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What happened?: I was in an abusive marriage for 10 years. I was pushed,shoved,hit,slapped,raped,taunted and tormented. My eldest son witnessed a lot of it. My son was emotionally abused as well.

How did you deal with it?: Not very well. I secluded myself from everyone. I was in a deep depression for years. I tried to carry on like everything was fine & normal. I felt so alone. I was so embarassed & I felt such shame..even though I had done nothing wrong.

How did you change the situation?: I was in a bookstore, not really looking for anything in particular when something told me to turn around & there on the shelf was this small paperback book. It was called "The Battered Women's Survival Guide"..I bought it & immediately began reading it. Everything I read was as if I had written the book myself. It validated everything I had been through. I was not alone anymore. It was like I had turned on a empowered me to be strong & change what was going on in my life!

What/who helped you get stronger?: The book I mentioned above & my love for my son. No one helped me. No one wanted to be involved. Even my own family turned there backs to me.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: You are not alone. You are stronger than you realize. YOU are not the person that is to blame. Your abuser is the one with the problem & you can not change that person. Do whatever you can to leave & get out of that situation. I wasted 10 years of my life-10 years that I can never get back...


SMS Ellis

What happened?: I spent almost ten years in an abusive relationship. The abuse was a gradual thing, but after the birth of our first child the bullying, name calling, controlling and violence escalated.He drank constantly, smoked dope like others would smoke cigarettes. He injured his back and the prescription drug abuse started. I lost touch with friends and many relatives - largely because I didnt want anyone to know. I left twice(pregnant)and set up home. A year later I went back -he made all the usual promises. Nothing had changed though. I couldnt please him, couldnt do anything right.He terrorised my children, threatened to kill anyone I cared about. He was evil. He stopped going to work and started watching me full time. He controlled me financally....he controlled my every waking thought

How did you deal with it?: I drank too much. I lost all sense of self worth. I believed him when he told me I was worthless. I bent over backwards to work full time, be the best mother, the best housewife. (nurse manager intensive care). I fantasized constantly that he would just die. I fantasized about killing myself to escape him.

How did you change the situation?: I changed the situation! No one else did. The authorities were useless....the police made things worse. After he broke my nose (for leaving a used teaspoon on the kitchen bench)a police officer gently talked me through the procedure to obtain a protection order. Meanwhile another officer (a female) had my husband outside and was advising him on how to obtain a protection order against me! Australia has this great provocation law...really my husband could do what he liked if I annoyed him enough. Anyway, I left just before christmas with a car full of kids and nothing else. We stayed with my eldest daughter (I have four children from my first marriage). I went online and transferred as much as possible out of our joint account. I maxed the joint credit card and I started over. I decided that if i didnt leave him for good, then I might as well just die. I started going through the motions of making it permanent.It was really hard, but every day got just a bit easier and a bit further away from my husband. I got myself a lawyer and went through the gruelling task of fighting him in court. He got legal aid - I didnt. He pulled every trick imaginable - tried to have me charged with transferring money out of our joint account, accused me of forging his signature to have the credit card limit increased, reported me to the nurses council for stealing narcotics and selling them (he actually tried to bully me into doing that - I didnt), acuused me of being a psycho bitch who chased him with a knife and tried to kill him at least once a week! I still drank too much, I had a lot of sleepless nights, I lost a lot of weight, but very slowly i started to feel good about myself again. I started to do the things I enjoyed - reading, painting, watching movies, talking on the phone, meeting friends for coffee...normal stuff. After a year I decided that the way for me to END the relationship forever was to have a new relationship. I discovered internet dating and had a few flings. I had a lot of fun and subsequently divorced him emotionally. My final net date was John....the sweetest, most gentle and loving being on the planet. We`ve been together for 2 years now and I have not looked back. I divorced my husband, fought and won the property settlement, he gave me full custody of the children (he has made no effort to see them). I changed the situation - no one else did. People, friends, authorties tell you to "just leave" one understands why you stay. Now I can remember why I stayed, but I cant believe i actually did.

What/who helped you get stronger?: I found friends were still there when I escaped..amazingly enough.Once I got out, they rallied round and listened and listened and listened. Dealing with the leagl stuff...Id make myself spend a day getting stuff together for court applications etc. Just getting through that stuff made me feel a wee bit closer to finishing it. Getting out and meeting new people, doing new things...doing the things I used to love. Finding myself again.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: GET OUT.GET OUT.GETOUT.GET OUT.GET OUT. GET OUT. GET OUT!!!!!

