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My Domestic Violence Experience
Domestic Violence Facts
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between 15 and 44. Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers. Every 15 seconds a woman is beaten by her husband, spouse, or lover. One in every four women will experience domestic violence within their lifetime. Only you can stop the cycle. 25% to 45% of women who are battered will be battered during pregnancy. Every one in thirteen men will become victims of domestic violence at some time during their life.
My Experience With Domestic Violence
Through a child’s eyes the world should be a magnificent place, everything so new and exciting. There should be no worries and limited fears. A child learns so rapidly and grows in beautiful ways. A childhood should be filled with innocents, safety, and love.
Some of my earliest memories were memories of fear. The memories that I remember each and every day are the memories of domestic violence. I remember night after night laying in bed at hearing screaming and banging from down the stairs. The sound of my mother’s whimpers shattering my heart. Her tears sounding like a heavy metal spoon dropping on the floor, so heavy and distinct. My heart racing as I hid under the covers praying that God would save my mom from all the pain. I asked God why, why is my daddy hurting my mom. Did she do something wrong? Waking up in the morning to the smell of powdered eggs coming from the kitchen, I would run down the stairs to check on my mom. My mom would hug me so tight with a smile on her face while she told me good morning. Behind that smile I could see the pain in her eyes. The look of sadness and sorrow I would never leave behind.
One cold and blistery winter night my mother, my brother, and I sat curled up on the sofa watching Wizard of OZ while eating our favorite snack, Yoo-hoo and popcorn. The room seemed so peaceful when suddenly I heard my dad’s truck pull up outside. I peaked over the back of the sofa and saw him out the window. The feeling of fear instantly shot through my body as I seen the look of anger on his face. I immediately began to shake. The door slammed shut behind him as he exited the big brown pickup truck. I moved back to my mom’s lap and held my brother’s hand as I sat shaking, but telling my mom I was just cold. The front door flew open and a cold breeze came rushing in with drifts of snow following my dad in the door. His wet, snow cover boots stomped on the floor. My dad immediately started screaming because my Barbie’s were left on the floor. The look of fear covered my mom’s face and I felt her start to shake with me, like the rhythm of a beating heart. My dad grabbed my mom’s hair while continuing to scream. I ran and hid behind the old wicker chair that sat in the corner of our small living room. I watched my brother run fiercely up the stairs with tears running down his rosy red cheeks. I sat behind that old wicker chair shaking like a leaf on fall winter day. My dad, still holding onto my mom’s hair and screaming, ripped her by her beautiful blonde, curly hair off the sofa to the floor. I saw the tears fall from my mother’s bright blue eyes as he began to kick her over and over again. So scared and confused, I sat there shaking and begging God to make him stop. He stopped kicking her and I thought it was over. The next thing I knew my mother was on her feet, tears still streaming, as my dad through her into the wall. He picked her drained body up again by her hair. He held her by the back of her hair and slammed her head into the wall. I heard the crackle of the plaster cracking as my mother’s head put a large hole in the wall. He finally let go and my mother’s body dropped to the floor, almost lifeless like. My dad walked to the kitchen. He came back and I began to hold by breath, he still didn’t know I was right behind that old wicker chair. He grabbed a hanging plant that belonged to my mom’s deceased mother and threw it at the wall. At that instant I saw my mother’s eyes change from sadness and fear to fiery and full of rage. He kicked my mother one more time while calling her a useless, stupid whore. The front door opened and he walked out. I heard that big brown pickup truck start and squeal off. I began to cry and screamed for my brother. My brother calling back “Is he gone?” When I replied he came rushing down the stairs. We sat there together running our fingers through mom’s soft hair. She laid there so quietly for about four minutes, but seemed like a lifetime, as if the world stood still. My mom began to pick herself up off the floor. As me and my brother tried to help her she whimpered in pain. Her body was bruised and bloody. When she finally got to her feet she instructed me and my brother to go take of our pj’s and put on some winter clothes. We did and when we returned she had a bag full of some extra clothes and our tooth brushes. She helped us put on our boots, hats, gloves, and heavy winter coats. She then rushed to get her winter outdoor wear on. She then opened the back door and encouraged us to come. We repeatedly asked her where we were going and she simply replied “Don’t worry, it will be okay now.” We walked out into the snow, my mother holding us both by our hands. It was so cold and blistery as we walked for what seemed an eternity. My mother carried me through the deepest snow so I wouldn’t get tired so fast. We arrived at a building, a big brick building that almost looked like part of a church. She knocked on the door as me and my brother stood behind. A older gentlemen opened the door. I seen him and my mom whispering, but couldn’t make out what they were saying. The gentlemen welcomed us in. He walked us to a room where there were other kids and ladies sleeping peacefully in the dark. My mother made us comfortable as she crawled in a bunk bed beside us. She wrapped her arms around us and kissed us each on our forehead. She said “Sleep tight my little munchkins, the morning will soon be here.”
When we woke in the morning my mother’s beautiful smile filled the room with light, even through the bruises and the dried up blood that stained her lips. She told us we were going to great grandmas for awhile and we all jumped for joy. She helped us get ready to go outside for another long walk to grandma’s house. When we arrived at grandma’s we were welcomed with hugs and laughter. My mother and grandma held each other tight with tears streaming down their faces. I didn’t know why they cried together because my mother said everything was alright. We spent the next year living with my great grandma. We didn’t see my dad at all during that time. It was so peaceful. The house was always filled with laughter and smiles from ear to ear. That’s when I realized we wouldn’t go back there anymore, where my dad could hurt my mom.
My mother moved on with her life and met a wonderful man when I was six years old. We became a family and we finally got to experience a childhood. He raised me and my brother as if we were his own. He treated my mother with the respect and love that she deserved. They married when I was twelve and they are still happily married today, almost eighteen years later.
As I grew up I struggled with the anger I had with my father. I still loved him because I never fully understood. I always heard people say that children grow up accepting the things that they seen as children and I disagreed until I experienced it first hand. I dated a man who was abusive for seven years. Always forgiving him and believing it would stop. I hid it from my mother because I knew it would break her heart. Well, after seven years I had enough. When he was at work I bought a car for $300 because it was all I had. I packed my bags and drove away from that house and never looked back. I now understood the pain that my mother had in her heart on all those cold dark nights when I was a child.
It took me years to learn to trust people and to this day it is still a struggle. I would find myself instantly start to shake when a man raised his voice around me. I finally realized I cannot let the fear of my past take over my life. I was allowing myself be trapped in that fear of the past. To this day, I still struggle with trust and fear. I will never forget the feeling of fear that ran through me as I watched my father throw my mother around like a rag doll, but I will no longer allow abuse to take over my life.
Domestic Violence Help
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence get help. I know from my own experience that there is a million excuses’, but only you can stop it. Get help now!
These resources can help you and there are many more.
- The National Domestic Violence Helpline 1-800-799-7233
- National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- Haven-Live without Fear 1- 877-922-1274
- U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224
Have you or someone you know experienced domestic violence?
© 2014 Victoria Baughman