domestic violence

‘The first year of marriage is supposed to be hard.’ I caught him in a lie, and he broke. ‘That’s what bad people do.’: Woman escapes abusive marriage, comes ‘full circle’ and re-marries

​“I stood in the dark, gravel parking lot, sobbing, hoping he would follow me and tell me to come back home. That everything would be okay. He never came. Instead, my friend showed up and put her jacket around me. It was cold. I didn’t understand why she did that, what I’d done to deserve it. ‘Because I love you.’ My breath caught. It hit me that I didn’t understand that kind of love. He was determined to sink. I had to choose whether I’d go down with him.”

‘I invited my husband’s ex-wife to my wedding. In our family, we’re not ‘half’ or ‘step.’ We’re just family.’: Mom and stepmom come together to peacefully co-parent after feud, ‘women should always support each other’

“As I was falling in love with him and his daughter, he and his wife were getting a divorce. We were both young, immature, and jealous. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Hurtful words were thrown around for years. One day, we decided to meet up and talk. ‘Can you meet me at the coffee shop?’ That was the day two women came together in vulnerability.”

‘Does he own a firearm?’ I told the operator ‘yes.’ They found it hidden, loaded, in my daughter’s toys.’: Woman leaves abusive marriage to set strong example for 3-year-old, ‘My daughter’s smile is worth every struggle’

“What they said next sent chills down my spine. ‘It seems he had it loaded and ready to threaten you in case you came back.’ He was arrested and booked that night. I loved this man, madly. I received a call from my husband in jail. ‘Hello?’ His response, ‘I’ll never forgive you for this. You ruined my life.’ I hung up. I knew I had to pull all my pieces together – if not for me, then for her. My daughter would never get to know this side of me.”

‘No wonder things got so volatile, living with someone like THAT.’ You hear them talk at dinner parties.’: Woman urges ‘it’s not your job to fix an abuser’ after finally deciding ‘humiliation, shame’ was enough

“You had a huge fight with your partner. You wonder if you are being abused, or if it was ‘just a mistake.’ You watch them chat and laugh with your partner at holidays and school functions, and you know they will never believe what happens behind closed doors.”

‘Learning his mistress was pregnant with twins felt like his hands were still wrapped around my neck.’: Woman escapes domestic abuse relationship after neighbor overhears desperate pleas for ‘help,’ raising little boy has been her ‘saving grace’

“I’d get dressed, only to realize my keys were gone from their usual spot. ‘Babe, I took them by accident,’ he’d tell me. My husband had his cellphone number programmed to receive all the notifications when visitors buzzed our apartment. No one could visit me. At 7 months pregnant, I rushed into my closet. I was in the fetal position cradling my stomach. I whispered to my baby, ‘Mommy will always protect you. We’re going to be okay.’ ‘Get out of there immediately,’ my cousin told me.”

‘I picked out songs for your funeral,’ my sister told me. I feel nothing. I start shooting heroin into my IV.’: Young woman survives harrowing heroin addiction, says her son ‘hands down saved me’

“’How did I get here? I don’t want this life.’ I walked by the gun case and decided to take one rifle. My parents called the police. I downed an entire bottle of antidepressants and shot up the rest of my heroin. I sat on the edge of my hospital bed, sobbing. My doctor knew what I had been doing. She knew I had a syringe in the cabinet above my bed.”

‘Wow, he really cares about me.’ His scheme to butter me up to lose his virginity worked.’: Domestic violence survivor reveals she’s been ‘scared to speak my truth’ for years, but finally realizes ‘I’m stronger for what I’ve been through’

“I was sitting in my room doing homework. His ex-girlfriend called. He was caught red handed. He drove to my house with flowers and sobbed. ‘I’m so sorry. I’m just so insecure because you’re so out of my league – I got nervous and cheated.’ I was so angry. My relationship was destroying my family. Nevertheless, I went to Disney with him anyway. I stood in the middle of Magic Kingdom crying, alone and terrified.”

‘Please! I’m pregnant!’ My front door kicked open. There, in my living room, stood a man with a gun.’: Woman loses baby to stomach gunshot wound in robbery, ‘I spent 8 beautiful days on Earth with her’

“Suddenly, I heard a gunshot and felt intense pain in my stomach. I couldn’t feel my baby moving anymore. The last thing I remember, I was being wheeled in for an emergency c-section, all eyes on me. When I finally saw my daughter, I could tell she was fighting. In my arms, her body started to fade to purple. ‘When you finally say enough is enough, she will be put to rest.’ Still, I held her through each breath. I was at a complete loss of words.”

‘I’m sorry. There’s no brain activity.’ My baby was turning orange. ‘Turn off the machines.’: Baby ‘brain dead’ after contracting Common Cold Sore, ‘hold your babies a little tighter tonight’

“We were told, ‘Her numbers look good on paper, but she won’t survive.’ The cold sore virus spread. She’d never leave the hospital alive. Before they turned off all the love-sustaining machines, I said goodbye to my first and only child. I watched as she struggled to breathe and turned blue in my arms. All I could do was hold her tightly, and cry. I watched her last breath. I died with her.”

‘I didn’t even hurt you that bad.’ I believed it when he said, ‘You pushed me to this point.’: Young woman finds courage to leave abusive boyfriend, urges ‘love isn’t abuse in ANY form’

“I finally found the courage to dial those three numbers. I had my phone taken from me, which created a fight in itself. I was lucky enough to be wearing my Apple Watch which allowed me to call. The EMT looked me in the eyes. ‘Any man that puts his hands on you doesn’t love you.’ His words helped me more than he will ever know.”

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