Ms. Elles in Scotland-

What happened?: I left an abusive relationship 5 years ago and have since been alienated from my children

How did you deal with it?: The struggle of being housed in the mens section of a homeless unit, being stalked and terrified, the poverty, loss of job and "friends" and lack of empathy and support left me struggling emotionally, financially and physically for the minute and not able to cope or deal with the situation

How did you change the situation?: After five years I graduated with honors and intended to work in Malawi. However as I have been bedridden for 3 months as a result of a serious assault and I have been left with no representation and have been continually unsupported by Glasgow (Scotland)Women's Aid, I intend to burn any monies left if I am ever allowed a divorce and sleep peacefully forever.

What/who helped you get stronger?: Two friends who have witnessed the disgusting treatment I have received from Scottish agencies that treat DV as a public relations ex3ercise

Advice to someone who is being abused?: Do not believe the PR about DV support in Scotland as even with evidence you will not be heard or helped. In a confused state you will be further abused by the people paid to assist victims of domestic abuse in Glasgow.



What happened?: I was with a very abusive and controlling man for 3 and a half years. It started with name calling then it escalated to pushing and mussing, then kicking to being slapped, spit on and being punched with a closed fist. He even choked me a couple of times, to the point when on night I passed out and I woke up and I was drenched in my own urine because I came so close to death, he even knock me down on the floor and at times kick me repeatedly, while pouring beer all over me in front of my child all I remember was my 4 year old present standing over me while I laid on the floor and my abuser saying breathe.

How did you deal with it?: I lost all contact with my friends because he didn't want me to have friendships, or even my family he would stand over me even as I spoke to my mother on the phone. I cried allot I felt isolated.

How did you change the situation?: I started to pray and seek GOD, I started fasting and reading my bible and going to church, that helped me to stop smoking and drinking that was my weakness and part of why I stayed with him. But as the lord started dealing with me I started to see clearly.

What/who helped you get stronger?: The Father the Son and the SPIRIT. God really did save me he delivered me from death because I believe he would of killed me. The more I secede GOD the closer he got to me. One day I read in his word where he said I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU. That was I life changing moment,now I put his word on every circumstance in my life.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: Seek GOD, HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BREAK THE YOKE FROM AROUND YOUR NECK.


        What happened?: I was abused for 7 years by my ex-husband. We have a 5 year-old son together and I have two boys from a previous that saw it all. My 5 year-old          watched him rape me. My 5 year-old has seen more in 5 years that most people don't see in 20.

        How did you deal with it?: I didn't deal with it well. I withdrew and developed debilitating panic attacks from it. Of which I am now on medication for and see a            therapist twice a month. But I am peeved at the thought that HE'S the one with the problem and I'm the one in therapy and on medication. He is now serving a 2          year 8 month sentence in a CA state prison.

        How did you change the situation?: Persistence and luck. The justice system finally worked for me. He has been classified as a "Special Circumstance" felon          due to  the numerous DV convictions on his record. He hits again and he will do 5 years. It won't be me next time either!!

        What/who helped you get stronger?: My children helped me to get stronger. I have all boys and I didn't want them growing up doing the same thing to a woman.

        Advice to someone who is being abused?: It's easier said than done. Leaving is the most dangerous time. Whatever you do, do not leave and then come back!! I            made that mistake a thousand times for financial reasons. Make you you have a plan in action .


What happened?: I was in an emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abusive relationship for 21 years. I didn't know it was abuse because it happened so gradually. Eventually my self-esteem, self confidence and self-worth were destroyed, and I became afraid to do anything or make any decisions. I thought I was stupid, incompetent, a moron and an idiot. I hated myself.

How did you deal with it?: I withdrew into myself. I subconsciously built a wall around me so that the hurt went in, but nothing came out. I numbed-down my emotions to the point where I wasn't able to feel or think. I just didn't what I had to do or what I was told to do. In spite of the way he treated me, I convinced myself that we had a wonderful marriage and I couldn't imagine not being with him for the rest of my life. In public, I pretended like I was perfectly happy.

How did you change the situation?: After 19 1/2 years, two friends took me aside and asked me how could I let him treat me AND the kids like that. That "AND the kids" cut through the fog and rattled something inside me. I was so firmly entrenched behind my wall at that point that I thought that I was the only one he was treating badly. The next day he gave me such a vicious verbal lashing in front of the kids over a road map that I snapped. I began fighting back, and when I realized that I was taking to a brick wall, I finally gathered the courage to leave. It took 18 months.

