National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Francesca’s Story

* Note from The Hotline: Special thanks to Francesca for bravely sharing her story with us.*

Living with a man like my ex-husband is like having a gun pointed at your head every single day, and you just don’t know when the gun is going to go off.

I am writing to tell my story – of how I have been a victim and survivor of repeated, relentless domestic violence – and to bring the weaknesses in the justice system and the general lack of knowledge in the community about domestic violence to your attention.

I married my ex-husband in October of 2005 thinking that he was a kind, gentle, compassionate, and caring man. Not until I was pregnant with our child did I see his true character. When I was about six months pregnant, he slapped me across my face, leaving me with a black eye and knocking me to the ground. Luckily nothing happened to my baby, but the abuse did not end there. At the time, I was living in Ecuador. I was trapped and scared.

My daughter was born in June of 2007, and we traveled to the U.S. permanently in August of 2007. Once there he did not hold back. Just three weeks after arriving in the U.S., there had already been three calls made to the police on domestic disputes, and he was arrested after battering me while I had our infant daughter in my arms. As I tried to call 9-1-1, he ripped the phone cord out of the wall. He threatened me that if I testified against him that he would kill me, and I believed him.

Rape was a regular occurrence in our home, and I cannot count the number of times I laid in bed crying as he raped me. He also strangled me on a regular basis, slammed my head into the walls of our home, leaving large holes, tortured me sexually, mentally, psychologically, and ruined me financially.

He hit our three your old daughter in the face, leaving a large bruise, then kept her home from day care for several days until the bruise was no longer visible. He put her head through our bathroom wall, which was reported to the Illinois DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services). DCFS decided that he did, in fact, abuse our daughter, but they did not pursue the case any further.

I tried so hard to protect her from him, but every time he would hit her, I would step in, and receive my own beating on her behalf. I did not report it since I was sure he would kill me or kidnap my daughter if I did.

Perhaps one of the worst parts of this whole story is that he almost killed me. Actually, he did kill me, but thankfully doctors were able to revive me. In this particular incident we were involved in a heated discussion because I had to leave Ecuador to return to the U.S. for medical school and my graduate work in biochemistry. He had not obtained a visa to come to the U.S. at that point, and threatened to divorce me if I did not stay with him in Ecuador. He grabbed my wrists, screamed at me, and then threatened me with a screwdriver. I walked home knowing that I would divorce him, and knowing that I had a flight back to the U.S. in about three days. I laid down to take a nap, and did not wake up until four days later.

I was on a ventilator in the hospital, and they informed me that I had undergone cardiac arrest on several occasions. The coma was so profound that I received the lowest rating on the Glasgow coma scale. It is truly a miracle that I survived.

It is my firm belief that my ex-husband poisoned me with scopolamine, a common date rape drug in parts of Latin America. He called my medical school and told them I had tried to kill myself, instead of giving them the true story, which then led to me being expelled from school. He has sabotaged my career, my jobs, did not allow me to have any friends or family in my life, destroyed my home and beat my pets

When I have told my story to friends and family, a few people’s reaction is to ask why I didn’t leave sooner, or they simply don’t believe me at all. It is a shock to me how undereducated the public is on domestic violence.

People do not understand how difficult it is to escape. It is almost impossible to gather evidence, because the abuser will find a way to destroy it. No one on the outside knows what is happening because the abuser has the victim trapped and alone. He cuts her off from all outside interaction, and attempts to control her mind, and in many cases, he is successful.

If a woman does manage to escape, the justice system does little to help or protect her. I have had a domestic violence advocate tell me that there is only a 50/50 chance that someone will get convicted of domestic battery in my county, even in cases where there are bloody pictures, good witnesses, hospital reports, and other evidence. This is why women cannot simply just walk out the door. It is a real life or death risk to leave a man that believes he owns you. You could, and many have, die in the process. 4 out of 5 deaths due to domestic battery occur when a woman tries to leave.

I am asking for your help to educate the public on these issues. Women are beaten every day by their husbands, and it is a misdemeanor. You can get a felony charge for getting in a bar fight, but if you beat your wife, the justice system is sending a message that you will only get a slap on the wrist, if even that.

One of the most difficult problems I think battered women and children face is that the abuser isolates the victim to the point where most of the time there are no eyewitnesses. Because of this, it makes these cases very difficult to prosecute, but even worse, it makes the state’s attorney’s office reluctant to even pursue it because they see it as a waste of money and resources.

Domestic violence is NOT a family matter. It is everyone’s business. It affects us all even if we are not directly abused. Women should be able to speak out against their abusers. They should be able to bring their abusers to justice. The public should be educated about what it means to be battered, and why it is so difficult to escape. With stiffer punishments, and better prevention, many women would be able to leave sooner. PLEASE help me and all women fight for what is fundamentally right.

84 replies
  1. Corbett Toussaint says:

    Fran,
    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to use your intelligent voice as a community advocate.

  2. Kim Cochran says:

    Congratulations for having the courage to get you and your child to safety and thank you for being willing to share your story in hope that it will aid others.

  3. Dawn Ayers says:

    you are a very brave and awesome person! keep fighting for youself and your daughter… continue to speak up and inspiring others who may need to hear that there is hope. <3

  4. Luis Gomez says:

    You are the toughest person I know, have faith that eventually everything will be over and that jerk will get what he deserves.

  5. Mike (miguelito) says:

    Thank you dear friend for bringing your story out as a candle that will surely illuminate others, not only victims but also educators like me, so that we can open our eyes and help change the destiny of many who may undergo domestic violence.

  6. Marlyn says:

    I am a victim myself with a domestic violence. I won’t blame you if it took you a while to end the relationship. I have two children with him. I suffered enough with the battered wife syndrome, this foolish ideas that you could still help him and make him better. At this moment of time, I heard he have another relationship, I bet he got a of control these days over that person. He is very good of hiding himself. He look like a saint but deep inside he behaves like a satan.

    • HotlineAdmin_SS says:

      Hi Marlyn,
      Thank you for sharing part of your story in your post. You are right, abusers almost always continue on their abusive behaviors in their next relationships and they are very good at “hiding” their abusive behaviors to the outside world. Abusers focus on trying to gain power and control over their partners which is very scary. Know that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, at all times. If you would like to talk about your situation you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at any time, 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-7233. We are confidential and anonymous.

      HotlineAdmin_SS

  7. Sheree says:

    im glad you finally got out of that relationship if i were one of your friends or family members i would have told you to listen to T-Kay Walk Away (on itunes) a nice song with a good message that tells women to leave an abusive relationship to avoid fatel tragedy.

  8. che says:

    I can understand how you felt bein in that kind of relationship. I myself am in that situation right now. I have been threatened, verbally, physically, sexually & mentally abused by my husband now and I want to leave him but I fear what he will do to me or our son if i tell anyone especially the authorities. I need a way out.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Che,

      You don’t deserve to be verbally, physically, sexually, or mentally abused. It is common for an abusive partner to threaten to harm the victim and child if they decide to leave. The Hotline advocates can talk to you and help you figure out your options in regards to leaving. You can call 1-800-799-7233 anytime of day or night, 365 days a year.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  9. Francesca says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words! Today we go to court to find out whether visitation will be terminated, suspended, or modified to make them supervised again. Wish my little girl luck – court is going to be rough today.

    CHE – I cannot tell you to leave your husband, because I realize, looking back, that YOU have to be ready to do it, but I hope that you will find the strength to do so.

    I went through the same exact thing – I felt guilty about separating my daughter from her father (which is silly because he was abusing her), I was scared to death he would hurt me if I left, or if I told anyone, or tried to press charges.

    However, I had to keep asking myself this – can I live like this for the rest of my life? How much longer can I stand this? Am I losing who I really am? (I began sleeping with a knife on the couch which was one thing that made me realize, you know what? This is MY house, and 1) I’m sleeping on the couch, and 2) I fear fro my life and sleep with a knife!?) Am I doing more damage to my child by making her witness and experience these things? If I get out early enough will I be able to reverse some of the damage? Or at least stop her from being hurt even further? I don’t know your particular case, but in my case, I was the only one bringing in money, and for awhile I would think to myself – how can I make it without him in the house – but then I finally realized that life would actually be EASIER and CHEAPER if he left because he was just one more mouth to feed. He abused me financially, ran up my credit cards, bought expensive, unnecessary things that we couldn’t afford. I’m finally digging myself out of the financial hole he left me in, but that was something very irrational that I kept thinking.

    I realize that leaving an abuser IS a dangerous time, but do you have a shelter in your area? I stayed at a shelter here for a couple of days until I could get some family to stay with me in my house. I had all the locks changed immediately. I went to the court the day after I kicked him out (it was a Sunday so I couldn’t go the same day) to get an emergency order of protection. The ladies at the shelter were FANTASTIC, and helped me find the strength not to take him back. They will protect you, and will not tel anyone that you are staying there. Your husband will not be able to find you there, and if he does, he will not be allowed on the property – they will call the police and he will be arrested if he does.

    Do you have pets? I was able to put my pets in a pet shelter for 30 days so that I could keep them safe as well. Hopefully, there is a program like that in your area- you could ask at the women’s shelter to see if they can help you with that.

    Your children can stay with you at the shelter. Their school can be named as a safe property on your emergency of protection.

    I would suggest that you try to start gathering any evidence you may have, hide it in a secure place, if possible, and bring that with you when you do decide to go to court.

    If he hurts you, and you call the police, they hopefully would come to the house and arrest him, which would give you enough time to gather your belongings, and your children/pets, any important paperwork, etc, and get out.

    I can tell you it was a rough road leaving him, but I am a better person for it now. I am a lot safer now. My daughter is safer, and can finally be happy and doesn’t have to live in such an oppressive environment. I am still fighting him in court, but I feel so much stronger. I know that I deserve better, and so do you. NO ONE deserves what you are going through. Please call the hotline when you can to speak with them about a safety plan and an escape plan. Be sure to be careful though because if your husband catches you, that could be a trigger. If you use a computer at home that he can look at, be sure to delete all the cookies and history on your browser after researching abuse.

    I hope that some of my words can be inspirational to you. There is a way out. It’s not easy, but in the long run it is uch easier than dealing with your abuser. Just be sure to be as safe as possible, keep yourself safe, and if you are going to leave, make sure you do it at the time that is right for you and your family.

    Be safe. I’ll be thinking of you. Good luck!

