person taking it to leave? Why won’t they leave? I just want to be left alone!!!

    • HotlineAdmin_KL says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      I can hear the frustration in your words. We often talk to callers who ask us this same exact question. “Why won’t they leave?” Sometimes in abusive relationships, the abusive partner will manipulate his or her partner by telling them they are going to leave the relationship. This makes things really complicated for a victim. No wonder a victim often asks themselves, “why won’t they leave?” Our hotline advocates are here to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233. We are confidential and anonymous.

      Take care,

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

      Susie: For us at the hotline, it isn’t always just about getting a victim to leave because we understand that leaving can oftentimes be the most volatile time to leave, and – just sometimes – it is safer to stay and safety plan rather than to leave. We understand, too, that there are many reasons to stay (aside from the possible volatility in leaving). We feel that it is better to do some safety planning so that one can make sure that they are safe, or as safe can be, while they do remain in the relationship.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  40. A Friend says:

    I am the very close friend of a girl who is in an abusive marriage. I am probably too close. yet miles away. I am the only one who knows and or believes what is happening to her. I am scared for her safety and need to help her without making things worse.

  41. A Friend says:

    The “alleged abuser” , who at this point must pride himself on inflicting his damage leaving few physical markings, is aware of her reaching out to me and is punishing her more, I’m sure. I have not lost contact with her yet, but she is taking more and more chances to talk to me. He takes her phone from her, even her landline, and she is so scared. I need to help her make a safety plan. I will be calling the hotline. She knows in her heart that I am there for her. She needs to hear and see these others stories and know there are other people who know her pain and have defeated their captors and taken their lives back. Help me to help her.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      It sounds like your friend is in a really abusive and controlling relationship. It must be very difficult for you to hear about the awful things she’s being put through. Is it possible for her to make some of these calls from a safer phone? A pay as you go cell phone might be an option. Especially if she is able to pay for it with cash. Also, any research that she might be doing to get out of the situation should be done from a different computer than her home one if she has one. Our number is toll-free and available 24/7. She can call this Hotline at any time, and an advocate could talk with her about how to safely leave, if that is what she is wanting to do. She is lucky to have your support. For more information on how to support a friend in a DV situation, you can refer to, in the ‘Get Educated’ tab.

      Thank you for reaching out.


  42. Lisa Moss says:

    hi susie.
    i know what you mean. itll probably have to be you wholl leave. and u can do it, but probably with help and encouragement from a womens group or domestic violence counselor. you sure deserve a better life, dont you? call the hotline and see what they have to say.

    • HotlineAdmin_KL says:

      Dear Lisa,
      Thank you so much for enouraging Susie to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer calls. We are confidential and anonymous, and our phone number is 1-800-799-7233.

      Thanks again for reaching out to another community member.


  43. Sunshine says:

    you are absoulutley correct, I have been abused and sought help from the law and the so called agencys, which has been laughable. I found that I was left tp protect myself, I went and bougt pepper spray for my key ring, and a taser and began taking shooting lessons at the range to protect my self.
    A restraining order will not prevent abuser from coming after you, and I think that is where we as woman gain that false sense of security.

    It has been 7 years since I left the relationship and he came to ,y home to attack me and my boyfriend, but boy he got a suprise, buit it still leavrs one traumatized from this ugly ordeal.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


      It does seem that you are indeed speaking from personal experience. We certainly don’t advocate learning how to shoot just to know how to shoot, but learning how to protect yourself can look like many different ways — learning some ways to be more observant, adopting a buddy system, taking defense classes, carrying keys in your hand if by yourself, etc. — however, it is certainly good to learn how to be able to defend yourself if caught in a precarious situation.

      Of course, as you mention, the protective/restraining order can be viewed as merely as a piece of paper, but the difference is that, for example, if the abuser is seen driving into your residence or business parking lot or sitting at the curb of your property, you don’t have to wait until they are trying to bash in your door or window to call the police, etc.

      You are certainly right though insofar as not taking lightly “if they say that they are going to kill you”; they very oftentimes do mean it.

      To answer your questions about DV support groups, most of the dv programs throughout the United States do offer support groups. Whether you would like one, or if someone you might now, might need to look into one, call (or have them call) us at 1-800-799-7233 and we can certainly look up in our database to verify that the program in the area indicates that they do have support groups. Many offer, in addition, one-on-one counseling, legal advocacy, and many other services to enable one to get on their feet and empower them to move forward in their lives (with no monetary concerns).

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  44. Sunshine says:

    get out don’t stay , if they say they are going to kill you they mean it, and you dont need a Id to ride greyhound.

  45. So afraid says:

    Does physical abuse escalate? Married 30 years to a very very scary man… He has such rage issues and hurts my dogs. Most the time he is okay and then out of no where he is in full rage. Today he body slammed my sweet dog to the ground for not sitting and staying. I ran over to re-direct his rage to me and it worked but i just can’t do this any more. I can’t just leave, I have 3 dogs and a mentally disabled adult son. I don’t know what to do.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

      So afraid:

      In short, yes – physical abuse can and does escalate; in fact, the entire stages of domestic violence can also increase in frequency as they increase in intensity.