What/who helped you get stronger?: For the first 9 months after I left I was basically on my own. It was very difficult, lonely, scary, and I hated myself for ruining our family. Almost everyone was shocked and blamed everything on me, and I didn't even realize at the time that I was a victim of domestic violence, so I couldn't even defend myself. All I knew was that the way he was treating me was hurting me. They called me "selfish." It wasn't until 2 years later, after our divorce became final, that I found out that I was indeed an abuse victim. What kept me from going back was my gut instincts. I knew instinctively that he wasn't going to change, and even though he promised me the sun, moon, stars and universe, I knew I couldn't go back. Even though my family, who lived out of state, supported me emotionally, they still blamed me until they learned more on the subject of domestic violence. I had a few friends from the beginning who realized what had happened to me and supported me emotionally, and they helped to keep me going and sane. But for the most part, until I started seeking help after 2 years, I was fighting an uphill battle by myself. By forcing myself to do simple things that I was afraid to do, going to a shelter training class, joining a wonderful support group, and finally purchasing my own fixer-upper house I was able to regain my self confidence and self-esteem.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: Educate yourself about domestic abuse and what it has done to you. You are a lot stronger and smarter than you think you are, and you CAN get out! Just the fact that you are still alive and kicking proves it. Gather all the strength and support networks you need to make your move, and then DO it when you are ready. Then DON'T LOOK BACK!! You will want people around you who can give help and guidance, or just to lend a sympathetic ear, but ultimately, the only one you can count on to take care of yourself is YOU! No one else can or will do it for you. You are all you've got, so trust your gut instincts. Don't let anyone talk you into doing something that you don't feel is right - ESPECIALLY you're abuser! Life might be extremely difficult and scary at first, but whatever you do - DON'T GO BACK!! Life WILL get better. And always remember this - no matter what anybody says - you didn't deserve to be treated like that, there is no excuse for what he's doing to you, and HE'S NOT WORTH IT!! Without him you will have a life, with him - you won't!



What happened?: I was in an abusive relationship starting at 15. I hid it from my parents, friends everyone. I tried to leave numerous times, but the whole honeymoon stage got me at first. At the end the only way he would act reasonable was if I agreed never to leave him. I could not live my life getting beat or abused. I was 19 by then and was going to school. I broke up with him but woke up one night with him sitting on my bed watching me sleep. He beat me for four hours that time, and I finally managed to crawl outside and hide in a bush until he left. The police did not arrest him for two weeks,during which he continued stalking me and saying he could not live without me, and he was going to kill me.

How did you deal with it?:
I was too scared to tell my parents, but his best friend knew and let me stay with him so I could feel safe sleeping.

How did you change the situation?:
I decided that I did not want to die. I got the nerve to call the police, change my phone number and move.

What/who helped you get stronger?:
My best friend Sabrina let me sleep at her house too, tat is all I wanted to do for the first couple weeks. I had not slept in so long. My abusers best friend and I are still really close and I recently found out that he best up my abuser and dropped him off at the police station because he was so infuriated that the police were not responding.

Advice to someone who is being abused?:
It is hard, but it is worth it. The first day you wake up and he is not the first thing in your head, is the best day and the first time you really know you made it out.

    Indiana's Shame Teardrops for Katelynn

    What happened?: Petition that demands Justice for katelynn Indiana's Shame Teardrops for Katelynn: My little one is        being abused by a father and his new wife . The state has overlooked and downright ignores the abuse. This is in the face of overwhelming evidence that was never          admitted in a court despite many to have it reviewed. There were doctors reports, counselors, child advocates and even photographs of her being abused. The CPS     refused to even act on it even when her doctors and other professionals were calling on behalf of her safety. I am know threatened with jail for trying to protect her even in     the face of the fact there are and have never been to my knowledge allegations of any kind of abuse against me . She was turned over to her abusive father and his wife .      Her brother and I have not been allowed to see her or even speak to her in many months. I have lost my savings, my house ,and jobs trying to pay attorney and court costs trying to protect her and finally I face the real possibility of losing my freedom thus leaving her without anyone to fight this unfair system , she and her brother are trapped in, on there behalf. So, I, no we need help. I still believe there are people out there who stand up for what is right and I hope I will find you . I do this for the love of Katelynn TEARDROPS FOR KATELYNN: ""Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves." ~Winston Churchill "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if we as a people last for a thousand years, people will still say, This was their finest hour!"