  10. mary beth zanghi says:

    I have been in an abusive marriage for over 20 years. My husband has threaten my life as well as our daughter lives. He controlled every aspect of our lives. I tried to get him to leave by offering him everything including a large sum of money. I lost all of my family five years proir to my marriage to my husband. Today I am divorcing him. He has left the home and cleaned out our bank account and is trying to get all other monies from me. He even took the funds to for our daughters college. I have started counseling several months ago. I knew I needed help to make sure I never take him back or find myself in a relationship like this again. The saddest thing for me is that when I read today research and data I cant believe how I had no knowledge or information of such a personality type. I am an educated woman with a masters degree in educational counseling and a certification in special education. We need to educate all of our young people about the power and control personality and the traits of such a partner. When I met my husband he was so kind, gentle, always wanting to help. He wanted to do everything with me, go every where. He would listen and talk. WOW did things change!! At first he would threaten to kill himself demanded all my pay checks and stubs. He questioned everything I did. Broke items that were mine. Threatened to hurt our dog. This continued, I went for help that involved a shelter but could only provide shelter for 3 days. I had no family to turn to so I turned to a friend, my husband went after her. She didn’t press charges, and I could never put another person in that position again. I did file charges against him. In response he threaten my daughters lives if I didnt have the charges dropped. He held us captive in our house not letting us answer the phone or go out in fear we would report what abuse he had just done. He was was physically, verbally , and econically abuse to each of us. He broke my nose on our daughter’s day to receive her sports award. In fear of him holding us captive and not allowing her to receive this award, I told him I would tell the er room I tripped over our puppy. That is what I did. There is so much more to tell, held by knife point, speeding car threatenting to crash it and kill us all, choking, hitting, punching and of course the verbally abusive. He would call me a cunt, tell my girls he saved me from my life on the streets, that I was dumb and stupid. My biggest fear was people not believing me. My husband was thought of as a kind, gentle person who wouldn’t hurt a fly to the people outside our home. My husband began to loose this controll over our family as my daughters became older and would not take his abuse. I had to stay strong and continue this front so he would leave on his own. He finally did. He took all the money and fincally means he could and left my daughters and I fighting to have shelter and food. I earned more then he did through out our marriage. Even though he is and was very capibale of making a good living for himself he quit over 15 jobs in less than 20 years. New York State has the No Fault Divorce law which means I have to pay him support no matter what the cost is to my duaghters and myself. I am diagnosised with stage 3 cancer and I am going through chemeo treatments. I am not able to work while receiving chemo. I may need to stop chemo treatements to go back to work to be able to work over time so I can pay his support payment. We need to educate the public and our young teens regarding domestic voilence, control and power, what it looks like, what to look for and how to get out before more occurs. My mother was physically abused by father and she normalized it for me. I excused the abuse because of the alochol. If I had unnormalized it before my x , my daughters may have been spared the abuse. Now we are all receiving counseling in hope to stop the cycle for each of us. We need to stop the cycle through education and laws. We need to strongly state and demand that abusive behavior is never okay. The abuser in no different then what we call a bully. We are begining to recognize the dangerous of bullying in our schools we need to carry this over to all aspects of life. This includes the injustice that a victim of abuse has to pay support payments to the abuser.
    In my reseach I found a case in Niagara County where a woman who was abused was shoot in her face by her husband. She is paying him support because she made more than him. What message are we sending? Not the right one!!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Mary Beth,
      Thank you for sharing your story with the Share Your Voice blog community. It sounds like you have been through financial, emotional, and physical abuse at the hands of your ex husband. It is not your fault that this happened to you. Abuse does not discriminate; it can happen to anyone. You are right, we need more awareness and education on the dynamics of abuse, and power in control in a relationship. Starting with healthy relationships education in schools may help more young people be aware of what a healthy relationship looks like, even if that may not be what they experience at home. You are always welcome to call and speak with an advocate here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline if you need to. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  11. Francesca says:

    Mary Beth – reading your story I almost felt like I was reading my own story. It’s amazing how these men almost have cookie cutter personalities. It’s like they go to some sort of a class where they all learn the same techniques for controlling us. I just can’t understand it! I’m sorry for everything he put you though. I, too, have a masters degree, but as was mentioned in my story, I was kicked out of medical school based on his sabotage, so he ruined my career. I have been working part time, and doing the best I can to support myself, but have not found full time employment yet. I have spent thousands of dollars to try to protect my daughter, and myself, and still do not feel like I’ve come to any kind of a resolution.

    I was just at court today, and testimony was heard, but we did not have enough time to finish the hearing. I am so tired of all of these continuances, but hopefully the judge will make the right decision.

    Have you spoken with any attorneys (perhaps pro bono or free legal service ones) that can help you with this support payment? It’s unbelievable to me that you would have to pay him support after all that he has done. I also read the story about the woman that was shot in the face and then had to pay support to her ex. What are the legislators and judges thinking when something like this occurs?!

    Why is it basically ok to beat your family? Why don’t they get charged?

    I have read the statistics on how many abused children grow up to be abusers or abusees themselves. Many of them become criminals because they have been victimized or watched their family members victimized. It seems logical to me that if they prosecute these jerks then there will be less criminals in the future. I guess they can’t see that far ahead into the future. The corruption is unreal.

    I wish you the best of luck. I promise it will get better. Just please do not go back to him. Keep fighting!!

    • HotlineAdmin_SS says:

      Rene,

      Thank you for being a part of our blog community. If you are interested in changing the laws, we would certainly encourage you to contact your state coalition as they help to enact changes in your state. If you would like to call us, we can provide you with that information. Together, with voices like yours telling the legislature that what is going on is not okay, we can make changes so that these types of things don’t continue to happen. Know that you can contact us anytime, even if it’s just to talk at 1-800-799-7233.

      HotlineAdvocate_SS

  12. c says:

    wow, i am so glad to have found this blog. i left my abuser three weeks ago. my head is still very confused and i keep thinking it would be different if i go back. i know it’s not true but i just struggle with the confusion that seems to be so common among dv victims.

    thank you for sharing your story. you are an amazingly strong woman and a true inspiration.

  13. Francesca says:

    Dear C:

    I left my abuser right around the same time you did, but one year ago (it was Halloween night actually). I remember Thanksgiving and Christmas were terrible for me last year. I felt sad, I felt like a failure at my marriage, and I kept thinking about the “good” times we had had. I was so confused! But, that does eventually go away. It takes some time because we’ve been under the power of the abuser for so long, it really IS a confusing time! I feel like I was brainwashed into believing that he was right, I was crazy and stupid, and anything he did against me I fully deserved. When I finally left him I would have moments of clarity where I would realize that what he did to me was wrong, but I’d go back and forth as well. Please just stay strong. It will NOT be different if you go back. They’re experts in manipulation, and know just the right thing to say to get you back into the relationship. If you haven’t gotten an order of protection yet, please do. If you need to stay with friends or family or in a shelter that will give you more strength to see that you can make it on your own. If you have started domestic violence counseling, it would probably be a good idea. The woman at the shelter that I spoke with for the first few days after leaving my abuser saved my life. I cried and cried and cried, but somehow, they always made me feel better.

    Just remember: you deserve better. No one should be in a relationship with someone who is inconsiderate, disrespectful, violent, manipulative, selfish, etc. Do whatever it takes to stay strong in your situation. If I can do it, so can you!!!!

  14. c says:

    thank you so much! i am staying with my sister and her husband with my 4 month old baby. they are being so supportive and kind and understanding. i do have a protective order and i have started counseling. i know in my head everything you have said, but my heart is confused. it really helps speaking with other women who have been through it and understand the confusion and the sense of being brainwashed. it seemed so much like he hated me the way he talked to me and treated me that i don’t understand why he would want me back. but then i realize that i was the perfect victim for him… vulnerable, caring and easily manipulated. not any more! :) thank you thank you thank you!

    • HotlineAdmin_SS says:

      Dear C,

      We are so glad that you found our blog forum. It must have taken a lot of courage to leave your abuser and it sounds like you are taking steps to work on healing from everything you have been through. You are welcome to contact us anytime you feel like you are needing some support, we are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Remember, you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect 24/7!

      HotlineAdvocate_SS

  15. Francesca says:

    That’s all great news! Here’s the thing that took me forever to accept (and I’m not positive I’ve fully accepted yet) – he never actually cared about me OR my daughter. They need someone to control and manipulate. What I still can’t figure out is why. It is so beyond my understanding that it made it hard to accept, and very confusing while trying to get over it. I probably will never fully understand it, so I’ve accepted that I won’t, and instead just focus on me and my daughter and only associate with people that love an appreciate us. I’m so glad you have family that are helping you out! My mom came to stay with me for a few months after he left, and I think without that support, and having someone around to remind me what a jerk he had been, I might have gone back. Then I slowly started healing, and FINALLY realized for myself that he was a mean, evil man.

    One great piece of advice I wish I would have had: if he violates that protective order, I don’t care if it’s a phone call, he shows up, or just an “innocent” seeming email, CALL THE POLICE! the only thing I have ever been able to prosecute my ex over is violating the protective order. It’s not much, the punishment was a slap on the wrist, but it’s on his record. The best part? If he ever does it again, he will be charged with a felony, and hopefully spend at least a little bit of time in jail. The state’s attorney here decided not to prosecute him for beating me and my daughter. They say there isn’t enough evidence. If you do have evidence, take it to the police. If they don’t prosecute, at least there is a paper trail. You have to make all the moves before he does!

    Keep up the awesome work :) If you ever need any advice or want to vent, please reply back to me. I went through awful things, but at least I can assign some meaning to it by helping out others, and paying it forward! <3

  16. corinne says:

    I have been abused twice in my life time by 2 different guys in my life. The first abuser started out abusing me in 2003-2005 when I first met him, he was nice, kind, sweet, but he started showing his true colors about 6 months into the the relationship, he would cheat me on, with other girls online, offline, in town at hotels. I started getting suspicious of his cheating, his mom actually told me he cheated on me with a much older women at a hotel, Then in the early months of 2003, he forced himself upon me, and one of my best friends, and had his way against our wills, I just cried, in fear and shame, and hurt, then he slept with her 2 other times, my family caught him in the act, at her apartment. Then around November December 2004, I caught him cheating online with other girls, because he accidentally left his e-mail and yahoo messenger wide opened and I saw love letters on there from other girls, and When i tried to confront him after the new year , his answer was domestic violence, he hit me, threw me up against walls, chocked me,, pulled my hair, he did psychological abuse, mental, verbal,emotional pain as well, he told me I was nothing, I couldn’t do better then him, I was worthless, small, tiny , and he kept me in isolation.
    I barely escaped from the abuse, before he almost killed me, I didn’t think I would be alive, if i would of stayed with him one minute longer. He was a fire fighter of all things, he even had our local fire dept scared, thinking he might go off the deep end, and lose his mind. I even talked with the fire chief of the fire dept of what he was doing to me, and his fire chief was not happy, and the fire chief canned him off the dept. for safety concerns.

