*Name changed for privacy and protection
Story edited by Kelly Longmore
I first suffered domestic abuse as a child. My mother verbally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused me for years. I was also verbally and sexually abused by an uncle.
As an adult, I again suffered domestic violence. This time from my [ Ex] husband.
"For 18 years I was subjected to verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse."
He would lie, cheat, and steal from me. He would rape me. Then, he would tell me I was a worthless, female dog that would never amount to anything.
Through all of this, I was determined to survive – to protect my children and learn how to take care of myself first. My three children (youngest was 7) came to me saying, “Just divorce him. We don’t want you to be unhappy and crying all of the time!”
For years I have refused to have contact with my abuser even though he continues to manipulate my children (31, 26, 23 years old). He has turned my youngest against me – even having him threaten to kill me, which he almost did in December 2012.
Now, I am married to someone else, and though he is an alcoholic and mildly verbally abusive, I feel I can stand up for myself.
Back in 2009, I was in a motorcycle accident, leaving me nearly paralyzed from the neck down. In February 2014, I have suffered from mini strokes.
"Yet, despite all of this, including the years of domestic violence, I am a survivor. My faith in God lifts me up, and I will continue to fight. I will NOT allow anyone or anything to get in my way."
For years I couldn’t talk about my abuse, but because of the FADV I now have the power to speak up. Hearing other’s stories, some worse than mine, lets me know that I’m not alone. They have given me hope – hope that there is a better life out there.
Now, I “Fight” Against Domestic Violence.