      Insofar as the animals, you need not feel that you need to leave them behind. There are many programs that either directly work with you on that and/or have connections with pet havens until you can find a new place to transition towards. There are, too, many programs that have capabilities of handling various disabilities as well.

      While it might seem like an absolute impossiblity for you to leave, there actually might be some options available to you so that you don’t have to feel hemmed into this particular situation and you can have the opportunity to leave, should you want to do so. Please call us at 1-800-799-7233 to discusss this further with an advocate 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  46. Lisa Moss says:

    I am truly happy to help. It means so much to me to see that a victim is getting hope, help, and encouragement in escaping from abuse. I always think that that was me, and could be my friend, sister, or daughter.

  47. Lisa Moss says:

    hi Sunshine,
    You sound very strong. Good for you!
    There are support groups for dv, depending on where you live. I was in one, and it helped a LOT. I found out about it by calling my local Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  48. Emily says:

    I can relate to the title of this book – and I plan on buying it & reading it. After I placed a child for adoption, I fell into a deep depression where I cared very little for myself or my own happiness. I married a man I barely knew. It’s just heart breaking that it all could’ve been avoided if I’d taken the time to get to know him first. I found out after we married that he’s physically, mentally, verbally, and emotionally abusive. He was married twice before me. He lost custody of his first child from his first marriage because his first wife was abusive and he did nothing to stop it. The longer I stayed with him, the more of a monster he became. But it was too late. I was stuck with him, in my mind. His abusive only deepened my depression and I was left feeling numb. I cared about nothing but my daughter. But apparently, didn’t even care enough about her to leave him and protect her from witnessing the worst way you can treat a person.

    I finally left after we had a child together. Granted, I learned about the child from his 1st marriage AFTER I’d already delivered. But it didn’t matter. Our daughter is my saving grace. She gave me the courage to finally leave. During the first 3 months of her life, her dad & I were constantly at war with eachother and I feared for my life on a regular basis. She would cry almost constantly. The doctors thought it was colic, it was so bad. The moment I left the abuse, the moment I tried to better my own life and started giving a damn about myself, she became happy. It was like something changed in her. I’m glad now that I left. It’s been a bittersweet struggle through the divorce. It’s still not finalized, but I know it will be soon. He has decided to relinquish his rights to her, and move on with his life, whatever that may hold for him. I have a full time job, a beautiful apartment, and after years of hurt – found love again. This time, with a man I can trust to both be faithful and to never hurt me. That’s not to say that I still don’t have wounds. I still suffer from PTSD, and have my bouts of crying at random moments. But the important thing is that I’m getting better each day. I finally care enough about myself to CARE for myself. I’ve come to a good place, and my daughters are better for it and I’M better for it. I can’t wait to read this book, maybe it will give me some closure and release the guilt that to this day, I feel for not leaving sooner.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


      Love a few statements that you made:

      1. “The longer I stayed with him, the more of a monster he became. But it was too late. I was stuck with him, in my mind.” I’m so glad you clarified that, it was too late, in your mind. Victims often do feel that there was no way out of an unhealthy relationship; however, it is clear that you were able to muster that strength and find a way out away from the “monster” towards a life with love, care, and freedoms that you didn’t have before.

      2. “The moment I left the abuse, the moment I tried to better my own life and started giving a damn about myself, she became happy. It was like something changed in her.” It is amazing how children are so very instinctive and intuitive at what is going on in their lives, although they are not old enough to really define what emotion(s) they may be feeling. On the flip side, too, it is amazing how resilient children are in bouncing back and living out healthy relationship lives — especially, the younger they are. Sorry to hear that the biological father has relinguished his parental rights to her; however, what is important is the relationship she will develop with her step (adoptive?) father who will help her to a male role model in her life. That is a very beautiful thing.

      3. You also mention about still suffering from PTSDs. There will be, of course, continuing moments when something that occurs that we have to relearn some coping strategies in order to be able to continue on our mission in moving forward. The key to mastering those coping strategies is to be sure that you get some one-on-one counseling. This will help immensely. If you haven’t already been set up with a dv counselor to help walk you through that leg of the journey, please feel free to call us and an advocate can refer you to some with those who are understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and what sort of coping strategies need to be developed.

      We do hope that you will enjoy the book. Just remember, a large part of of being able to move forward in our lives is to accept the past as being the past and working on strategies to keep us moving forward in our lives.

      Sounds like you are making great progress and strides in that direction! Thank you for sharing.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  49. Lisa Moss says:

    Dear So afraid,
    PLEASE CALL the dv hotline or your local dv hotline, and let them help you develop a plan for how you will get out. Lots of us were able to, and you can too! It may take some time, but it is so worth it.
    Please make that call as soon as you safely can. And please keep us posted.
    I am on your side. And I think you deserve a life free from fear.