    My 2nd time around with Domestic Violence, was 2008,. The person, I was with got into a heated argument in May 2008, he basically put me through emotional, mental, psychological Abuse, and almost physical Abuse, he almost raised a hand to me, and almost hit me, He called me names, told me I was worthless, no good, I had known the abuser for about a year in a relationship, he started changing for the worse by January 2008,he was doing things that he shouldn’t of been doing to break the laws, by doing vandalism in my hometown with 3 boys under 14, and 13 years of age. I was so terrified of the abuser, and I knew what was going to happen to me, if one of us didn’t walk out of the so called relationship. I miscarried his child in July 2008, I didn’t know, at the time I was knocked up, while he doing domestic violence on me. then 3 years later here in November 2011, he came back around on face book, and by e-mail he started up a heated argument once again with me, and he started to scare me, and he was telling me basically everything was fault, and will always be my fault, and he came looking for me where I live, and he found me in October, so he is basically stalking, and he won’t let me heal from the domestic violence he put me through, I am still reliving the nightmare, the pain, the hurt,, the misery, He makes me feel horrible, small, tiny, while he makes him self feel taller, and he thinks he can still control me, and have power over me. When will the Scars heal on the inside from all the pain, tears, sadness,misery, trauma. I feel Isolated, and alone, filled with doubts, scared, not sure what to do.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Corrine,

      It was really powerful to read your words. You have survived domestic abuse from your past and I am sorry to hear that it still continues. It is terrible that after 3 years he is continuing to be abusive. Have you thought about getting a protective order? You can call the Hotline 24/7 for more information on protective orders and how to stay safe when someone is stalking you. If you haven’t already, you can block him from Facebook and ask your phone company to block his number. Changing up your routine, as realistic as possible, is also a good idea. Please call us at 1-800-799-7233 for further guidance concerning your situation.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  17. Lynnett Fox says:

    i know how hard it is to get out…i am a survivor of 20 years of abuse…i believe im alive because he is not (overdose) it too started when i was pregnant…the first years were emotional and control the last 9 were physical mental and sexual….he threaten to kill me and bury me in the desert….i did escape before his death but i think i would have went back to him so i do know how u feel

  18. Hotlineadvocate_CH says:

    Lynnett,
    Thank you for contacting our blog and sharing your story in an effort to support other survivors. I’m glad to hear that you are no longer living in fear of your abuser. Take care of yourself, and good luck.

    Hotlineadvocate_CH

  19. Cyndy says:

    I am in tears reading all these comments back and forth. I am the mom of a 20 year old young woman who is living with her abuser for the last year. They began as girlfriend and boyfriend in high school and after one year and at such a young age, he controlled the break up saying he wanted to see what else was out there besides her. She was too young to look at that as just a flat out rejection by him and just move on and never go back. BUT after 8 months they were back together again. That lasted all of 4 more months and I, as the mom, was privey to hearing him calling her disgusting names, showing her a complete lack of respect, cheating on her blatantly and having no shame about it. It ended yet again. And she dated another young guy for about a year but to a person who may not have hit her or physically abused her but constantly emotionally let her know she wasn’t good enough for him because he constantly wanted to change everything about her. Mind you, this young gal, my daughter is stunning. I am not bragging, but it is the truth. She is a true natural beauty and could have ANY guy she would want. This relationship with the second guy ended after a year, but everytime they would have a fight, she would revert to contacting the first guy for comfort. She never let him out of her life completely and toward the end of the year with the second guy, she invited the first guy to hang out with and yet when he found out she was back with guy #2, guy #1 got into a huge internet fight with her over emails. He showed up at my house and the two of them got into a huge fight in my front yard with fists flying on both parties. REmember, he came out of his way driving over to my house, to beat her. Literally. She had a black eye, huge lump on her cheek, scrapes, scratches and bruising. He choked her right in front of me while I was trying desperately to separate them and yelling at him to leave. The cops were called out and they took HER to juvenile jail because they deemed her to be the primary agressor. During the fight, she had gone into my house by my command to stop the fighting in my yard, but she didn’t stay inside and came out a second time and the fight resumed. The police stated had she stayed in the house, she would not have been arrested. I got a temporary order of protection immediately after getting her out of juvenile jail and all seemed safe for a while. No charges were pressed against her as a result of her going to juve, but he got away with beating her and nothing was done AT ALL to him. She was extremely hostile and violent toward me after this and since she had turned 18 right after this fighting, I told her to stop with her physical abuse toward me (pushing me in her anger and nose to nose raging screaming at me) but she didn’t and it resulted in my making her leave. She resumed her relationship with guy #2 and they broke up after 4 months and she again reverted to resuming the relatioship with guy #1. She was not living in my home anymore so I had no inclusion in this relationship. She was extremely sarcastic and emotionally mean and abusive to me when she would see me but I stood my ground and told her “not acceptable” and if she was in my house visiting, she would be told to leave. My daughter graduated high school, went to the prom with guy #1, (I hated every minute of it) and months later moved into an apartment with him. During the year they have been together, the police have been called out twice due to his raging emotional abuse. I was witness to one time but since there was no physical altercation or marks left during it, the police could do nothing to him. She left the apt, came to my house and then went right back to him two days later. This happened again six months later, just recently, that my son who is a policeman, heard for himself of Guy #1’s raging verbal and emotional abuse toward her. He called police units to the apt, but as the boyfriend shoved her off their bed and left no marks the police again could do nothing to him. They said they needed to be apart that night, she came to my house and left the next day and went right back to him. I am dreading the day I get a call from a hospital or police officer that she has been beaten so bad she is in the hospital or dead. When I try to bring up how she lies about everything about this guy to all her family and friends she becomes extremely enraged and spews her anger with “his” raging characteristics. I finally told her she needs to get away and this is NOT going to change and she is welcome to come hom IF she is not going to return to him and only for a short while till she can get her life in order BUT this is not going to be a repeat of her previous stops into my home. I am devastated that she is with him and on top of this he is selling drugs with a partner and has grown houses around the city here and I am worried about how this will affect her if he finally gets caught. She is not a user, she has been tested but if she is there in the same apt, I am so afraid that she would be arrested right along with him. WHAT CAN I DO? I cry all the time because I am afraid of what will happen to her. HELP!!!!!

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Cyndy,

      Wow, what an emotional roller coaster. It is very hard to stand by and watch a loved one being hurt by an abusive partner. It sounds like you have been supportive in helping her when she reaches out to you. I understand it can be frustrating to take her in and then see her go right back to a hurtful environment. It might seem like a good plan to tell her she can only stay with you if she never goes back to the abuser, but that may not be the best way to help her. She is the victim. There are many complicated reasons why individuals decide to continue a relationship with an abusive partner. We would welcome the chance to talk in greater detail with you if you want to call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.
      Here is a link to our website on how to help a family member: http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/how-can-i-help-a-friend-or-family-member-who-is-being-abused/

      Thank you for sharing with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  20. Rhonda says:

    WOW!!! I’ve sat here and read every post and I want to ask – How many exes does my ex-husband have??? So many stories match mine. I met him when I was 20 years old and though we was 13 years older, I found him to be sweet, kind, and rugged all at the same time.

    Everything was wonderful for the first 3 years, then I found out that I was pregnant with twins. He had been married once before and already had 3 children and didn’t want the 2 that I was carrying. I was belittled for months until one day in my 7th month everything went to Hell in a hand-basket. I had come home from the doctor’s office and was so happy that everything was going well with the babies. The nurses had given me two bracelets – one blue for my boy and a pink on for my girl. My ex accused me of cheating and that ‘my boyfriend’ had given them to me. He punched my belly and threw me down 15 stairsteps.

    I left him for 5 months. I gave birth to two very healthy babies and was doing what I could to take care of them on my own – with a little help from my parents. I made the foolish mistake to go back with my children because he swore it would never happen again and that he was so sorry.

    Over the next 10 years I was forced to work to support him and the children and constantly accused of cheating (which I was too afraid to even talk to other men). I endured being raped, burned with cigars, a pistol shot at me, my head being used as a hammer, and so many other cruelties.

    Someone above made the comment that you will know when the time is right for you to get out and that is so true. YOU will know!!! I did so early one morning in late 2002 after a sleepless night of him threatening to end my life and a very brutal rape and beating. I went to work, called the law, and had him arrested. The children and I packed what we could and we just drove for two days. He was sentenced to 6 months after I returned to testify against him – but he never served a day of it. He was sent to prison in 2003 for an unrelated arrest and only spent 6.5 years.

    He is a free man now and is remarried to his next victim. I found out much too late that I wasn’t the first – his first wife endured his brutality also. He knows where I am and the dread of him showing up here is always with me, especially when I used to keep in contact with friends and family using Facebook and couldn’t get away from his harassment.

    I too am remarried to a wonderful man who knows my history and is very understanding. It took 4 years of extensive counselling to even think about dating again and I thank God every day that there are people out there willing to listen and to help.