How did you deal with it?: Indiana's Shame the Abuse OF Katelynn: Partial Chronology Note : this DOES NOT include 500+ additional pages of evidence an attorney gave me 1996: * I separate from abuser after I am assaulted by abuser. * Little daughter returned by abuser hurt sees family doctor. * Abuser assaults me and kids while trying to abducted little daughter. * Police statements taken. * Arrest warranted issued for abuser and protection order put in place. Other court Excludes little daughter from protection order. * Abuser arrested outstanding bench warrant found in next county abuser extradited. * Minister of abusers church bails him out. * I file for divorce and temporary custody granted to me and restraining order placed Against abuser little daughter excluded from restraining order. * I request Guardian Ad Litem for little daughter. * Ad litem submits report recommends abuser visits every weekend. Judge grants 1996: * Temporary Order issued 1998: * Letter from Domestic violence counselor abuser refuses contact via phone or in Person. Court does nothing. 1999: * Little daughter crying of owie in butt from girlfriends son. * Little daughter seen by family physician, refers to sexual abuse hospital. * Little daughter is seen at sexual abuse hospital. * Little daughter returned crying abuser's girlfriend slapped in face, spanked repeatedly for pottying in pants and is jerked out of bed. Little daughter seeing child psychologist * Little daughter returned crying is hurt when abuser and girlfriend involve little daughter in domestic violence fight. Abuser and girlfriend separate. 2001: * Little daughter returned home sick, it is winter little daughter has no outerwear abuser and parents kept. Abuser?s parents refusing to return. * Little daughter crying abuser takes little daughter to abuser?s parents house calls mother dirty names, new girlfriend plays spanking game with little daughter , new girlfriend accuses brother of spying. * Little daughter crying Abuser's new girlfriend threatens little daughter not to go near mother, drags little daughter is dragged by shoulder blade across 5 people * Sitting in chairs, forced to pray on knees for being bad, threatened mother if refusal and beatings. * Little daughter crying returned by abuser , abuser and girlfriend threatens to beat her for being bad since they can't force her to pray. * Court threatens to give little daughter to abuser if little daughter doesn't?t go on visits * Little daughter threatened to be struck repeatedly by abuser if she doesn't?t tell Abuser what little daughter told mother. * I speaks to child protection services about concerns. child protection services speak Children. Says he can't help. * Abuser remarries at wedding little daughter is burned with curling iron on forearm. burn is blistering, seeping fluid and about an inch and 1/2 long. And her underwear is removed. *Abuser returns little daughter with bruising on upper arm and forearm brother sees * I speak to town police they refuse to get involved. Town police send me to adjoining town. * Police statements taken and child protective services open investigation. * Within week after child protection service talks to abuser on phone only * investigation dropped by child protection services. * Child protection worker visits my home. * Family doctor makes report to child protection agency against abuser after doctor Visit regarding abuser. * Legal services mails letter stating no funds to help. * Little daughter agitated and crying . There is red mark from kneecap to ankle. Little daughter talks about wife rubbing her butt ?feels like sawing in half? booby traps, her book of wrongs, taken to another county where wife beats her, chemicals sprayed in her eyes and more. * I report again to child protection services. Little daughter tells worker herself. * Child protection services refuses to help, says they can't get involved since it civil matter. * I go to domestic violence shelter. Advocate advises child psychologist, and keep journal. * Little daughter starts therapy with domestic violence recommended. * Little daughter returned crying brother no longer welcome for tell child protection Service worker about abuse. 2002: *Legal services mails letter stating no funds to help. * Little daughter agitated and crying . There is red mark from kneecap to ankle. Little daughter talks about wife rubbing her butt feels like sawing in half? booby traps, her book of wrongs, taken to another county where wife beats her, chemicals sprayed in her eyes and more. * I report again to child protection services. Little daughter tells worker herself. Child protection services refuses to help. *I go to domestic violence shelter. Advocate advises child psychologist, and keep journal. * Little daughter starts therapy with child psychologist referred by domestic violence safe house recommends. * Little daughter returned crying brother no longer welcome for tell child protection Service worker about abuse. * Little daughter returned crying says she is so hungry. * After abuser refuses to bring little daughter home I speak to town police. Town police refuse to get involved. * Little daughter suicidal over book of wrongs wants to die. Little daughter says she cannot fix all her wrongs little daughter is tired. * Abuser's wife tries to run me and children off road. I flee with children to safe house. * Court places Protection order against abuser's wife on behalf of me and little daughter. Ad litem compels visit on contingency abuser promises to keep wife not around little daughter. This is not complied with. ad litem doesn't believe. *Little daughter's Psychologist goes to child Protection Services with me to demand CASA for little daughter since part of abuse happened in nearby county. *Child Protection Agency refuses CASA worker for little daughter and refuses to investigate. * Little daughter referred to new woman counselor. * New counselor files initial assessment . Summary notes little daughter suicidal , intensive fear of abuser and adjustment disorder stemming from abuse. Counselor places little daughter on suicide watch while in safe house. * While in safe house ad litem compels me to turn little daughter over to abuser. * Abuser promptly forces little daughter to divulge location of safe house, threatens little daughter with violence, call mother names to little daughter, picks fingernail polish off little daughters fingers with abusers fingernails, abuser tells little daughter again child protection agency on his side. * Safe house counselor promptly issues safe phone to me they are concerned for our safety. * Safe house child advocate files statement of little daughter telling advocate of abuse

