*Name changed for privacy and protection
Story edited by Kelly Longmore
My [now Ex] husband is my abuser. We were married in January of 1997, and shortly after his control and abuse began.
He started off slowly – chipping away at my self-esteem, manipulating me to get rid of any resources I had brought into the marriage so that I would be solely dependent on him. Slowly, but surely, he was isolating me.
At first it was episodes of road-rage directed towards me. In one incident, my head almost slammed into the windshield. In another, I was nearly killed as he chased a car down late at night in the middle of nowhere. Soon thereafter, the physical violence grew in severity. His abusive, controlling behavior was coupled with his pornography addiction and adultery, which seemed to escalate hand-in-hand. Still, I was blamed for everything he did that was literally hurting me.
Over our seven years together I was physically abused – terrified of what he might do next, or how far he would take it. He was also mentally, verbally, and financially abusive – controlling everything. If ever he felt like he wasn’t in control, his abuse would intensify.
"Outwardly, I pretended that everything was fine."
But on the inside, I was ashamed and embarrassed. One day, I saw my (then 3 year old) son mimicking his father’s abusive behavior in daycare, and with that I was finally ready to leave my abuser – to leave it all behind. I was not going to remain silent and allow my son to grow up like that. We deserved better.
I fought a bitter and very expensive custody battle, during which he physically abused our child and tried to blame it on me. In the end, the judge awarded me sole custody with visitation rights for my Ex. His efforts to take away my child was just another attempt to control me.
My abuser remarried as soon as our divorce was final (Aug 2005). They’ve been married almost 14 years and she has now filed for divorce because of his abusive, controlling behavior against her and their children. We were never close, but I have supported her in her fight to get away from our abuser. Now, we are friends and prayerful supporters of one another. Their fight is ongoing, and he is currently under house arrest for Protective Order violations. I hope and pray that she and her children will become free from this man, and that he will get the serious help he needs.
Sadly, he has been able to hide behind his military rank for decades – never fully answering for his crimes. D.V. is swept under the rug in the military, especially for high ranking officers, and as the military has turned a blind eye to my abuse, he has been allowed to maintain power and control over innocent people to this day. It must be stopped.
"People need to know more about domestic abuse – what it looks like. It’s me. It’s you. It’s your neighbor, coworker, a stranger on the street."
Victims need to know that they are not alone, that someone will always care. If you’re a victim, I want you to know that it is not your fault! There is help, hope, and healing. I want to put an end to all this—let’s stand strong together and speak up to end Domestic Violence.