    Fortunately I am one of the few survivors, but the number of those women that cannot escape outways my triumph. We have got to be strong and when we get out we have to do everything in our power to stay out.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Rhonda,

      It is amazing how you found the strength and courage to change your life for yourself and your children. I am glad to hear that you are married to a man that treats you with the respect, love, and kindness that you deserve. If you need further guidance on how to stay safe from your ex’s harassment, especially concerning social networks, you can give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      I hope that others will read your story and realize that there is hope for a better future and that it is possible to leave an abusive relationship. Thank you for sharing with our blog community.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  21. Jackie says:

    I too just left my abuser on the day after Christmas. I spent 2 weeks n a mental hospital being treated for PTSD. I went thru many of the same things these other brave women did. I was punched,choked,beaten and abused n every way possible. I too cried as I was repeatedly raped. I have left him before but stupidly went back. I am n counseling now and staying with family. I know if I go back again he will Probably kill me. Thanks for this forum. It really helps to hear other women’s stories. I don’t feel so alone. I have pressed charges against him but so far the police have not found him to make an arrest.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Jackie,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our readers. I am very sorry that you had to endure such terrible abuse. It takes a lot of courage to decide to call the police, press charges and leave. You are not stupid for going back, there are many reasons why individuals decide to stay in a relationship with their abusive partner. It is great to hear that you are on the path to a better life for yourself, you deserve it. Stay strong and if you ever need additional support The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  22. Cyndy says:

    I can’t tell you how conflicted I am. I definitely need to talk to some people who have previous experience in how to deal with all this. I just don’t know if I should do the tough love or full on support. I lean toward support. I found a police report today from the last incident and think I found a clue as to why she keeps going back. IT”S his rejection that is fueling her need for him. It stated in the police report that he told her to get out of their shared apartment after he knocked her off the bed into the wall and then flat out lied to the police that he even touched her. If SHE had the confidence and upper hand like he shows, she would probably never go back to him. For some reason, she feels some need to get him to accept her even though he told he he wanted her out of the apartment that they shared. I was told that an abused woman takes seven incidents on the average before they “get it”. I don’t want to see her go through another one at all but I can’t even talk to her because she becomes defense and hostile. Thank you for posting your link and phone number. I need just as much info and help as I can possibly get. Including any people out there on this blog who have ideas to give about what I can do to help her to get away from this creep.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Cyndy,
      I’m hearing that you’re feeling confused and conflicted, trying to figure out the best way to support your daughter. It sounds like there are many reasons why she has chosen not to leave the relationship up to this point. Being in an abusive relationship, whether it’s emotional or phyiscal abuse, can really affect a person’s self-esteem. She may feel like the abuse is her fault or that if she fixed something about herself, the abuse would stop. An abuser can often time play like they are the victim. In the situation you shared, where he asked her to leave, it sounds like he manipulated her to make her think she was wrong for not leaving the house, even though HE is the one that chose to put his hands on her when she didn’t. You are right, it could take her up to seven times to truly leave the relationship. I would encourage you to call and speak to an advocate on the Hotline. We can talk to you about what’s going on, and ways to support your daughter.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  23. Dana says:

    Wow…I am SO sad for these women that went through this. I’m trying to help a friend right now! After her husband abused her, she called 911, they came and took her to the hospital. He fled the scene but was watching everything that was going on from a distance. I did go see her and I saw for myself what he had done.She was in bad shape! She refused to file charges. She had done so before, and that made him even more angry and retalitory. I TOLD her this would happen and have been listening to her for the last year and a half about the abuse. He does this in front of their 2 sons. The older one asked one time, what did you say to Dad to make him so mad?? See! That’s how this affects these kids! They will think this is normal life. I’m very frustrated with her because she just isn’t taking steps. She says, Oh..he’s really a good person, helping everyone, blah blah blah! He tells her he doesn’t love her and other things, but she still hangs on. I hate to say it, but she could be as sick as he is for staying! God, if she won’t do it for herself, she should do it for her kids! I’m ready to throw in the towel on the support thing. Since she won’t file a restraining order, I won’t go over to her house. The police told her that it may be out of her hands because after they took the photos of her injuries, they may decide to arrest him anyway. But..they dropped the ball of course and she hasn’t heard from them since.Typical deal. I’ve heard the stories of the abuser going after people trying to help, so I’m staying away. I’m just afraid of getting that phone call that she’s dead. So sad…..

  24. Dana says:

    Cyndy, I get what you are saying. I think some women have a confidence problem or are just really insecure, or both. I was with a man for 2 years that mentally abused me into thinking he was the only one that would have me! Crazy thing is..I bought that..for a while. He did put his hands on me one time and that was it! I left him without incedent. We on the outside looking in, can see it clearly…leave the jerk!! But some women maybe thrive on the negative attention! My friend admits she stays on his back about his lack of concern over his family, so he beats her when he’s had enough of what he calls nagging. Clearly, there is no communication. I did get frustrated with her and told her, you HAVE to stop riding him when in an argument. You have to back away and stay in control. She admits to drinking too much, they both do, so that’s a real problem. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you and I can do for our friends except listen to them. We can’t solve their problems. It’s the hardest thing to do…but we have to keep our distance. I watched Dr Phil the other day and one of his guests was almost killed by her husband. He DID kill her best freind right before her eyes for trying to help! The police got there in time and he’s serving 35 years in prison.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Hi Dana,
      I read your previous comment as well as your response to Cyndy. I’m hearing that it’s been really frustrating for you to hear about your friend getting hurt, and to see that she’s not leaving or making a change. It’s not her fault that this is happening. While she can be in control of herself and her actions, she cannot change whether or not her abuser is going to decide to get violent with her. No matter what, there is never an excuse for violence. We talk alot about power and control dynamics when talking about abuse, and it’s because even when that physical violence is not happening, there can still be alot of emotional and psychological abuse going on. It can make someone feel like they are responsible for the abuse they are experiencing. You also have to consider that while the situation may escalate to physical violence at times, there may also be okay days, where maybe she feels like there’s some hope for her partner changing. He may be making false promises to change too. As a friend, it’s really important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, even as you try to remain supportive to her. It may be difficult but it’s important to try to remain as non-judgemental as possible as she’s going through all of this. You can always express concern about the situation, and even talk about options. But ultimately, it will be up to her whether or not she choses to leave. If you’d like to talk to someone about ways to be supportive, or even just vent some of this frustration you’re feeling, you are always welcome to call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We understand how difficult it is for family and friends of someone who is being abused, and we can talk to you about it.

      HotlineAdmin_RE

  25. Cyndy says:

    HotlineAdvocate_RE and Dana
    I am starving for information and will be calling into the hotline. I can’t just leave her alone to weather through this storm day after day with this creep because it is my flesh and blood, my child. Even though she is 20 years old, I cannot tell her what to do. She becomes hostile and extremely defensive toward me whenever I try to bring up this creep’s actions against her and funny thing is her dad can say the exact same things about the creep that I say and he says worse and my daughter never fires back at him. I just don’t know what I am doing wrong at all. I feel hopeless and am so scared that I will get a call from a police officer or hospital that something horrible has happened finally. I am without any ammunition against this creep at all except that he deals drugs and should go to jail because of it. I really feel hopeless but I so appreciate hearing other people’s stories. From anyone of them, I am looking for some sort of solution or answer to use in hopes this will end between my daughter and this creep. The more I can read the better. But I have to contact the hotline and discuss options too.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Cyndy,
      We are available 24/7. Give us a call any time you get a chance. Sometimes it just helps to talk about it.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  26. Sharon Hue says:

    Hi, I really don’t know what to do about about my brother in law and his girlfriend. He is very abusive mentally and now physically to her. He is also a severe alcoholic in complete denial. We received a phone call 4 days ago from his girlfriend crying because he beat her and held a shotgun to her head. The police were called and he was arrested. He was charged and all his guns siezed. My husband, who is his twin brother, is at a loss. We really don’t know what to do. The girlfriend did move all of her stuff out of the house while he was in jail but she moved literally across the street back to her mother’s house. Now she is calling me asking me to tell him she loves him, is he ok, she’s sorry etc.. I have told her to run as far away from him as she possibly can because he will not stop, she is not the first and certainly will not be the last. We have tried to help him and is not ready and I don’t know if he ever will be. I am worried about her and want to help but I really am at a loss as to what to do and say to her. I find myself feeling angry with her when she says all these things and I know I should just listen but this has been 4 years of the same crap. Within a few months of their “relationship” they had an agrument he told her to leave she refused and he picked her up and threw her out the front door onto the cement. The police came, he was arrested and she was taken by ambulance to the hospital. All charges were dropped because well she dropped them. A week later she moved in with him even though it meant her family would not speak to her. Her son (thank God) lives across the street with her mother, because he would not let him live there (again THANK GOD!). My husband is the only family member who speaks to him and not by choice anymore. Unfortunatley they work together and there really is no way around it.
    Please any advice will help.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Sharon,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. I understand why you are concerned about your brother in law’s girlfriend. It sounds like he has been very violent with her, and that it’s happened more than once. You are right, this is likely to continue if she gets back in to the relationship. It may be difficult, but the most important thing is to try to not be judgemental about whatever decision she makes. What she is feeling is common for victims of abuse. They oftentimes feel like it is their fault, especially when police get involved and their partner goes to jail. Abuse is happening throughout the relationship, even if it is not always physical. He could be blaming this all on her. If you’d like more information about how to help a family member or friend, please read the following http://www.thehotline.org/get-educated/how-can-i-help-a-friend-or-family-member-who-is-being-abused/. It can be difficult to understand, but she may go in and out of this relationship more than once. As for helping your brother in law, there is help available for batterers. But it can be costly, and oftentimes is court ordered. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s going on in more depth, you are welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  27. Me bookworm says:

    I went to school in the united states, before my visa expired- my longtime boyfriend married me. I am from Europe. We had a great relationship! Once we moved together, he lost his job! What a bad timing.. Everything went downhill from then..we filed for my permanent residency but I’m sure you are aware of the fact that this takes several month. I even got in touch with an immigration lawyer making sure everything was legal and she told me I could stay in the states. I couldn’t work and also waited for my green card to attend school again- it would help us financially, everything seemed great and we were sooo looking forward to finally live together. He started to become more depressed each day that he couldn’t find a job, and I got scared because I had to wait for my paper work. We both were miserable in our own way but kept looking forward. My husband has eight black belts in all different kinds of martial arts. One day when he got upset he pushed me on the floor twice and I ended up with several bruises, i immediately got in touch with my mom (we are very close and she is a psychotherapist) – I do not come from a violent family and I am non violent. I was so scared when it happened the first time that I wanted to move back to my country until I receive my papers. It seemed better, once I am back in the states I would be able to work and my husband and I would not stick on each other 24/7 in such a situation. My immigration lawyer told me at that time that I wasn’t able to leave.. So I was stuck. I knew my husband and believed that this was a one time thing, I didn’t really wanted to be separated anyways- I knew him! He wasn’t that kind of guy! The situation didn’t get any better, recession no jobs.. We had problems paying for rent and ended up in a really bad. Neighborhood. I told a few close people about his aggressive reactions (from school, that knew him) and they knew he had gotten into a couple of fights and wanted me to leave him immediately. In my mind I kept thinking that I knew better and that this was just a bad time. He had touched me a few more times out of anger but apologized every time afterwards and treated me like his princess again. Where would I go? At this point we were living far away from anyone and people just thought I was being ridiculous because I was fighting for him and believed into a good ending. One day, we had a big fight and it even got that far that he pushed me on the floor holding my neck and I couldn’t breath anymore, he was holding me so tight I moved my arms around to get free, I screamed and the neighbors called the police. When the police arrived, the saw that my husband had a few scratches- I had bruises but they were hidden under my long sleeve shirt. My husband is black and I am white- he told me many stories how white people get a better treatment in the states and that black people still have a hard time. When the police asked us, I told them that I was trying to talk to him (his reaction was holding my throat) but that sounded too aggressive and I didn’t mention it, neither did my husband. We thought they would leave. They ended up taking me to jail. I was sup to only pay a fee and get free the same day, I believe you call that holding. However they only saw my exported student visas in my passport and therefor they kept me! I had no papers with me saying that I was married. I ended up spending almost three weeks in jail until homeland security picked me up. I’ve got treated like a dog there, cell mates where scary and aggressive and I was a straight a student with absolutely no criminal record sitting there! I was being brought to a ics interview where people didn’t interviewed me- they made up their own story- I was the bad person that scratched up her hubby. I was brought to a detention center far away. My husband and I were in touch via jail phone. He did try everything to get me out and was also in cConstant contact with my mother who had already been in touch with the embassy of my country. I was also in touch with my lawyer. After one month total I was finally able to see the judge and I got free , however I got another courts ate to fight my case and show my marriage papers etc… I was staying with my lawyer and my husband visited me almost e dry day. We didn’t have our apartment at the time anymore. Because I was in such bad shape, my lawyer told me that it would be probably best to fly home to feel safe and she would deal wit the legal issues. I flew back home and it felt so good to be with my family and back in real life. My husband and I wanted to start new in my country! Where my family is- and plenty of jobs and most importantly I was safe! He lives here now with me and even though he works as an American native speaker and I go to school and work, he are still fighting- mostly about the past and I can’t take his threats anymore, I feel like I am at the point were I can honestly say I tried, I really tried but I have to get. Ack on track and I can’t do that wit someone so negative as him! He threatens me now if I would get a divorce he would tell the government all different kInds of stories so that I am never able to come back to the states. I want to fulfill my dream there (film business) and I worked very hard to get there. I don’t want to give up my dream, I want to eventually move back to the states but I can’t be with him any longer. I don’t care about the green card, it would be enough if I could just re-enter the states. I got a letter from immigration court that since I didn’t attend the court date, I am banned for ten years. They think I am still somewhere in the united states but I am here- I am in Europe- legally! My lawyer told them that she will take care of it and notify them- I sent them a letter too with transcripts marriage certificate plane tickets but I believe I need a lawyer to present it to them. Where should I get the money from? My old lawyer can’t legally fight in court for me- she knows people but they cost money. I don’t know what to do, the whole story is just insane and someone has to clarify everything. I can’t live like that any longer, this is not healthy but I also want to fight for my rights- it is time to stand up for myself! I am 23, I understand that my husband and me were naive- especially me! I really do understand that I should have been honest to me from the very beginning but I have known him since 2008 and he has been the most romantic gentlement to me- always! Still, now, I can’t believe how he is able to have such a different side.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Bookworm,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. It sounds like there are a number of issues making this situation difficult for you. For one thing there are the immigration troubles, and then you are also dealing with an abusive husband. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like he’s been emotionally and physically abusive with you. I can see why you would feel conflicted. One minute he is treating you like a princess, very sweetly; and the next he is being angry and aggressive with you. That is part of the control in this relationship. If he’s flipping moods all the time, you never know what to expect, and you keep hoping that one day he will stay the sweet man you fell in love with. It keeps you in the relationship waiting for that change to happen. I’m not sure that our Hotline could help you with the immigration issue; with you being in Europe that may be difficult. I would encourage you to seek help, and maybe look at hotpeachpages.net. The site has listings of DV programs all over the world. If you are able to relocate here and need local resources for assistance, you are always welcome to call us at 1-800-799-7233.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  28. chrystal says:

    Hi ladies i too was a victim of domestic violence . my ex fiancee verbally abused me called me worthless stupid lazy and a fat bitch and.said no one loved me or.cared about me . be hysically abused me by pushing me on the floor smashing my head into walls and holding a pillow over my mouth so i couldn’t breath . He also followed me everywhere i went would steal my debit card on a daily basis. and use it to buy beer and take my money to buy drugs. i too got pregnant by him 4.different times all of which ended in miscarriages he cared more about his weed and alcohol then about me. he also cut me off from any of my family members he would take my cell phone and throw it in the street overtime i said i was going to call the cops. he said he.tell the cops that id beat myself up . he ruined me financially my credit is screwed up . i go out of that relationship by my now husband and his friends . and had to get a.restraing order against my ex cause i knew he’d try to kill me if he had the chance . the.only thing he got from court was.angermanagement classes and woman’s right class . i feel he should.be locked up cause he could.do this to anyone . its been 2 years and i still have nightmares and relive the abuse in my sleep .

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Chrystal,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. I am glad to hear that you are safely out of the abusive relationship. He sounds like he was really violent with you. You didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Hearing that you are having nightmares and reliving the abuse in your sleep, I’m concerned though that you may still be dealing with the trauma of the abuse that you went through. Sometimes it can help to get the support of a counselor or support group to help process and move forward. You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are always available and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline could talk to you about local resources for support services.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  29. Dee says:

    To Francesca, i applaud you for your courage, and most of all for sharing your story it will be useful education both to victims and thise who dont understand why women stay. I for one will never understand why people judge women in these situations. I have escaped twice from abuse. Thus time a year ago. I have had very little heLp from police and courts. Im in europe. What i find amazing is in facebook there are daily requests support cancer research , cancer awareness, but never stop the abuse of women!! The shame and stigma us carried by these women who must live lives of desperation isolated from help or acceptance. Its shocking. The facts are 95 percent of DV us men very few are women abusers. Lets start talking about this please!!!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Joan,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. That is a difficult question to answer without knowing what other resources you may have at hand. Sometimes, a victim with limited resources may look in to going to a domestic violence shelter to get safe and then figure out other options. You are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and talk with an advocate about what your options and resources are. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. It can be really difficult to think about trying to get out of the relationship with few resources, but there may be places that can help. Ad advocate on the Hotline could talk to you about any local programs in your area that do support services and/or safe shelter for victims of abuse. Please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233 when you get a safe chance.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  30. nicole says:

    Thank u for ur story and ur responses to the comments. Everyone around I know wants the best for me and I know he is an abuser and he won’t ever change. I have 4 kids with him and I always go back and forth about keeping them from their dad but I know its what’s best. He started hitting me while I was pregnant with our first child. While pregnant with the 2nd child it was a living hell. I was so emotionally messed up and stressed I went into labor 3 wks early. I decided to leave him and I stupidly went back.. and now I’m pregnant with twins. I want to leave again but my job doesn’t want to transfer me to where I have family support and where I feel safe. But like.I said with ur responses I finally found someone who knows what I have felt the last 7 yrs.. all the confusion and the going back and forth.. its so hard to explain it to someone on the outside looking in. It makes no sense to them and it makes no sense to me either.. I hope one day I can say I got away from him completely and share my story. I know I am not alone in this and that is going to help me. Hopefully my job will let me know if I can transfer back home and start to get away.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Nicole,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m really glad that you’ve found hope in reading others’ stories on our blog. It takes a lot of courage to be honest about what’s going on in your relationship. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your partner has been very violent with you. It’s not uncommon for the phsyical violence to start during the first pregnancy in a relationship, and to continue escalating. I have concerns about your phsyical safety, especially now that you’re pregnant with twins. The toll that emotional and physical abuse takes on your body is a lot to sustain, and i’m hearing the stress has caused you harm before. Communicating over the internet may not always be the safest option. If you get a chance, I would encourage you to call and talk with someone on our Hotline. We can be reached at 1-800-799-7233 and are completely anonymous and confidential. An advocate on the Hotline can talk with you about safety around whatever decision you want to make. Pregnancy can be a dangerous time in an abusive relationship, and we want you to be safe.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  31. Nancy says:

    Thank you for telling my story…even though there is much more…I am putting this courage in practice right now…stay here please…I need you all!!!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Nancy,
      If you need to talk with someone about what’s going on, advocates on the Hotline are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are completely anonymous and confidential. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  32. Francesca says:

    Dee – thank you for your kind comment! I completely agree with you. DV is still very taboo in the U.S., and now I’m learning in Europe as well. I do have to be very honest in saying that I used to think that there was no reason why women stayed. I was completely ignorant of what was going on and how women got sucked in – I’d like to think that if I had known that before I wouldn’t have gotten mixed up with my ex-husband, but that might not necessarily be true. I learned my lesson the hard way just how hard it is to leave. I try to tell anyone that will listen what really goes on – the fear, the dependency, not wanting to break up “the family,” etc etc, but people still don’t seem to get it. It seems like the only people that truly understand are people who have been through it… but it’s weird, b/c so many women are victims of abuse you would think more of them would stand up and support this cause. But a lot of them don’t, and my best guess is that it has something to do with shame. They don’t want their employer to find out, or their family, or their friends, or they don’t want to think about how it happened to them. I pretty much don’t care at this point who knows – my entire family knows, all my friends know exactly what happened (I lost some “friends” as well b/c they blamed me, thought I exaggerated or deserved it… one girl went so far as to say that I should stop complaining about him having visitation with my child b/c I made my bed and I should lie in it!), my employer has a pretty good idea of what happened to me, and my co-workers know the whole story. I feel like the reason it isn’t talked about more is b/c everyone hides it. No one wants to talk about it b/c it’s “uncomfortable.” And so the whole cycle repeats itself over and over again. I really want to do something to help, but I am not completely certain where to start either. I’m still trying to rebuild my life, and get rid of my abuser, so hopefully when that is more a reality I will have more time/resources to help out. I really need some time to heal right now, but I definitely post a ton of stuff on fb about child abuse, domestic violence in general… and how ridiculous it is that chris brown and rihanna are recording songs together again?! WHAT A GREAT MESSAGE for our youth!!!???? I’m hoping that by sharing my story on this site, more awareness will be raised, and women can use it as an inspiration. I was also on my local news, and have emailed or called every politician I can think of. A state senator even looked into my case but decided they couldn’t force anyone to do anything, but at least they paid attention, and hopefully will change the way they cast their vote.. at least a little bit? Baby steps!

  33. Francesca says:

    Nicole – I really feel for you and your situation. I know EXACTLY how I feel. Please find the courage to leave even if you cannot get transferred. I know that’s way easier said than done, but I can tell you that now I have been almost 17 months without this guy, and I look back on it and think “what was I thinking?!” I never have a thought now about missing him, feeling guilty about separating my daughter from his evil grasp (and she still talks about how much she can’t stand him, so that’s another indicator that I did the right thing). I was very lucky in that I had more resources than he did, and knew the legal system better than him (he’s an immigrant from South America), and so I was able to at least separate myself from him legally fairly quickly. The issue for me now is trying to terminate his visitation, or at least suspend it until he can get “help.” I put that in quotes b/c I know some people are capable of change, but he is a sociopath, and nothing will ever change him. But, please, protect your babies – they will thank you for it when they grow up. It’s better to have no “father” than to have one like that. I hope he isn’t hitting your children, but them witnessing what happens to you as pretty much just as bad. They will learn that it’s ok to do that. The boys might become abusers in the future, and the girls might wind up being abused by someone. I know you don’t want that for your precious babies – that’s what i had to keep focusing on when I was deciding to leave (and trust me, I tried to leave a million times). I finally just decided that I would get out and while at the time I felt guilty about my daughter not having a father, I did now find a man who is worthy of being her father, and chooses to be her father… something that her biological dad never ever did. I’m not going to lie – it’s awful when you first leave.. it’s a very emotional time, it’s hard to explain to your kids, but it will eventually settle down, and you will think to yourself, phew, why didn’t I do this sooner (at least that’s the way I feel.. I still have guilt now about not leaving sooner, which is something I’m working on).