  50. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi Emily,
    Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing it. I am so happy for you that things are working out for you bit by bit.
    I also felt that my child was my saving grace. He was my second, and, when I saw my husband repeating all the same patterns with the second as he had with the first, I started thinking about getting out. I also felt trapped and helpless as my children watched, and experienced, their father’s abuse for far too long.
    My divorce took 4 years, as he accused me of abuse and sued me for custody, and other scare tactics. When your divorce is finalized, I hope it makes you feel a new kind of freedom and pride in yourself.
    Please don’t feel guilty about not having been able to get out earlier. You abviously care very much about your daughter but you were helpless and paralyzed emotionally. It’s one of the things that abusers do best to their victims.
    I hope you’ll find that my book gives you closure. Please let meknow.
    Wishing you all the luck in the world,

  51. jennifer says:

    im going through the same things you did and i really want to get out but like you said is very hard especially when he knows your every move. he knows where i live, where my school is at, everything, he threatens to kill me or himself, he says nobody would ever want me because i dont give him oral sex, he forces me to give oral sex and the reason why i dont give it to him is because he is dirty and he has a smell down there and i tell him all the time about that but he doesnt seem to care because he still forces me then he says nobody would ever want me, he takes money from me and my kids because i have twin boys from a dead beat father hes not in my kids life and my twins have a speech delayed problem and they get SSI disability for it and he be asking me to take money from them for himself because he doesnt work or go to school, he is a lazy bum all he do is smoke weed all day and play video games at home, he is not serious about life, and he trys to hold me back from bettering my life, holds me from going to school, i have no friends because of him cause he dont want me going no where only to his house and all we do in his house is have sex, and he askes me for money then he sends me back home, and he says he loves me?? i cannot deal with this anymore, he is not respectful to me, he has a temper problem and im so bored cause we dont do nothing, and i want to get out but like i said he threatens my life and his, i dont know what to do but i do know that i dont want to be with him, and most of all, he is not even there for my sons, and he says he loves me, im tired of this, i need help or even someone to talk to about this, im all by myself in this

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It sounds like you are in a really difficult situation. He has no right to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. You don’t deserve to be treated like that. I am concerned about your safety if you are trying to leave this situation. It sounds like in the past when you have tried to end the relationship, he has threatened to harm you. Trying to leave an abuser can be one of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship. There are things that you can do to stay safe. You might be able to get a protective order or even go to a domestic violence safe house. You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and everything is always anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline can talk to you about ways to stay safe, and also refer you to local domestic violence programs for additional support. You deserve to feel safe in your home, and to have a safe place for you and your boys.


  52. Lisa Moss says:

    hi jennifer.
    so much of what you wrote is familiar to a lot of us who’ve gone through it. There is help and you are NOT alone, even though you feel like it right now. It’s just a question of getting help in a safe way.
    Start by calling the hotline and see what they suggest. I also think, if you can do it safely, that you should go talk to a good lawyer – it’s free for most first consultations, and then the husband can be the one that the court orders to pay if you don’t have the money so don’t let that worry you. When I read what you wrote, I thought, oh, so he smokes weed? That’s illegal and maybe you can get him a record based on that. But then I thought, it’s better for a lawyer to advise you what to do.
    The fact that you reached out to this blog means you know in your heart that you have to do something. Your first big step!
    Keep going, and let us know how it goes. Everybody here is on your side.
    I’m thinking about you, sending good thoughts your way. Good luck!

  53. K says:

    It’s time to stop blaming the victims. The responsibility always falls on the victims and there is no reason for it. Keep writing! I hope that one day this message will be known. In the meantime, thank you!!

  54. sandra says:

    so i am writing because i am in a horrible relationship right now. i am another victim of domestic violence. My husband started maltreating me since the beginning of our marriage. we got married in december of 08. i was 18 at that time. i actually was not ready to get married, but i was being abused by my own parents. they would beat me, insult me, and treat me like their maid. i had to clean everything, cook for them, and even give them my entire work check. they said that they were the adults and i was to do everything they said. i was too afraid of them so i always listen to them to avoid getting hit. i lived with my parents like this until the day i got married. i thought that by getting married everything would change. i mean i had the best boyfriend ever. he helped me cope when i was in pain. he listen to me when i needed someone to talk to. he would hug me when i needed a hug. he would make me laugh and feel secure. i was actually able to stand up to my parents. thanks to him i was able to say to my parents, i had, had enough, and i was going to go and have a better life. so i got married thinking all my problems were solved. i was finally going to go to sleep without tears on my eyes, but little did i know i was mistaking. about two weeks after our wedding, my husband started treating me bad. first it was just verbal abuse, but then it turned into physical. and it has being like that till today. in fact he just beat me right before writing this. he actually left, and he said he is not coming back ever again, but i have a feeling that what he said is not true. i have wanted to leave him for the longest, but i thought i could fix our relationship. now i have lost complete hope that our relationship has any cure. i dont get why there are days he is the nicest, and most adorable person ever. like today we woke up sooo happy, he said we were going to go out to dinner and then the movies, but out of the nowhere he got completely mad and started screaming at me and then he went to the beating. he actually had not hurt me in a couple of months, so i dont understand why he did it again. i want to leave him but i have no one to run too. if i go back to my parents, i am afraid their going to beat me again. i would move out and get a place for myself but i dont work so how would i maintain myself. ive been looking for a job so i can leave him but have not been fortunate to find one. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO LOVE ME THE MOST WERE THE ONES THAT TREATED ME THE WORST. both my parents and my husband. i actually dont remember ever being happy for a long period of time. one time i was the happiest woman in the life was the day of my wedding, and now i wish that day had never happened. i actually wish i was never born. i have tried to commit suicide various of times, but i have failed in all. the reason i dont try it again is because i have a baby brother who i adore and live for. i dont want for him to go through what i went through. i dont want my parents to treat him the way they treated me. i need some advice, i dont know what to do anymore. i feel hopeless.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


