Story edited by Kelly Longmore
I was five years old when I was first sexually abused by a cousin and an uncle. Then, at fifteen, a man I thought of as a brother raped me. He only served six months for his crime. After that, this same man began stalking me. But after three years of harassment, my family and I moved away.
"When I was twenty-one years old, I married the father of two of my sons. The first few years were good, then things started to change. He demanded to know everyone I talked to. He would accuse me of cheating on him. He had people watching – stalking me and reporting my whereabouts to him."
Then, when that wasn’t enough, he dismantled my car so I couldn’t leave. I would fix the car like I had been taught, but then he began to take the dismantled pieces with him. Effectively trapping me.
I tried to leave many times, but he’d take my kids and threaten to never let me see them again if I didn’t come back. So, I would go back.
After some time, he insisted we move to Oregon, cutting me off from everyone I knew. The abuse continued. Then, two years later, I brought my children to my parent’s home in California to get them away from his abuse. On his way to California to try and take the kids back, he ran me and three others off the road. After that, I was awarded a Restraining Order against him, and my parents were granted temporary custody of my boys. It took three long, ugly years to get the divorce.
I met, and married, someone new, and again I was subjected to abusive, controlling behavior. It took sixteen more years, the loss of custody of my younger children and his ultimatum: choose between him and my oldest son before I left. I knew I had to get far away from him, or else I’d end up going back.
Four years ago, I met a man that I just knew was “Mr. Right.” Turns out he wasn’t. We were together for two years before he started to mentally abuse me – degrading me, telling me I was mentally ill, telling me that everything was my fault. Then began the physical and sexual abuse.
After another year of this, I had had enough. I told him that I deserved better – didn’t want to live like this anymore. He kicked me out of our home Christmas of 2017.
"Since then, I have become an advocate for domestic violence victims. I am working with a team to raise funds for a safe house for women and children of domestic violence."
This is my story. I hope that it can somehow help others.