  34. Cindy says:

    I feel awful resorting to a website to ask for advice, but I pray there is some. I am the mom of the young lady in comments way up above. The situation has now escalated to this young woman of 20 abusing me, her mom. I did try cal the Domestice abuse hotline at 800-799-7233 but the young woman on the other line was a little lost to give advice because she said her training is in female/male relationships and mine is a mom and daughter one. My daughter is living with her abuser, who has evaded the arrest for his actions of abuse 3 times now. She still goes right back to him. For the last two times, I have given her refuge because I care so much for her protection and well being. But, according to her, I am not allowed to ask any questions at all. This last time, he was going to be out of town for two days and she wanted to stay with me because she didn’t want to be alone in the house they share. I allowed it but after 5 days, I asked what was going on with her because she was miserable, moody and very unhappy and still with me. I didn’t mind she was still with me but I wanted to know what was up. She didn’t say at first and finally came out crying and saying he had come home and ignored her. I tried to talk sense to her but you know how that went. She continued to stay and two days later I asked what was again happening and she became immediately angry and stated she didn’t want to talk about it. The conversations are always if and when she wants it and I get nowhere. Finally three days later I called family members and asked what was happening and they told me she confided in all of them he broke up with her . That explained her still being at my house. That night I found out that not only did she let all those family members know of her situation, but she also confided in HIS mother. I was furious that I had to keep my mouth shut but she whines to everyone and confides in her abuser’s mom who trained him to be the way he is now. Long story short, when she came home, I told her I was disturbed by all that and she immediately slammed my door and remember, she is living in MY house. I followed her and told her that this behavior is unacceptable to me and not only that I am deeply hurt and confused why I am the only one she will not open up to at all but everyone else AND I am the one supporting and taking care of her. She went into a full blown out rage and got in my face nose to nose and started screaming at me to get out of her room! This is no longer her room, she moved out 1–1/2 years ago and it is MY HOUSE> I reminded her that she is in my house and her anger progressed to body bumping me, balling up her fist raising it high in the air to smash me in the face and then stopping short and telling me she would punch me good and hard but doesn’t want to go to jail and proceeded in calling me an idiot, annoying and a f’g pyscho bitch. I told her she was acting and sounding exactly like her boyfriend EXACTLY. All that produced was nananananananana results. Like 5 years old. I finally told her she had to leave because I would not tolerate her abuse and it turned into a kick and shove against furniture and the result of that is a huge black and blue mark on me. She left, but called me crying and said I made her mad, it’s my fault that all I did was just to get a reaction out of her, and then the text messages started coming in. Eventually, she said she wanted to come over to apologize, the next day because she felt so horrible for the awful things she said to me. And she was really sorry. BUT she has done this same thing to me about 4 times in the last year. I did not respond to her call nor her text messages and now it is 5 days later and today is the first day I have not had a call or text from her. IT breaks my heart that she acts this way and thinks an apology is sufficient. I think she just wants to ease her conscience. But I am more than sure she has talked this over with no less than 5 other people who all have sided with her because they are her best friend, people she works with and HIS mom. I am crying all the time and it is very hard to work. I feel useless and worthless and know everything she did is classic abuser. WHAT DO I DO? Do I let her come and speak with me even though I have gone through this before and nothing changed. HOW DO I HANDLE THIS TO MAKE THE ABUSE OF ME, HER MOM, STOP ONCE AND FOR ALL AND STILL HAVE A MOM/DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP??? PLEASE SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE I LOSE MY MIND AND ………………………………………………..ME.

  35. HotlineAdmin_RE says:

    Cindy,
    Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. It sounds like you are at a loss of what to do in this situation. From what you’ve shared, your daughter and you are going through a difficult time. She sounds like she is mirroring some of the abusive qualities of the relationship with her partner in her relationship with you. Although we cannot tell you what to do or give advice, it may be helpful to think about what kind of boundaries are in place in your relationship with you daughter. She never has the right to put her hands on you for any reason, whether she’s upset or not. It sounds like you’ve been trying to find balance between supporting your daughter and not allowing yourself to get hurt in the process. Have you thought about seeing a counselor or talking to someone around ways to manage this situation? You mentioned that you’ve contacted us here at the National Hotline before, but you are always welcome to call and talk with someone about what’s going on if you need to. Additionally, you may want to look into getting some support for yourself around how to be emotionally safe and also having healthy boundaries with you daughter.

    HotlineAdvocate_RE

  36. Cindy says:

    Thank you for responding Comment by HotlineAdmin_on 2012-03-01 19:45:08
    The sad thing is I did call your hotline and they said they are only trained in husband wife relationship issues and mine was out of their ability. I didn’t know that domestic abuse was limited to only husbands and wives. In my case, it definitely is not. I actually made a trip to my church who didn’t care that it was a mom and daughter abuse relationship and immediately took the time to hear the story and gave some very worthwhile feedback. I think when it comes to a person being devastated, your counselor that I did speak with at your hotline left me feeling more hopeless than when I initially placed the call. I really needed help badly but I don’t know if she was just not experienced enough or telling me the truth. Either way, she was not a help. Maybe retrain her or tell me straight up, do you folks only deal with husband and wife domestic abuse? I have a call into a counseling office and am going to see about at least getting answers for me there. I think my daughter is in denial about her relationship with her drug dealer boyfriend and when he treats her bad, she found her release in treating me badly but I have decided that stops. I just want advice from experienced people in what ways I can go back to her to stop her from being abusive without risking losing her as my daughter altogether. But, I don’t think I can have both. I think I will lose her while she is still with him or maybe forever. I haven’t seen or heard from her since the incident over a week ago and that is out of our norm since we used to talk everyday. I guess I lost her. Her drugdealer won. I pray for her safety and that he won’t kill her. So very sad for me.

  37. Cynthia says:

    Hi and you are stronger than you think, you took the first step and that was getting out. just wanted to share this with you,, I was in several abusive relationships, it all started when I was 20 years old, and now I am 49 still here and it feels good. What i wanted to say was i heard this lady one Sunday morning asking this Lady to pray for her,,she was at a big church convention, she said my husband beats me, takes my money and cheats on me with a lady down the street, he also want help with any bills.Please pray for me she requested. The lady prayed for her. Two years later she was back at the same church at another convention, and she walked up to that same lady, and said don’t you remember me, I asked you to pray for me, My husband he is still beating me, and he moved out and staying with the lady down the street, he stills take my money, I can’t get him to stop cheating and stay at home, The lady looked at her and said I did pray for you, the lord delivered you when he moved out, why are you still praying for him to come back. After I heard that, I left my abusive ex-husband and I didn’t look back. All of my abusive boyfriends had one thing in common, they all grew up seeing their fathers beat their mothers, and I even saw my father beat my mother, but my mom was a different kind of woman she would fight my father back and the most of the time she would get the best of him . I was to scared to fight back, thank God I am still here and so are you, take one day at a time and don’t fall back into the trap thinking they will change, you only can change you, not him.

    Stay strong and take care!

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Cynthia,
      Thank you for sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like you were able to break the cycle of violence in your own life and move in to healthier relationship patterns. Thank you for your words of inspiration. If you would like to talk to an advocate about how to get involved on a local level, you are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  38. Melanie says:

    I am a female age 44, I have been involved in abusive relationships myself, I am talking pushed, raped, fisted in my face for 6 hours straight, cars caught on fire, broken ankles, black eyes, fat lips, stitches, locked in rooms for sometimes 4 days, held down, called names, spit in my face, humiliations, jumping out of moving vehicles, slapped in my sleep, interrupted at work, left stranded in the desert in 125 degree heat, wreckles driving, pulled through half open windows, guns held to my head, ran off the freeway, and hair pulled out of my head, and so on, you name it. I have experienced it..and I will be the FIRST TO SAY THAT IT WAS BY CHOICE THAT I PUT UP WITH ALL OF IT,,,AND THE REASONS WHY IS BECAUSE I WAS STILL HAVING THE SEX WITH THE GUY WHO HAD BEEN ABUSING ME.ITS THE ONLY REASONS FOR WHY THE ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR CONTINUES,,,, although I know that the abusive behavior is wrong, in the moment that he is nice, is when for a split second I forget all about his abusive actions, all because it’s all I am wanting at any time is for him to treat me nice, and when he did, I loved it….In all reality, there is not one female that unless they were literally held against their will cant say that “THEY WERE FORCED TO STAY WITH THE ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.” BECAUSE IF YOU PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN AND DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY, TRUST AND BELIEVE THAT HE WILL LEAVE YOU ALONE, OR HAVE HIS ASS THROWN IN JAIL. COPS WILL PROTECT YOU, PATROL AND WATCH TO PROTECT YOU, THE QUESTION IS: WHY DO YOU NOT PUT THE STOP TO IT, AND NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT HIS CONSEQUENCES,,,BECAUSE WHY………….BECAUSE WE STILL LOVE HIM,,,,,,,,THATS WHY……………….THIS IS THE ONLY REASON WHY WE WANT SYMPATHY,,BECAUSE WE WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WANT TO KEEP HIM AROUND,,,,,,THE ONLY THING WE WANT IS FOR HIM TO STOP,,,WE DONT WANT TO LEAVE HIM, OR LOSE HIM, WE JUST WANT HIM TO STOP….ITS ONLY WHEN HE DOES STOP,,THAT WE CHOOSE TO THEN COMPLAIN ABOUT IT,, OR GET HIM IN TROUBLE, BECAUSE WHY, BECAUSE NOW HE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US, AND WE CANNOT STAND IT,,,,THATS WHEN WOMEN TAKE ACTION, AFTER THE FACT WHEN ITS NO LONGER YOUR PROBLEM,,,YOU HOLD ON BY CONTROLING HIM THATS WHEN FEMALES CALL THE COPS,,,,,AND GET THE COURTS INVOLVED,,,,WHEN ITS WAY TO LATE,,,,WHEN ALL YOU HAD TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE IS LEAVE HIM FOR GOOD,,,EITHER WAY REMEMBER THE END RESULT IS STILL THE SAME,,,,,,THAT BEING,,,,,,YOUR NO LONGER GONNA BE TOGETHER,,,SO WHEN A MAN HITS YOU, OR HURTS YOU,,,,FORCE YOURSELF TO LEAVE, AND NEVER LOOK BACK,.,,,,,THATS THE SMARTEST THING ANY FEMALE COULD DO, TO GET HIM TO STOP,,,,,,

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Melanie,

      Thank you for sharing your voice with our blog. It sounds like you survived some horrific circumstances. I’m really sorry you had to endure such violence, nobody deserves that.

