Freedom from domestic violence: A survivors story
How to be a survivor of domestic violence.
- Carefully plan for your escape by packing a secret bag with necessary items and cash.
- Tell trusted friends and family honestly about it. They want to help.
- Plan for where you will go. Domestic violence shelters are in every state. Call them or use their website. The National Domestic Violence hotline is 1-800-799-7223. If you choose a friend or family member be sure it is an unknown location to the abuser.
- Go to the local courthouse to apply for a Protection from Abuse Order as soon as you are in a safe place. Make sure you do not go anywhere in a vehicle the abuser recognizes.
- Turn the location off on your cell phone. http://www.ehow.com/how_7477317_turn-gps-locations-cell-phone.html Better yet, take out the battery also, or get a new cell phone. The best advice if you keep the same number is DO NOT answer calls from the abuser.
- Get a Restraining Order from the closest police station.
- Tell your church. They care about your well being.
- Always remember you do not deserve to be abused. You are special and you are loved by friends, family, and most importantly by God.
As a young girl I dreamed of marrying my prince and having precious babies. While at Judson College, I "saved" myself for marriage. I felt it was an important part of my personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After college my first real job was at a home for neglected and abused children. Ironic isn't it? That was where I met my soon to be husband. He was cool and calm while describing his relationship with Jesus and how he had made mistakes, and asked forgiveness. I was enraptured by his so called love of God, smile, and good looks. Soon after he asked me on a date which happened to be his birthday. I thought it would be fun to ask them to sing "Happy Birthday" and present him with a free dessert. He laughed and smiled. We had fun on our dates, and soon were on our way to a sweet romance. After 3 months he proposed and I accepted thinking that I had met a real man of God. Little did I know that a monster lurked beneath that cool smile and calm demeanor. When I met his family, I was thrilled to know that they were Christians. Everything seemed normal, until a few weeks before the wedding when he lost his cool after having to move out from the home provided by the place he worked due to lay off. I shrugged it off after he apologized, and thought it was because of the stress of moving.
We were wed on a beautiful July day 6 1/2 months after meeting. Time has told me it would have been better if I had known him longer. The honeymoon was wonderful! The bedroom was not quite what I had expected, but he was gentle and seemed understanding. He became very upset by getting lost in Florida, but again I shrugged it off although I became more uncomfortable by this. After the honeymoon I gradually noticed an increase in his anger when I would have trouble accomplishing things. Once after an unsuccessful attempt to balance the checkbook, he ripped it to shreads. I began "walking on egg shells" in order not to upset or anger him. He was well known and liked in public among his friends and family, with the exception of my family who knew the truth before I did. He would often threaten suicide, and had a gun which he once threatened me with if I called the authorities to help. If I did call the police, he would deny everything of course. All I ever wanted was to love him and help him. He was incapable of love, as he would often say "I don't even love myself".
I waited as long as I could to have children, and blamed it on my uncertainty about being a good mother. When I was pregnant with our first, he became increasingly irritable about trivial things. He always seemed to want to be the center of attention. After she was born, it became worse, and he was so irritated by her cries that I feared he would hurt her. When she was 4 months I knew I was pregnant, and he had just quit his job because he claimed once again that "he just couldn't take it any more!" When she was 4 months I knew I was pregnant again, but kept it secret until going to the OB because I feared it would push him over the edge. Once he slammed the door so hard that my pre-born baby boy jumped inside me. I thought about leaving him, as I had once before when we were married for 2 years, but the thought of delivering by myself and raising 2 children alone seemed too daunting. As the children grew, he continued to stop and start jobs while I stayed solid in a job I was committed to doing no matter what to keep our family afloat. I became increasingly alarmed when he was home alone with the kids and constantly bombarded me with calls angrily insisting that I come home or else. The final straw for me was when I witnessed him vigorously shaking our 5 year old little boy while screaming obscenities at him in his face. When I carefully walked over to stop him while trying not to cause my baby boy more harm and asked him to "please stop", he just screamed at me "if you don't like it, there's the d**m door!". I thought to myself, thank you, you just gave me the push I need to get out buddy! I stayed with my parents while contacting one of my previous employers who have domestic violence shelters. They allowed my children and I to live in one, and I could have stayed for up to a year. After we attended counseling together and separately, and he got medical attention for what I thought was a mental illness, he convinced me to move back. Everything seemed fine for about 2 weeks, and then it was like a bomb exploded. He bombarded me with verbal attacks stating that he could never trust me again, cursed at me, called me names and verbally abused the children as well. When something did not go his way, he would throw, smash, or crush whatever was in reaching distance. He was making all of us fearful. On several occasions he would hurt our poor dog by kicking her, pulling her leash to hard, and throwing her outside. She responded by sitting at our back porch sliding glass doors waiting to be let back inside. If he got loud, she ran with her tail tucked in into her crate scared. I prayed every day to God to help us. I was afraid for our lives. I know it seems hard to understand why I stayed, but through it all I thought that God hated divorce, and I did not want to dissapoint Him. God does hate divorce, but it says in Galatians 5: 19 - 21 says "19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
God loves you, and He wants you safe, well, and joyful. Your family and friends love you and want you safe and to be free to spend time with them. You are loved and cared about. You deserve to be at peace and free. Your Freedom Awaits!