victim

‘I was a teen at a nightclub. I lied. I got scouted, but there was a catch. He needed $3,000 for the ‘lessons.’: Daughter reconciles with addict mom after being signed over to the government as a child, living in 11 foster homes

“I saw my mom inject heroin. When the social workers came, I would hide all her needles. I didn’t want to be labeled ‘the foster child’ at school. When I turned 12, only 2 couples came forward wanting to adopt me. I felt like I was betraying my mom. I no longer wanted to be here, and inhaled poisonous fumes. But now I know why I’ve had this life.”

‘You look so much more beautiful with a black eye.’ My entire life revolved around staying alive. There was no tomorrow, no next week. Just the now, and an escape plan.’: Young woman escapes domestic violence, finds love with ‘selfless’ man

“Leaving meant dying and staying meant torture. My mornings consisted of figuring out how much time I had to dry my eyes and wash the blood off before work. How much time I had before he came home to get on my hands and knees and pray for my life. On average? 11 minutes. Then the abuse clock started again. It’s not easy loving a domestic violence survivor, but my partner makes it look easy.”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘It was a long time ago. Get over it!’ I was the victim. I thought my family would hold me. Instead, I was blamed.’: Woman admits brother’s sexual abuse, ‘forgiveness doesn’t mean you must have a relationship with your abuser’

“I sent my brother an email. ‘I was a wake last night.’ He never came into my bedroom at night again. When it came time for my wedding years later, my mom insisted I do things ‘her way.’ She wanted my brother to stand beside my husband. We danced around it, but nothing worked. I had to tell her what my brother did to me. ‘How could you do this to us? You’re tearing our family apart,’ I was told. For years, I tried to navigate this deep, dark pit and find light. She threw me back into the dirt.”

‘You need to get over it,’ he said. ‘You’re being ridiculous.’ My boyfriend yelled at me in our Uber. He was so upset with me, and told me I was ‘too emotional.’ All I felt was fear.’

“We went out. I had too much to drink. I went to the bathroom and thought my current boyfriend was going to wait for me, but instead, I couldn’t find him after. Then all of a sudden, I saw a guy from my past. I was a victim of his, and I had a panic attack. I found my boyfriend. ‘We need to leave.’”

‘I was an intern. He was the manager. I was in his home with his wife and kids. He knew what he did was wrong, but that he could get away with it. That same year, the unthinkable happened.’

“I didn’t know what to say or do. I was frozen. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t concentrate. My mind pretended like it never happened. I felt like I couldn’t ‘risk my career’ by speaking up, so I remained silent. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Just graduate and get a job.’”

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