      There are many reasons why someone who is being abused chooses to stay with the batterer. Whether it is because of love, financial dependence, threats, fear or many other complex reasons; even if someone decides to stay in their abusive situation that does not give anyone the right to continue to hurt them.

      Society tends to blame the victim when in reality it is not always easy to leave. An individual that is being abused and chooses to stay still needs the love and support from friends and family. They need someone who will listen to them without judgement and who will be there when they reach out for help.

      You are right that many victims just want the violence to stop. For the batterer to be kind and caring, like in the “nice” moments between the explosive outbursts. Advocates are here to answer your call 24/7 for further information concerning domestic violence.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  39. Adrianne says:

    Im a mother of 2 with another on the way, ill be 24 this july. My 1st abusive experience happened april 2007 & to this day it still feels like yesterday. My then boyfriend, 5 years older, was everything I had wanted, we had been together since I was 16, I should of known then he was a bad decission. I found him to be extremely jealous & by no means faithful, he sold drugs, smoked & drank…heavily. His father was abusive, I would watch him beat his wife. It never crossed my mind the love of my life would ever treat me that way, one night at work he said I had to find a way home, luckily a friend stopped by to pick up a pizza and offered me a ride, so I took it, once we pulled up at the house my boyfriend pulled up too, I got out of the car & went into the house trying to lock him outsid, he pushed his way in. once inside I saw a side I had never seen before, he called me names, accused me of cheating & I laughed at him because I didn’t understand why he was saying these things when he knew it wasn’t true, out of nowhere he grabbed me & slammed me into the wall, I swear I heard something crack, felt my head, no blood, the wall cracked. At some point he punched me in the eye, all the while I was trying to figure out what to do, I ran & tried to lock myself in the restroom, I failed, he pushed the door & knocked me off balance, I fell, he got on top of me, choked me til I stopped breathing , I had blacked out, when I came back to he was gone, he had left me there for dead. The police were called, he received 2 felonies, 1 for trespassing, 1 for felony theft, he also received a misdemeanor, beating the crap out of me. He served a year in jail only because he had pending drug charges. 2 months later I found out I was 3 months pregnant, he took my life but he gave me life. About a year later I got into a new relationship, only to find out he was unfaithful also. He took care of my daughter however he was even more jealous than the 1st, he would get more & more violent with every argument, he never hit me, he was more verbal than physical, I was about 8 months pregnant when it got physical, he had taken my car & was refusing to bring it back, we got into an altercation, police were called, nothing happened. We broke up after the birth of my 2nd daughter, a year later I got involved with someone else, he wasn’t abusive in any way, my ex started threatening the lives of me & my new boyfriend, he was charged with harassment. My then boyfriend left me. July of 2011 I moved to Memphis, got involved with someone 9 years older, he was amazing, loved my kids, had 2 of his own. Everything was great & wonderful, he treated me as a queen & my daughters as princesses. Then the jealousy started, after that the cotrol, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere without him, I couldn’t speak to friends or family over the phone because that was time I was supposed to be spending with him, he would take my phone & go through it &even go to the extent of pretending to be me. Im a stylist & he caused me to lose a great clientele, producers, artists, business owners…it took him 4 different times of putting his hands on me to decide I needed to leave. The last incident he drug me with the car & threw me through a door. I spent a week in a hotel til I could move back to Nashville. In the past almost 5 years I’ve been through it all, the judge thought I would be permanently blind in my left eye from the 1st, my parents thought I wouldn’t live past the 2nd & the 3rd still claims I’m the love of his life. I’m 3 months pregnant with my 3rd child, whom like the other 2, father is an abuser. I don’t know why or how I keep ending up in these situations & alot of times I feel I’m alone, people say it’s my fault, that I fall for it, but in the beginning it so hard to tell, I’ve shared my story with lots of people hoping it will help someone who’s going through it too. I read the previous comments & it makes me happy to know I left all my situations before they got worse or before my children had to endure it. I still cry at night, jump when someone yells & whenever someone raises a arm or hand I always try to protect myself from the blow, I live in fear even though I’m no longer going through it. Abuse doesn’t stop, it continues even after you leave.

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:

      Adrianne,

      Thank you for sharing your voice with our blog readers; I’m sure it was not easy to express the terrible moments you survived. I’m sorry that the people in your life do not understand the dynamics of abuse, because it is never your fault. You did not do anything to warrant someone hurting you in any way. Your words lead me to believe that you are a strong individual who ended up with charming partners that did not show their true, abusive, side in the beginning.

      It sounds like you are still healing from the aftermath of the abuse. If you would like counseling services in your area you can call The Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for a referral. I’m happy to hear that you and your children are in a safer environment.

      Hotlineadvocate_MB

  40. Patricia McRae says:

    It has been quite some time since you posted this comment, I hope that since then you have found freedom. Either way, if you’d like to talk, I’m here. I was in an abusive relationship for years, that got worse and worse the longer I stayed, until I finally was able to break free. Just knowing I wasn’t alone, was one of the greatest gifts I had ever been given. You are not alone.

  41. K.M says:

    Its amazing to read all these stories and see how there all alike. I just got out of abusive relationship like a year ago. When it first started out he seem like this awsome, amazing, caring, and loving guy. And he seem perfect for me. Well little did i know it was not going to stay that way. He started to tell me that i need to put on make-up because i dont look good without it. He told me how to dress and what to wear. And went my twin sister came over he would slap her on her butt. And made me and sister feel really uncomfortable till the point she didnt want to come over anymore. After awhile he didnt even let my sister come over anymore or my friends. He would tell me who to talk to and how long I have to talk on the phone. Then for 3 months the abuse die down. And i though that was just a phase and it would never happen. Oh boy! I was so wrong. He got me prengant and thats when the physical stuff started happening. All though my prengancy he would force me to have sex with him even when I was sick or i didnt want too. He never showed up for my baby apts. And when he did go he abuse me in the doctors office. And whould yell at me in front of everyone. Making me feel like a horrible person. And when it came around the time we could listen to the babys heart beat. He never listen to it. The whole time i listen to the babys heart beat for the first time. He was talking on his phone to his brother. And didnt care i was crying after all that happen. At the ended of my prengancy I ended up with preclampsla which is high blood brought on by prengancy. And if it gets really bad you could have a seizure. And I was a second from having a seizure so I ended up getting a emergency c-section. That whole time during the c-section I was scared and crying and he didnt even hold my hand and support me. And after my daughter was born it got worse. One night he was working in till 11:00pm. And I promise him earlier in the day i would make him pork chops, mashed potatoes and green beans. but that night my daughter wasnt feeling good and she wouldnt go to bed. After while I finally got her to bed and it was like 10:30pm . . And i didnt have time to make pork chops, mashes potatoes, and green beans. So in instead i just made mac n” chesse.But because i was stress out and i knew he would be stress too from working. I had a good idea to make a romantic dinner for him. So I put candles and roses petals everywhere so we could have a relaxing night together and talk. but oh boy! it so didnt happen that way. When he got home from work he was so stress out and so pissed off that i didnt make what i told me what i would make. He throw off the plates off the table and he knock over all the romantic stuff i did for him. And at that time i was standing by the stove. With the stove still hot. And he hold me down on the stove and said this “listen bitch the next time you promise to make something you make it. You hear me. Your a worthless. And you never do anything right.” Then he went in to the bedroom and shut the door very hard. Then my daughter woke up and i ran in there to pick her. And I was Shaking and crying though. The week after that happen we got into a big fight and it ened up by him holding me down and choking me in front of my daughter. I had to make sure that saved alive for my daughter. So I protected myself by using self defends. Shortly after the fight ended he went to work in till late at night. I waited for like 2 hrs then I called my friend up and told her. And she came over and got me and daughter. And that night i slept over her house. The next day I left the state to live with my family. And it was hard and i cry alot but i have to make sure my daughter safe. My daughter is so young that she will not remember what happen. And I went back to him off and on like 6 or 7 times though out the relationship. But once he got physical I told myself thats it. Its time to be a protect mother and leave for good. Because its time.

    If i could get out of abusive relationship.. .you can too.. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE TREATED BADLY EVER…you derserve better then that. And also its not your fault you the abuse happen. Just hang in there trust me it gets better. And dont go back to him. He is lying when he says he change and it will never happen again.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      K.M.,
      Thank you for reading, and for sharing your story with our blog community. From what you’ve shared, you survived an awfully abusive relationship. No one ever has the right to put their hands on you for any reason. I am glad to hear that you and your daughter are safely out of it. If you need to talk to someone, you are always welcome to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. We can talk to you for support but also find local resources for help, including support groups and counseling.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  42. Francesca says:

    Melanie, I’m not sure I even want to dignify your post with an answer, other than, everyone is different, and everyone has different reasons for staying. Perhaps you are still under control of your abuser, and so you think it’s your fault what happened. I used to think the same way. I hope that you will work these issues out soon, and realize that it is not your fault for staying. If a man, who constantly rapes, beats, tortures you, claims he will kill you if you leave him, most people would tend to believe it. What’s really stopping him? If someone pointed a loaded gun to the back of my head, I would make damn sure I followed his directions. That is exactly what happened to me. I’m not complaining about it, I am letting my voice be heard so other woman might take inspiration from my experiences, and hopefully help themselves get out sooner.

  43. Francesca says:

    I would like to call people’s attention to the following link: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/871008/wisconsin_lawmaker_to_spousal_abuse_victims:_if_you_are_being_beaten,_just_remember_the_things_you_love_about_your_husband/#paragraph5

    This man is outrageous. This year’s political campaigning has fallen nothing short of being a war against women. In response to this man’s statement that women should think about all the things she loves about her husband while he is beating her, in order to not have to get the dreaded divorce, I have prepared the following list. This is a list that tells me that I really shouldn’t have left my husband (note: heavy sarcasm). Thank you, Don Pridemore, for teaching all us women an important lesson. Never divorce for ANY reason… gee, you have to love these MALE politicians.