How did you change the situation?: I don't know that I did. I am still trying to save little katelynn

What/who helped you get stronger?: Indiana's Shame A Brother's Cries for Katelynn: What follows is a little of what her brother can talk about. Brother says other is to painful to talk about know and the the only other eyewitness to her abuse cries to save his baby sister: Dear Hero's, I witnessed my mother face overwhelming odds in gaining justice for my sister. Most of the law and legal officials in my area refuse to help. You see my sister is being abused by her father and his new wife. In this area everyone has played hush-hush, and my sister continue for a while. The court problem arose, when mom attempted to press charges against him. even with my sister told the CPS and police what happened nothing happened. You see my sister came back to our house with 2 bruises about the size of a quarter bruises on her arm, and she said that her step mommy got mad and picked her up off her feet. I used to think of this step father as a real father was there. I heard my precious little angel yell DADDY! He ran in there, I thought that the father did something to help his daughter. Instead he decided to comfort his wife. As the abuse went on My sister was told by her grandmother that "If you don't shut up I'll whip you". Her father even threatened her life. From this her father decided to file for custody of my sister. After a one sided court battle, in which the GAL wrote bias reports. On of the courts arguments to give her father Custody was that I reported the abuse to CPS, and the police. You see I saw this court attempt and succeed to sacrifice my sister because appearances are deceiving. Just because you look good doesn't mean you are good. Currently the only thing that can be held against me is my age.While I am currently job hunting and do have a part time job, that won't enough. The Week that my mother pressed charges that was glossed over. The court also might try to say no because of my race. In the court papers there was a ban put on me seeing my sister while she was forced into foster care. Apparently having the same mom doesn't count. Also what follows is some of what Katelynn's brother saw: My moms marriage to my baby sister father was very rocky. One of the reasons they broke up was because of My older brother. He was very hard on my brother. During the marriage her father was thrown out of the house at least twice because of what happened to my brother. Her father would often punish my brother to hard. . Once to punish my brother her father took him to the backyard of our house and shot his ninja turtles with a bee-bee gun. I watched out the window of our bedroom. The second to last time her father was thrown out my mother would only let him come back until he went to counseling with my brother. One visit I went there and played Mario brothers on the Nintendo there. The last time her father was thrown out was after dinner. On a different night after I ate dinner I then went to bed in my bunk bed. Yet I couldn't fall asleep. I heard Mom and her father arguing. My mom said "get your hands off me", "don't throw coffee on me", "and get out". Around this time they argued a lot so all I did was listened. I woke up the next morning and he was gone I was shocked, yet I shouldn't have been. While they were separated this time I went over to see her father at his mom’s house. At this time I was around 10 or 11 years old, and her father had been like a father to me. Around this time we moved to a new house and it had to be fumigated. When this happens we didn't go back into the house for the rest of the day. My mom for some reason asked if we could stay the night with her father. Being the true gentleman he was e said no, go live in your car for all I care. Then one day her father came over and attacked my mom and my family and tried to take my sister. It started by him coming over. When that happened my mom told me to go up stairs, yet natured called and I wanted to know what was going so I watched from the bathroom which wasn't far from the living room so I listened to them argue some more. The basic argument was that her father wanted to take my sister from my family and never return. One moment I looked out and the next moment I look out and her father was bending my moms arm back while my relatively new born sister was in her other arm. I don't know what came over me but I went over and tried to restrain him. If I wasn't around ten at the time I would have succeeded. Yet I didn't her father let go of my moms arm and bumped his elbow to my face. With this time my mom yelled for my 17 year old brother. At that time he ran down the stairs but her father was already waiting for him and clocked him good. While he lay on the ground stunned her father tried to hit him again. Much to his dismay my mom jumped him to prevent him from hitting my brother. He stopped and some how ended up near the door where my older sister came out of nowhere with a broom, and she got him then. Her father than took the broom away and broke than stormed out. At the time I watched stunned I couldn't believe what had just happened. I found out later from reading the papers her father went from there straight to the local police and told that he came over and attacked my family and that we wouldn't give up my sister. I went with my sister to her dad. Later after my mom called the police, first the local, no one came, then she called the county once more no one came, than she called the state and then the local police came up. They took a statement from my mom. There was talk of pressing child abuse charges yet my mom said she didn't want to have my older brother and sister, and myself testify in court. So she filed charges for attacking her. Then my sister’s father gets anger management and 2 years non reporting probation. Her father than later began dating a woman. At first I didn't care. My sister always scratched her head, so my mom went to the hospital to see what was going on. The doctor told her that my sister Indiana's Shame A Brother's Teardrops For Katelynn: I am katelynn's brother. katelynn was old enough to talk. Everything revolves around when her father is seeing a woman. It just exploded than. It started with the spanking game. and went on to her coming home with a black eye. They than forgot to feed or feed very much food her on a regular basis. The only reason I know about some of this is because I was there on some of it. I was allowed until my 17th birthday when mom went to the police the first time. I haven't been to see her father sense then ironically it was in toward the end of 2001 and at the beginning of 2002. And as you can see it only got better from their. It evolved to being chased by anyone and everyone and most legal officials and psychologist trying to help her father take her. The thing is looks are deceiving. Just because you look homey doesn't mean you are. My mom worked hard to support my family and I will always be proud of her for that. Yet I never thought it would be used against her. The thing that strikes me the most is the GAL. In all his reports he writes about everyone but Kati's dad and his wife being responsible for her getting hurt while in their care. I never knew it was katelynn's responsibility for her father's wife hurting her. This is in one of the last reports by the GAL. . Pictures and doctors reports tend to argue otherwise on that. Oh!, and there is the excuse that her dad's wife is too small to hurt anyone. She is quite petit, yet unlike katelynn she is fully grown and has her full strength. Naturally I hold Katelynn's dad and his wife in low regard. I don't want to overwhelm you, but this has custody battle has grown to consume this part of my life. I won't stop until katelynn is free! . These people still have katelynn and last time they found out someone was trying to get katelynn away from her father they placed her in foster care for about two months. And they have shown a pension for going after katelynn, and while I want her safe I won't risk her safety at all! The most ironic part is when my mom was married to Katelynn's father, him and I were always together. I was about 5 or 6, and he was the father figure I never had than. And now I am one of the people he despises most. The reason mom divorced him was because he was abusive to my older brother. My mom divorced him and the first custody battle started. And we eventually reached this point.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: Again be careful who you trust!