      Thank you for sharing your story. The feeling of hopelessness is certainly a feeling that we hear oftentimes from callers involved in a domestic violence situations.

      If you were to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, they could work with you to get into many programs that are at no charge to you, which may include shelter, counseling, support groups, legal advocacy, etc. Advocates are always on call 24 hrs a day. We would suggest that you call at your earliest convenience.

      You deserve someone who can treat you right and respect you. You deserve to be happy.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  55. worried ex says:

    I wasn’t personally a victim of domestic violence, but my soon to be ex was, and I believe still is. To make a long story short, I was deployed to Iraq (I’m in the military) and my wife cheated on me with a 19 year old. And for 4 years she has been abused by this person. Everything from getting hit with chairs to even at one time choking her while she was pregnant. He was arrested 4 times for assault and domestic violence, and received 4 years in prison. Before he went to prison, my then-wife told that she was pregnant by him, in which, was all I could take. I couldn’t stay married to anyone pregnant with someone else’s baby. But now he’s out of prison, and out of all of this, she took him back and even accepted his proposal at one time. My concerns are for not only my kids, but her as well. I do have a restraining order in the divorce decree, but its void in the even if they get married. Is there anything else that I could do, because once an abuser puts their hands on their spouse, they’ll will do it again!

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

      Worried Ex:

      It is understandable that you are concerned about your ex who has been in an abusive relationship while you were in Iraq. Unfortunately, what we know about domestic violence is (among many things) —

      1. Domestic violence generally increases in intensity, as well as frequency.

      2. Domestic violence starts out generally with (1) verbal emotional abuse, progressing to (2) throwing of objects and hitting of walls, to (3) pushing and shoving a person, to (4) actually hitting the person, to (5, the most lethal stage) of choking/strangling the person.

      3. Change of the abuser wholly depends on their true deep seeded desire to change. Oftentimes, they don’t change because they don’t see themselves as the problem and place the blame on the victim. A lot of times, they convince the victim of all the things they know that the victim wants to hear (they’re going to change, they are going to go to counseling, etc), but those are merely words to “win” the victim back to ensure that they are able to have power and control over them, and then (once the honeymoon is over) they return to their old behaviors. Change can happen, but if they aren’t accountable for their own actions and having that deep seeded desire to change, it is unlikely to truly occur.

      We would suggest that you, when you do talk to your ex, you might suggest to her to contact us. She may not talk freely to you because she might fear that you plan to take the kids away from her and/or she may not know that there are resources that cost nothing for her, however, if she could merely contact us so that we can best work with her to modify the resources available to best fit her situation. We can be reached at 1-800-799-7233 (24 hrs a day, 7 days a week).

      Do remind her of your concerns and be supportive of her and her decisions. When a victim is in a domestic violence situations they feel (due largely to the negativity produced by the abuser, and lack of self confidence) oftentimes unsure of their abilities to make her own decisions. Allowing her the ability to make decisions, will allow her to find some inner strength in the end.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  56. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi Sandra,
    It’s not you, it’s them (your parents and husband), and YOU CAN GET OUT.
    I felt so sad reading what you wrote. Your husband is like a textbook description of an abuser. Please stop taking it out on yourself.
    It’s time for you to focus on yourself and make a plan to get away and change your life. I already did it, so I can tell you that you can totally change your life so you can start fresh and make a great future for yourself. YOU CAN DO IT! And you don’t need money or a job to get help.
    Starting today, be your own best friend and cheerleader. Imagine what you’d say to your best friend if they told you their husband was treating them the way your husband treats you. You’d probably say how mad it gets you, and that they have to get away. But how?
    Well, start by calling the hotline. If possible, join a group of women like yourself who are also being abused, and ask the counselor about places where you can get free job training, or whatever help you need.
    You deserve happiness, and you can get it!
    I feel a connection to you. It matters to me that you are getting help, so please keep us posted, or you can email me through my website that has a link to my email.
    Call the hotline for help as soon as you safely can. I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS.