    1. I love the way he helped me clean up the blood on the carpeting after he broke my nose. That was so sweet of him. He didn’t have to do that, but he did!

    2. I love the way he sat with me at the hospital after putting me in a coma. Very caring.

    3. I love the way he would come to all my doctor’s appointments with me to make sure I wouldn’t have sex with the doctor. Very compassionate.

    4. I love the way he would yell at me for coming home 5 minutes late from class after helping one of my students. That really kept me on my toes, and taught me that I should always be punctual.

    5. I love the way he would check my vagina when I’d come home from work to make sure I wasn’t having sex with anyone there. He was really trying to protect our marriage.

    6. I love the way he beat me up whenever I talked to another man about anything. It’s very protective to want to keep me to himself. He must have really loved me.

    7. I love the way he doused my daughter with cold water whenever she’d have a diaper accident at the age of 2. He really showed her who’s boss!

    8. I love the way he forbid me to have friends. He kept me safe from those who may potentially do bad things to me.

    9. I love the way he put my daughter’s head through the bathroom wall just because she was crying. It’s always good to have a quiet house. Children are to be seen and not heard. Also, I am now an expert in repairing drywall. Thank you so much.

    10. I love the way he refused to work. That taught me to work extra hard and really strive to provide everything for the family. He made me a super hard worker.

    11. I love the way he got me kicked out of medical school. It really taught me to be humble. I should never be better than my husband in anything for any reason.

    12. I love the way he caused my daughter to have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). It keeps me on my toes to this very day. I have had to learn extreme patience, and my daughter has learned that hitting is a good way to resolve things. Extra special thanks for this one!

    13. I love him for letting my dog out without a leash so she could get run over by a car. That taught my daughter that any time something is bothering you, it’s ok to kill it. There are to be no nuisance animals in the house.

    14. I love him for beating every animal we ever owned, or killing it. This includes a dog, two cats, and a chameleon. You sure showed those animals who’s in charge. Man shall have control over all beasts. Thank you for being so Biblical.

    15. I love him for cheating on me the entire time we were married. I really appreciate this one, because it taught me a good lesson: double standards are ok, and the man is the king of his domain.

    16. I love him for raping me on a regular basis. This also taught me patience, and that a woman should always submit to her husband.

    17. I love him for stripping me of my sexuality and my self esteem. This taught me to be resilient.

    18. I love him for letting the dogs do their business all over the house and leaving it for me to clean up after a long day at work. He had so much to do during the day what with watching TV, playing videogames, and working out. It taught me a good lesson that I should work my butt off, come home, and clean the entire house by myself, without any help whatsoever. My house is now super clean thanks to him.

    19. I love him for choking me out to the point of losing consciousness. You might be asking yourself why I would be thankful for that? I learned the value of oxygen. I hadn’t been appreciating oxygen as much as I should have, but I’ll never do THAT again!

    20. I love him for breaking my finger. Who needs their pinky anyways? It’s kind of a useless finger.

    21. I love him for not letting me get any exercise. Gaining weight is always a good thing, this way men won’t look at you anymore. That is a good way to keep the marriage solid.

    22. I love him for causing me to get fibromyalgia. Living with daily pain builds character.

    23. I love him for ruining by perfect credit. It’s really shown me the value of a dollar, and how to dig yourself out of debt with no help. Even though I had never carried a credit card balance before meeting him, this still taught me not to carry a balance on my credit cards. It’s my fault for allowing him to run up these cards even though I was threatened with death when I wouldn’t buy him what he wanted.

    24. I love him for destroying my beautiful, immaculate house. There wasn’t a spot anywhere on it when I met him, but now all the door jambs, doors, walls, and carpet are destroyed, not to mention several appliances. He showed me! Standing up to a man is not ok, no matter what the circumstances. It’s my fault that he destroyed my house.

    25. I love him for the way he hasn’t shown any love or compassion to his own flesh and blood. Who needs a father anyways?

  44. Francesca says:

    My daughter is doing ok although she has post traumatic stress disorder. Otherwise she is a vibrant, healthy, beautiful little girl. My attacker has not, nor will he ever be charged thanks to the states attorney in my county…our form of justice is getting away from him, living a wonderful life, and helping those around us. It’s not fair, but unfortunately it happens all the time. The laws and the judges need a serious overhaul!!!

  45. Layla says:

    I went on this site looking for information on how I could possibly help my best friend. She has been with her boyfriend for a year now and like many of these men I am reading about in all of the previous stories, he seemed like the most charming wonderful man you could possibly meet. After a few months of things going wonderfully, he out of the blue started accusing her of cheating on him (even though she never had). She changed her life around to try and do everything she could to prove to him that his accusations were not true. They would fight, not talk for a few days, and then he would come running back and she would always give in. About 4 months ago, she found out that he had been married not long ago and had been arrested multiple times for physically abusing his ex-wife. After finding this out she did go about a month without speaking to him and I was hoping this was done for good. Then one night he called her drunk asking for a ride, she as usual gave in and they have been back to seeing each other ever since. Even though, from what I know he has not caused her any physical harm, he is very emotionally abusive to her. He is very controlling, needs to know where she is at all times, even made her install a video chat on her phone to use so he can video call her to “see” that she really is where she says she is. He continues to accuse her of cheating. He drinks a lot and I know does some drugs, I have never seen him on them but from what she tells me makes him very angry and aggressive at times. When he drinks and does these drugs (which is multiple times a week), he forces her to stay up having sex with him all night into the late hours of the morning, and has actually threatened her and made her leave for telling him that she was tired and could not stay up any longer. She has told me that when he gets angry like this, he will slam things around the house; like doors, or punch walls or furniture. And this is all happening behind closed doors, because when they are out in public together as a couple, he acts very loving towards her and seems like the same wonderfully charming man she met a year ago.
    It just seems to me that his aggressive controlling behavior is getting worse and worse and no matter how many times I have asked her to just leave him and told her that she could do better and doesn’t need this she won’t because as she says, she “loves him too much”. She did walk out of his door and tell him that she was “leaving for the last time” a couple weeks ago after him making her stay up all night until 8 o’clock in the morning having sex. Later that day, he took an hour long drive and started stalking her at work to make sure that she was really where she said she was. My friend said that this incident was way over the top and definitely the last straw, but less than two days later he started texting her saying how much he “hates that they’re apart” and how much he “loves and misses her’ and is “sorry and that it will never happen again.” Of course as usual, she believed him and was right back in his arms. The last time they fought, I actually told her that I would stop speaking to her if she went back, not because I was mad at her (and I made sure she knew that) but because I could not sit around and watch someone I love continue to allow someone to hurt them the way he does her. That didn’t last long because not only could I not go without talking to my best friend, I would feel guilty if this escalated and something happened to her during this time. I just am at a loss and don’t know what to do, I wish she would listen to me but after all of the things she has put up with from him, I don’t think she will and am scared that this is just going to continue to get worse.

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Layla,
      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with our Share Your Voice blog community. It sounds like your friend is in a very abusive relationship, and I can see why you would be so concerned and upset. Abusive relationships tend to start out really wonderfully, with the abuser acting really charming and loving. Oftentimes, it’s not until they gain some form of commitment or further control in the relationship that the abuse escalates. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your best friend is still hoping that she will have her loving boyfriend back full time. I’m sure he promises her that things will change or that he will be different. It’s not uncommon for someone who is in this kind of relationship to leave and go back multiple times before fulling ending it. As a friend, you can always try to empower her, and let her know that what he’s doing is not normal and that it’s not okay. Try to focus on the abusive behavior and keep him out of the conversation. It can tend to put someone on defense if you talk badly about their partner, when your real intention is just to support her and validate her. As much as leaving him seems like it would be an easy answer, she may need a lot of support to get there. It’s also really important to make sure you are taking care of yourself so that if she does need you, you can be supportive. Advocates on the National Domestic Violence Hotline are available 24/7 to talk to friends and family members, or anyone affected by domestic violence. If you’d like to talk with someone, you are always welcome to call us at 1-800-799-7233.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  46. heppy says:

    Hi, I am a mess, 10 1/2 yrs ago, my husband got a girlfriend, I didn’t realize that this thing was going to turn into a monster. It is 10 1/2 years later, and I still am here. I thought about suicide, but decided it isn’t worth it. But I don’t know how to leave this relationship, because he supports me. In the last 2 years, he is stealing stuff from our home, and giving it to her, and she provided him with a new wardrobe. He has said over and over again, that they are finished. He is a liar, something that he wasn’t ever. He is evil, and this girlfriend probably is telling him what to do. The problem is, I don’t know where to go. I am sort of sick. He got me to get physically sick, trouble with stomach everyday, and back is so bad, and I depend on him for things. I also have a dog and 2 wonderful cats. I prob need a lawyer, I don’t know who to go to. I live in ny. Pls reply.

    heppy (joyce)

    • HotlineAdmin_RE says:

      Heppy,
      Thank you for contacting the Share Your Voice blog. From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your husband is really emotionally abusive to you. Aside from what may or not be going on in his other relationship, you deserve respect, and even having a girlfriend is diserespectful to his relationship with you. It sounds like he uses this other relationship to be even more emotionally abusive to you. Claiming that he’s leaving her, and then not, etc. There may be options for you if you are wanting to leave the relationship, but it would help to know what kind of other things are going on. You are always welcome to call 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 what kind of help is available locally for victims of abuse, and explore some options and resources with you.

      HotlineAdvocate_RE

  47. k.m says:

    thank you so much for putting your story out there. Reading your story made me realize even though i was abused in the past. And it still hurts from time to time. I am a strong person for getting out of that abusive relationship and i been out for almost 2 years now. stay strong and i hope you have an amazing day!

  48. Francesca says:

    K.m. Thank you so much for your comment! Comments like yours give me the strength to keep on helping and advocating. I’m so glad I’ve been able to touch your life as you have mine <3

  49. Sam says:

    My employer made all 100,000 employees take domestic violence training this year. I couldn’t believe the statistic that 25% of all women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. The number just seemed too high to be believed. So I came here to learn more and my heart is broken. I know of no one who is a victim, but with statistics like these, I must know someone who is hiding her pain. My heart goes out to all of you. Be strong. Get help. God save you. I wish there was something I could do…

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:

      Sam,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like that training really made an impact for you and I appreciate the kind words of encouragement you have offerred for the people contacting us. Unfortunately that statistic is true and it encompassess many different forms of abuse.

      If you would like to learn more about this or would like to find out how to help those in your community, feel free to contact us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is happy to help you locate an agency seeking volunteers.

      HotlineAdvocate_SG

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