Patty G.

What happened?: Domestic Violence is taboo to so many but for me it has been a way of life. My father, a recovering alcoholic now, was very abusive to my mother and his abusive parents and siblings were a key factor in the abuse my siblings and I received. Then at 14 I decided to get away with my "prince charming" but the he turned into a monster just like the one I was trying to get away from, what a surprise. After 4 years of abuse I left him but the harassment continued, doesn't it always? After 2 years of being alone I found a man who was a changed man. Unfortunately the only thing that changed was his drug of choice and that I became this jealous, possessive , I can't take this anymore human being. I hated myself not only for staying year after year again but because I thought that my kids were not going to go through what I had gone through but I lied to myself. I was too scared to be alone so I took the abuse and just became more and more bitter and angry. After 6 and a half years I finally to the steps to move on but now I find my self remarried and afraid that my past is catching up with me I love my husband but I want to stop feeling so afraid of losing him or that he's just like the rest of them that I am afraid of just loving him and letting him love me back without having to control how and when. I am tired of controlling how and when but I don't know how to stop being so afraid in order to do that. So even though I am a survivor I feel I have become so much of a control freak that DV is creeping up its evil scheme.

How did you deal with it?: I was in DV counseling for 2 and a half years. Being around other women who know exactly how you are feeling at different times because it all just seems to be so common is very helpful.

How did you change the situation?: I am still trying to change it is a work in progress. I have described it as being an addict but not to drugs or alcohol or food it is being addicted to a way of life that even when it destroys you the addiction and the little knowledge of a different lifestyle keeps you going back for more. So you have to quit most do it cold turkey but the best way is to find a support group because sometimes it helps to know that someone will see right through you so you keep from messing things up.