  57. Lisa Moss says:

    Dear worried ex,
    You must be a very caring person to want to help your ex. She probably feels very confused, lonely, and scared at times.
    I want to see what the hotline advises you, but my thoughts are: Would it help to call the police and see what they advise? Speak to your in-laws? Let your ex- wife know that, no matter what, you still care about her and her happiness?

  58. worried ex says:

    Lisa and NDVH Advocate,
    I do care about my ex, because she has the responsibiltiy to care for my children. I want to ensure that she is given the best conditions to do so. I just doesn’t seem right (morally or logically) to get engaged to the person that help ruin your marriage and abused you while doing it. Regardless if you have a child between each other or not. I wouldn’t want my child to be fathered by someone who has committed domestic violence, even if it was myself that did it! I would find it very hard to say that she and the children are in a secure environment. I am currently trying to have my lawyers envoke a protection statute in our divorce decree barring his presence around my children (I cannot bar his presence around her, but for the safety of the children I believe I can do so).
    My in laws are very aware of the situation, but very few are aware of the abuse she has taken. And that ones that do are, unfortunately, turning a blind eye to it. I can’t call the police, because the attacks occurred in the past (to my knowledge 2009).
    I’ve tried to talk to her numerous times about it and she makes the same excuses time after time, defending him (“I “made” him do it” “He was mad” etc). But I will try and talk to her one more time. Thank you.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:

      Worried ex:

      That is exactly what many victims do. They start blaming themselves…or start believing what their abusers are telling them (that, if the victim hadn’t provoked him somehow, he wouldn’t have had to do the things that he did). The abusers will even stick to the story, like super glue, even if they go to counseling, which is oh so wrong because it is a huge red flag that they are likely never to change since they are not able to hold themselves accountable for their own actions. If they can’t hold themselves accountable, they don’t feel that they are the problem, and any counseling, BIPP program, treatments will just ebb and flow in their ears — and, in the end, nothing is ever changed.

      The victim has a hard time of seeing that with all the demands and beliefs that the abuser is embedding in them.

      What we find helpful, rather than forcing her into something that she doesn’t want (which, in the end, comes off sounding no different from the abusers own demands), is finding a way to empower her, give her strength, by building up her self-confidence and self-worth. Send a friend of hers or one of your sisters (if you have sisters) to take her out on a girls’ pampering day to get a manicure or pedicure done. Provide her with a vote of confidence when you talk to her. It’s always nice to know, when you are a victim, to know that some of the people you have trusted in the past, still believe in you.

      I know you mean well with the order of protection being inserted in the divorce papers to protect the children, and of course as a father you should look out for the children as well, but would suggest that you give her the chance to find the strength and utilize that as a last resort effort.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk

  59. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi worried ex,
    I understand. I think it’s a great idea for you to take steps to protect your children. It may also be a wake-up call to your ex-wife, because many abused women can make changes for the sake of their children that they unfortunately can’t make for ‘only’ their own sake.
    It sounds like your poor ex-wife is emotionally very beaten down and believes that she deserves abuse . Most women who have been abused used to feel that way before they got help and got away from their abuser. I know it probably sounds unbelievable to you, especially when she makes excuses for him, but it’s just because of her mistaken feelings and beliefs about herself and the abuser.
    Would your in-laws care enough to reach out to their daughter and try to help her emotionally and maybe financially, try to get her to go for help? Maybe it’s worth telling them the entire truth.
    You sound like a really good father, and caring person.
    Thanks for keeping us posted.

  60. concerned says:

    I am contacting you because I need some help for a family member. She is 22 years old and in an abusive relationship for about 4 years now. I was in the same situation years ago & eventually got out & thanks to House of Ruth helping me at court, I was able to get a restraining order and things got better.
    I received a call today from another cousin (the sister of the abused one), she was scared and didn’t know who to turn to. Her sister’s boyfriend (the abuser) had come to a “club” they were at and hit them both, and her sister has put up with it for years but this time he went further and hit both. I called their father and told him about it. But as I talked to other cousins I realize the situation its deeper and more complicated. This abuse as I stated has gone on for 4 years, my abused cousin hides the abuse, denies it & makes excuses or even changes the story to make it seem like the abuse is not happening. I want to help her, but I realize I may not be able to do much.
    I need to know what would be recommended, should House of Ruth or maybe NDVH get involved and help her so that she stops allowing the abuse, or maybe guide me in the right direction to get her help. I am afraid of what may happen, one of the family members getting in trouble for trying to help her or going after him. Or even him taking retaliation now that he knows we are against him.

    • NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk says:


      NDVH, and likely the House of Ruth, isn’t necessarily an intervention tool. We don’t step in (via calling them and/or going to their home) and convince people to leave. We rely on the victim to call us so that we can modify the resources out there in accordance what her needs are.

