In the beginning the relationship was amazing. The perfect man, a doting and protective boyfriend. Family and friends envied the relationship and found him to every charming. He was tall, handsome, well-educated with so much in common. With him there was never a boring moment, finally the man every woman dreams of meeting. Whenever he’s around, you hear wedding bells and feel in your heart the two of you will live happily ever after.
One day everything changes. What started out as a healthy amount of jealousy and concern has slowly turned into something else entirely. The calls and texts to make sure all is well has increased, along with the need to know where you are and what you are doing. A minor disagreement turns into an argument, as you try to leave so the two of you may calm down and continue the conversation when both of you are level headed. Nobody gets heard or can get a point across when screaming and yelling. He grabs you by the arm to stop you, but as you try to pull away the grip tightens. He’s yelling, every other word is an expletive including derogatory names no woman deserves to be called. At this moment you have the “deer in headlights” look on your face, struggling to break free of his grip. Upset and with no idea what to think, you quickly flee to a safer place to think and recover from the shock of what just transpired. Not all women are so lucky! An emotional wreck, you replay the altercation in your mind to make sense of what just happened. You wonder what you did or said to make him lose control. What could you have said or done differently? This is where you start to question yourself and maybe even blame yourself for his actions. Especially, after his repeated calls and texts apologizing, confessing undying love and promising to never hurt you again. Of course you forgive him, you are in love.
Weeks or months go by with everything back to normal. He is as charming as ever, you receive flowers, gifts and you love it. One day you are enjoying a day out with girlfriends and your phone is ringing constantly. Having spoken with him three times already you decided not to answer again in order to enjoy your day out. Upon arriving home, you immediately return his call and the interrogation begins.
Where have you been?
Who were you with?
What have you been doing?
Why were you so busy you could not answer my calls?
The questions come one after the other. Flustered and unable to deliver the responses acceptable to him, ignites the next shouting match. In desperation to defend yourself from false accusations and respond to the questions asked you start to scream and yell. No matter how you respond, true or false, proven or not, there is nothing you can do to calm his anger. For a brief moment you muster up enough back bone to disconnect the call. It felt great, but you don’t know how he will respond to your bold action. Instantly, you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and very nervous, subconsciously you know its fear but you are not ready to admit it. Remaining strong his repeated attempts to reach you go unanswered, but the nervousness increases. A loud pounding on your door nearly knocks you out of your seat, the heart races and your hands sweaty and shaking. You automatically know it’s him, afraid to open the door not knowing what he may do. A few more heavily placed knocks and texts demanding that you open the door to talk, you give in. A chill comes over you and for a moment you hear that inner voice boldly saying “no”, blinded by the love you have for the once charming and devoted boyfriend you cast the feeling aside. He promised to never hurt you again and all he wants to do is talk. He loves you and you love him.
Your loving boyfriend enters ignoring your motions for affection, feeling uneasy you close and lock your door. You’re on the floor with him, straddling you and violently punching and choking you. He has you pinned to the floor by your neck as he slaps you repeatedly. Overcome with fear that you worked so hard to suppress or ignore, you are begging for him to stop and apologizing for making him angry. In a violent rage he continues to deliver blow after blow as he threatens your life verbally. Standing in the shower crying, washing away the blood and trying to ease the pain from the bruises once again, you start to blame yourself or just too scared to end the relationship. Daily you work hard to hide the bruises in order to protect yourself from embarrassment and your attacker from the repercussions that could arise. These beatings have gone on long enough! Suffering from busted lips, black eyes and hospital visits you no longer can stay in the relationship. Is there really a way out? Yes. Trust me!!! Start by telling someone you trust. Family, a friend, priest or pastor and be sure to call the police every time you are threatened or abused. Believe me, you are not alone, every 15 seconds a woman is assaulted in her home. Statistics state that close to 4 million women are beaten to death by an intimate partner every year. Victims of domestic violence are in more danger of being assaulted or killed by their domestic partner than a police officer is to get shot. These statistics are very disheartening, the precious lives of these women lost forever because they felt there was no escape from their domestic situations. Thirty- three percent of battered women will suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, becoming mentally fragile from months or maybe even years of abuse. Abuse is not just physically debilitating, there are also mental, emotional and spiritual factors involved. Everyone has a breaking point, 15 percent of homicides committed by women are either in self-defense from their intimate partner or from mental defect caused by past violent relationships. I have listed a few of the best national organizations for women and families.
My single wish is to be able to help as women as I can go from being a victim to a survivor. I once was a victim, I am a survivor and an activist against intimate partner violence. If there are any women who are reading this and you are currently in a domestic violence situation, I’m always available to assist in any way I can just send me a personal message. We will get through this together!!!
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Family Violence Prevention & Services Resource Center
Domestic Violence Statistics