What/who helped you get stronger?: All the women at the group talks helped me. Now it my love for myself which makes me stop and reflect and makes take a step back because I don't want to ever go to that dark place ever again. But I find it is a daily struggle. My husband is very understanding and he knows that by ignoring my "moods" I react to myself. I just don't want to push away I deserve to be happy.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: It is not about how much of a "bitch" you are that "makes" them be abusive I have proved it with my now husband it is about how people feel they could treat you, but they only know that because you let them know it. So how do you deserve to be treated how much do you love yourself. If you are so obsessed with what he thinks that you don't have an answer for that then tell someone and don't be afraid of what people will say because you know they are already talking.


What happened?: I am 23 years old and I was with an abuser for 5 years. He was very controling he didnt want me to be around my friends or family and at first he was my best friend bit then he stared slapping me,then he started choking me,and so on and eveytime he done it and he would see my marks he would try to be sweet and say he was sorry but make it seem like it was my fault and I thought it was,I never fought back and I hate myself for that.

How did you deal with it?: When I moved in with him is when it got worse, I would lie to my friends and family and take up for him but when it came to my feelings on the inside I hated myself I didnt do nothing but sit in the house bymyselfwhile he would stay gone for hours with his friends. When I would go somewhere with him and his family I isolated myself and when we wold go home I would get beat cause he didnt like the way I acted, what they really didnt know was I was screaming on the inside I left him about 10 times and then one day I came home from work and he wasnt there God told me to leave and I grabbed what I could and left him for 10 months then I went back 4 months ago and he started to be the same way again.

How did you change the situation?: Now it has been 4 weeks and I am away from him, I hate myself for going back I thought he had changed, just when I was starting to heal on the inside I fell into his trap again, For one the only way I can say that I have changed the sistuation is that I left again but I still love him and I dont want to go back I want to be happy again I want to look in the mirror and say I am preatty he took that away from me and I want it back.

What/who helped you get stronger?: I cant say there is really anyone that has helped me I have freinds but hey have never been through the situation before so they really dont now what to say except for that I am stupid.I think me telling you my story will make me stronger thats the best way for you to heal cause I hate keeping it locked up on the inside.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: I know that it aint easy when he hits you,and you leave and you tell yourself I wont go back but as soon as that phone rings or he walks through that door and has sex with you and your feelings go back to "I LOVE THIS MAN" trust me,they know how to pick us out people like us they love the ones that are sensitive and kindhearted and dont take up for thereself but we have to put our foot down and open our eyes. WE ONLY LIVE ONE LIFE! And when I sit back and think of all the stress and hurt and pain he put me through I know that there is better out here. but we need time to heal I am lonley as I type but I am not going to look for no one until I heal cause you still have scars and pain that need to heal if you dont then you might meet someone that really wants to love you so my advie is let it go! And I also know alot of you have kids which makes it harder well I dont have kids and I never got pregnant by him and I think GOD made me that way for a reason but thre was his kids that I loved dearley that I had to let go that also had to see it. please get your kids out of it cause you dont want them to be or fel the way we do I love eveyone and if you want to tal to me you can email address me!!!

Celeste Michelle-

What happened?: I was in a physically and mentally abusive marriage to a man who worked for a politician in New York City. He beat me and belittled me until I felt like I had nothing left. He threatened me, my daughter and my family. I tried for help and even thought out going to a homeless shelter, but I could no where because of my husband's boss. He hit me, locked me out of the house and threatened for me to lose my job if I ever said anything to anyone about his behavior. Ironically, his own sister was being abused and he would come to her rescue. Instead with me, he was my tormentor and I could never get any help in NYC.

How did you deal with it?: I tried to seek agencies for help and they were very helpful, but somehow my husband's boss would interfere

How did you change the situation?: i was informed to leave the state because of the political connections

What/who helped you get stronger?: My friends, my family and the love of my life- my daughter, because I thought about killing myself.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: Stay strong and develop a plan to escape from your situation. If you do not try, you might end up dead.