      Your family member’s/cousin’s situation does sounds quite dire and something that is within our realm of guidance. Within our database we have an array of resources available to her – support groups, counseling, legal advocacy,etc at little to no charge to her. We would encourage you and other family members and/or friends of hers to encourage her to call us at her earliest convenience so that we can best meet her needs where she is at the moment.

      When working with her, as you referred to, we would suggest being careful in making him feel that you are totally against him. This may give him the idea to alienate your family member further from the family and possible move both of themselves out of your reach, which would make it more difficult to empower her. At the same time, too, be careful to not sound too demanding because she may be getting a lot of that from her boyfriend and it may just push her further away from you if she is getting demands from all directions. We don’t want to appear to come across as demanding or more than he already is.

      Because you have already experienced and lived through a domestic violence situation, she may be more receptive to hear about how you were able to find the strength to leave. Let her know that there is help out there, if she wants to leave. We all just need to hear from her. Think of yourself as an advocate talking to her about options rather than demanding that she must do this or that.

      We look forward to hear from her. Please feel free to call us as well, if you might have any other questions or concerns.

      NDVH Hotline Advocate_kk
      1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
      24 hrs a day, 7 days a week

  61. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi concerned,
    She is so lucky to have people who care about her.
    I agree that you could start by getting her alone and telling her that you love her and are concerned about her. Remind her that you were mistreated by a man in the past and were able to get help. Don’t worry if she denies everything, that’s one of the things a lot of abused women do before they are able to get help. No matter what she says, tell her that you care and want to be there for her, and she should please feel free to call you any time. Just hearing that may make her think, even if only in the back of her mind, gee, it must be bad or people wouldn’t be mentioning it, and, wow, somebody really cares. When a person feels like there’s no way out, and that may be how she feels, it means a lot to know that there are people who care.
    You might also put your post on other domestic violence related websites and blogs and see what others advise. There has to be more that can be done. Please let me know what others say, so I’ll be able to advise people in your position, which is unfortunately far too common.
    Maybe contact a lawyer who specializes in domestic violence cases and divorces, and see what they have to say.
    Keep asking around and you’ll find a good way of dealing with it.
    Please keep us posted.

  62. Hurt Friend says:

    I don’t feel that anyone on here understands what it is like to be friends with a victim. My best friend married an evil man. He has beaten her black and blue. Be threatens her. I have heard him scream at her. She says she loves him and will never leave. I don’t understand why. He abuses her for having any contact with me. I feel guilty therefore, if I contact her. We used to have so much fun. I feel sad and alone. I’m angry with her because I feel all she cares about is this loser. She doesn’t think how it makes me feel to have a best friend I can no longer talk to – or how wrong it is to make me responsible for his actions. I feel like she’s addicted to this guy and all that matters is him. She doesn’t care about herself or the people who genuinely love her. I don’t know what to do. I feel so lost. I haven’t done anything to deserve this. It would be different, if she didn’t want to be my friend anymore. That I could understand & move on, but when I asked her she started to cry & said she wanted us to be friends, but we couldn’t talk anymore. I offered to do anything to help her leave, but she said she didn’t want to; she loved him. I feel I’m being punished for nothing & she doesn’t understand or care how I feel. How would she like to be me? I don’t know what to do.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Hurt Friend,
      You sound like you’ve been an amazingly supportive friend to her while she’s been in this abusive relationship. To stick by someone in that situation can be really difficult and I understand your frustration and hurt. Oftentimes, for someone who is with an abusive partner, their partner makes it hard to maintain friendships, and even relationships with family members. He may have made her feel like all of their relationship issues would be fixed if she just didn’t talk to you anymore, or that everyone else is meddling in their business.

      What we know about abusive relationships is that often, this kind of control and isolation can lead a victim to not communicate with family members or friends, in order to avoid a fight with their partner. You are doing nothing wrong by trying to support her and stick by her side. It sounds like for her, maintaining this relationship has become her focus, at the cost of not being able to maintain other friendships as well. She may be feeling like this is her fault or that she can fix him. Taking care of yourself and focusing on your well-being is an important part of learning to support someone in this kind of abusive relationship. There is a good book that has more information about how to support a family member or friend going through domestic violence. It’s called, “Helping Her Get Free” and it’s by Susan Brewster. You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are completely anonymous and confidential and are available 24/7. We can talk more with you about ways to safely support your friend.


  63. Been There says:

    I’ve been divorced from my abuser for 12 years. I had a loaded gun pulled on me and threatened to be killed. I finally got out. Our son was 7 at the time. The inevitable happened. His father always told me he’d have me proven unfit. My son hasn’t spoken to me for 7 months because I finally stood up and took my ex to court for back child support. According to my son, I’ve done the worst thing in the world to his father. My son is 20 and we’ve always been close. All of a sudden I’m an unfit mother. Does anybody have any advice on how to keep going without going insane? For 21 years, I’ve dealt with this man and can NOT get away from him. He was emotionally, psychologically and physically abusive and the police had been to our house. I left with an order of protection and divorce papers the same day. Please help me!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Been There,
      You’ve been through alot trying to get away from your abusive-ex. It took alot of strength to leave that situation, and it must have taken alot more to have dealt with this person in the years following the divorce. It’s not uncommon for an abusive ex partner to continue to be controlling financially, and emotionally, even when the relationship has ended. I’m sorry to hear that it has harmed your relationship with your adult son. What kind of support do you have at this point? You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and an advocate could talk with you about how to access local services for counseling support, if you feel like it’d be helpful. Taking care of yourself can be an integral part of the process. Thank you for reaching out.


  64. Lisa Moss says:

    Dear Hurt Friend,
    Thank you for caring so much about your friend. I can only imagine how it must feel for you. I’m very interested to hear what the hotline representative tells you, because I’m not sure what to do.
    As a former victim, I can tell you that your friend is beaten down emotionally, doesn’t know what love is and is terrified of what this ‘man’ will do to her. It may look to you like she’s only interested in him, but she knows that she better be, or else. She needs you so much, even if it seems like she doesn’t. She’s like a brainwashed, scared child and it sounds like you are her lifeline, her beam of light in a very dark life.
    I’d like you to call the hotline, maybe also a mental health professional who specializes in domestic violence or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, post on other blogs, and get as much information as you can on what to do.
    When I was still with my ex-husband, one of my sisters gave me a book that she had slipped a note into with the local domestic violence phone number. About a year later, I was ready for help and I called.
    I don’t know just how violent your friend’s torturer (not a ‘husband’ in my opinion) is, but I’d say let her know that you’ll never abandon her, and then stay in touch. It would be awful for her if he succeeded at cutting her off from the people who care the most about her, even if she’s not ready and able to stand up for herself yet.
    Tell her that love makes you happy. It doesn’t hurt. Use your love for her as an example. You barely recognize the fun friend you had, and she probably can’t remember being happy or what it even felt like.
    To the Hotline: What can we do for this woman and her friend?

  65. Lisa Moss says:

    Dear Been There,
    Have you been able to go on with your life during the 12 years since your divorce? You must be a strong determined person to have changed your life.
    Your son is probably just at an angry stage in his life. My daughter did something similar. It’ll take some time (it took my daughter several years of hating and blaming me), but he’ll realize the truth one day. And then you’ll be close again and he’ll be super proud of you!
    Can you get into counseling? I think you need reassurance that you’re doing the right thing.
    Thanks for turning to my blog. Please keep us posted.

  66. Natasha says:

    A friend of mine has jts gone through this. The night it happened she called me, I advised her to call the police she did not, the next day only because I took her she went to the police station for a restraining order, she has 2 children under the age of 8. She can go to her sister’s who will welcome her, she has good job and two days later she says he was sad, crying and apologized to me. She was given domestic abuse information, hotlines, has a safe place, but no instead she continues to go back and forth from her sister’s to her house. Before anyone starts my mother was beaten, choked, my father was a maniac most days. We left with the clothes on our backs and NEVER looked back. My mother REFUSED to allow her children to endure another day. I am trying to be a good friend but I am frustrated and angry. I’m sorry if a man hits you he is an animal plain and simple. It’s one thing for you to take it and that’s crazy in my mind but to allow your children to be a witness and I am sorry abusers are cowards so if you act weak they will keep going. i know she is beat down I know I know in my mind it doesn’t make sense to me. You have a restraining order but you go to see him. I don’t get it I’m sorry.

    • HotlineAdmin_KL says:

      It sounds like it has been really frustrating for you to be a friend to your friend that is in a domestic violence relationship. Frustration is a common feeling for friends and family of someone in a domestic violence situation. You are not alone in feeling this way. A lot of times in dv relationships, the abusive partner will put intense fear into their partner which makes them terrified to leave. It is good to hear that your friend has a supportive sister. Sometimes it can be intimidating for someone experiencing dv to stay with a friend or family member because their partner could find out where they are located. Your mom did a very difficult and truly courageous thing when she left your father. I am glad she was able to get you and your siblings to safety. It has to be tough to wonder why your friend hasn’t let taken this step of leaving. I encourage you to continue to support her just like you usually do. If you ever want to talk with us about your friend or about ways you can take care of yourself while supporting her, call us at 1-800-799-7233. We are here 24 hours a day and always confidential and anonymous.
      Take care,

  67. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I’ll bet a lot of my friends and family felt exactly the same way you do back when I was still with my ex-husband. But, I did get out; it just takes time for a woman to see how bad it is and believe that she’ll be okay if she leaves. One of the things that helped me was when a neighbor looked shocked when she saw a black-and-blue I had. I hadn’t realized it was so bad because that was what became ‘normal’ to me. The only thing I felt was relief when he gave me a break.
    Please stick by your friend. Let her know your true feelings. Her thinking is all distorted right now by fear, terror, and feeling helpless. Tell her as many times as it takes that you are there for her, care about her, that she can make it without him no matter what he tells her about being useless and losing her children if she leaves. She is so used to listening to him that she doesn’t realize what a pathetic liar and coward he is.