Candy Sweet One -

What happened?: I have been though many experiences in my life, but this one has about destroy my whole life. Every aspect of it. I have been in previous marriages,and I was thinking I had to do this one right.No matter what,I told myself. My new husband has a little girl 4 years old and I thought he must be a good man he is raising a child by his self. That is far from the truth. The abuse started right ater we were together about a week or so. He pushed me across one room into another, or should I say threw me. I wanted to go to chat with my best friend, and she is single and he didn't want me too. The lies he told from day one is so many I can't even remember all of them,but after he started to get caught in lies then he would hide phone bills and ect ... to keep from me seeing and asking questions. That was one way of not having to lie to me.Another thing happened, he is a xcon and I didn't know it until we had been married for a short while. 13 years he served in prison for murder, or so he said until we had been in our marriage for a year or so. Then he changed his story to, it was just burglary. Who knows what to really believe with this man. His abuse got worst, he ripped clothes off me numberious times. I have had guns pointed at my head and in the middle of a fight and told he would kill me. I have been knocked out, head banged until my head was pounding.Slapped until my face was numb. It was alway my fault, one way or another. I left so many times but with promises, I alway went back to the marriage/ honeymoon stage for a while, then back into the same... My family got where they said I needed to be put on the milk cartons cause I was alway leaving. To me it was like a bad drug. I wanted off but didn't have or know how to do this. I had moved out of state, then moved back to him. Nothing worked. I didn't know yet it wasn't me to blame. It was him. He is the one with the problem. I made many reports at the police station, but never had him arrested. I feared for what would happen after he would get out of jail, so I never pressed it. He hired people to damage a New 30,000.00 dollar truck (5,000.00 damage) that belonged to a friend that was just supportive, and trying to help me get away from this man. So MANY things to numberous to mention.

How did you deal with it?: I went to counciling, meetings, church and all the above. Talked to many friends and pastors.

How did you change the situation?: I finally moved in with a friend I had dated right before this man. I have known this friend since I was 15 years old, nice man. He is very supportive,and has helped me.

What/who helped you get stronger?: Myself is really the one I found I have to believe in.I am worth something. I am not to blame for this bad marriage.With God I can do all things.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: Never give up!! The statistics on leaving before it works out to your good, in domestic violence relationships may be,5 times. You have not lost your mind you are just in a terrible situation you need to get out of. GET OUT, DON'T LOOK BACK!!!!


What happened?: I dated him from 1999-2000 while living on the East Coast. During that time he had punched me twice and choked me. After he left me for a richer woman, I stayed single for many years. We kept in contact because we went to the same church and I was still close to his mother. I moved back to the West Coast to be with family and a year later, he asked me for another chance. I still had feelings for him so I moved back to the East Coast to live with him. Few months later he started drinking heavily "to relieve the stress from work" and even picked up drugs. From April to December, he'd beat me more than 5 times. He did it all - slapping, punching me in the head, punching and kicking my body, hitting me with a broomstick, choking me. You name it, he did it. Few weeks before Christmas 04, he hit me while driving because I was afraid of falling on ice. I tried to kill myself with poison that day, because I'd just had it. He had isolated me from friends and family, and his mom would only tell me to be forgiving and that I needed to endure and that all would be alright. I didn't want any of that anymore. I was so tired of being beaten for stupid reasons. I was tired of bringing home all my income and after rent and bills and minimal groceries, he would just take it to buy drnks and drugs. I didn't die physically that day, but as I lay there half conscious, he beat me some more and never took me to the ER. When I came about, I rested for a day and went back to work. My boss advised me to leave him, the same way she had advised me before. However, it took me another 4 months to finally have the courage to leave. I left on a Saturday morning with nothing but the clothes on my back and my purse with my passport. I flew to Taiwan on borrowed money to see my dad, whom I hadn't seen since I left home.

How did you deal with it?: I didn't deal with it very well. I was always depressed but had to put up a happy front. I had to perform my best daily at work and at home with cleaning to avoid more trouble. But inside I was just dying. He called me fat and ugly all the time so I had no confidence. His mom always told me not to provoke him so I believed that it was always my fault.

How did you change the situation?: One Saturday, when he walked about the aartment calling me names and slamming doors, I saw what was coming. So when he went back to the bedroom and closed the door, I sprang into action. My purse was in the livingroom and my passport hidden in the kitchen. I grabbed the passport, put my shoes on and left with just my purse. I didn't want to give him another chance to beat me, or even kill me. I went to Taiwan, stayed with my dad for a while, then went home to the US. I changed my mailing address, all passwords for e-mails and my bank account. I started a new job almost immediately.

What/who helped you get stronger?: My family. They have been showering me with lot of love. At nights when I have flashbacks and nightmare, my sister that still lives at home would stay up and talk to me to ease my mind.

Advice to someone who is being abused?: LEAVE. He may tell you that it's your fault, but it is not your fault. He may make you feel isolated but the truth is that there are lots of people out there that love you, evenold friends. Call somebody. There is always someone that will help you. Your life is worth so much more than he makes you think. It's your body and your life. It may take time but you will find that courage within to leave.







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