  68. gina says:

    well i am the mother of my 21yr.old daughter that i no is being abused but she is in denial. she says its not tht bad and he is changing. she has bruises on her all the time and she says my 14mo.old grandaughter plays 2 rough. no i dont think so! she finally admitted tht he has hit her but tht she also hits him. his own family has told me horror stories abt wht he has done to his other girlfriends. he is a known abuser and now i am afraid for my grandaughters safety. i no tht she sees the abuse. she is only 14mos.old and throws her babies on the floor,points and yells at them. it was kinda cute @ first til i realized what was goin on. i try 2 get her as much as possible so i no tht she is safe. she cries when she has 2 leave me. my daughter has no friends anymore because he doesnt allow her 2 be around anyone but his family. i dont know what 2 do. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your daughter is in an abusive relationship. It sounds like her partner has managed to isolate her from friends and family, and she has told you that he has hit her before. It’s not uncommon for a victim of domestic violence to believe that they are being mutually abusive, when she might have had to defend herself from the physical violence she was experiencing. She could be blaming herself, or thinking that it’s her fault, or that she can change him. This can be really frustrating to deal with, especially with your grandaughter being involved. It’s never easy to know that someone you love is being hurt in this way. You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are anonymous and confidential, and are available 24/7 for support. An advocate could talk with you about ways to support your daughter, and local resources for help.


  69. Lisa Moss says:

    Hi Gina,
    How lucky for your daughter and granddaughter that they have you.
    Your poor daughter is in way over her head. She probably forgot what it’s like to live a normal life.
    You are definitely right to be concerned for your little granddaughter. Children in abusive homes very often end up married years later to abusers. I know you don’t want this for that sweet little girl and it’s wonderful that you take the child whenever possible.
    Have you called the hotline here? You could make a list of questions before calling them, things you want to know, questions about what you can do, and what resources are available so you can tell your daughter about the help that’s available. You could also call Child Protective Services. If they find a serious situation in that household, they could be the route towards help for your granddaughter and daughter. It’s good that her ‘husband’ (I’d say ‘torturer’) has a history of bring abusive, so it will be a lot easier to prove that he is again.
    So, go ahead and call the Hotline, and I’d say also call Child Protective Services.
    Please keep us posted. We care.

  70. Jennifer Cieslak says:

    I know that it has been awhile since your comment. I live in Central Louisiana. I have a psychopathic father in law who is friends with the local Tioga/Pineville area cops. He is a football coach. In this area women are hated so bad, that if you look in the local newspaper almost all of the domestic violence arrests are women. Football coaches and police seems to be kind of the “chief batterers” In this area, men are allowed to beat. kill, terrorize women and the only one who is ever arrested is the woman. I was told by my own family that I cannot move out and away from my abuser because we are married. He tells me that I am “his wife” (indicating possession). I responded that it is 2011 not 1943. In this area all women are considered the property of men. I have been arrested, charged with a “mental illness”, had my car run off the road, have surveillance on my car wherever I go. My 6 year old son is told to “hit momma”. The current issue I am facing is a manufactured criminal record to prevent me from finding employment where I cannot be stalked.

  71. gina says:

    thanks 4 advice. will definately call the hotline tomorrow and see what i can do to help. but like i said, she is in denial so i’m not sure i can do anything at all. but i will never give up on her. thanks again, Gina

  72. Mary Lou says:

    My daughter has been beat down emotionally…she has been called names, he punches things and has threatened suicide if she leaves him…as a result she has become a nightmare to live with…she loses her temper very easily….yelling, screaming, disrespectful…after reading about Domestic Abuse I can see why she would feel such anger…her partner has convinced her that “her family” is at fault for his behavior. We do not allow this young man around our house or to attend family functions with us… I have talked with my daughter and explained that his behavior is his own….that it wont get better. She agrees but after several attempts to leave him she is still unwilling to end it…..My husband is at the end of his rope…he just wants her out. I agree that her mood and behavior is unexceptable, but I think just “throwing her to the wolves” is not the answer….she is 22…working part-time while attending college….How do I help?

    • HotlineAdmin_KL says:

      Mary Lou,
      I imagine you must be feeling a lot of frustration and anger surrounding your daughter’s situation. One way abusive partners gain control in a domestic violence relationship is by telling the other partner that the partner’s family and or friends are causing the abusive partner’s behavior, like you expressed in your example. Threatening suicide is another way an abusive partner might try to gain power and control over their partner. It sounds like you are doing a good job education yourself about domestic violence. I know you are concerned about your daughter. You might recommend a book to her called “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft or “Helping Her Get Free” by Susan Brewster. Also, either of you can call our 24 hour confidential and anonymous hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
      Take care,

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