It has taken a while to be able to come out and say that.
I lived with domestic abuse for the last 8 of my 15-year marriage. My spouse was controlling, selfish and was suffering from various mental illnesses residual from a previous life in a different city. He used me, abused my love, my kind heart and financial well-being. He caused emotional problems for some of our children. He refused to get marriage counselling (silly me, I thought it was something we could resolve in our relationship). Things just got worse and worse and I did what I could to adapt. I was embarrassed. I was afraid.
I am a survivor of a violent attack by my husband in our home in November 2003. I lived to tell about it, to eventually take my children to a safer, happier home. I missed five months of work in order to recover physically and emotionally. I had to endure a long and draining criminal trial where my own character was dragged through the mud. I had to suffer the embarrassment of a failed marriage and any dirt dug up from the past. After a long, hard ride, justice prevailed. It was almost cathartic, if I could shed a positive light. On another positive note, many people came out in support of me and my children. Some of them felt badly that they suspected there was something wrong but didn't say anything.
If you suspect there is a problem with your relationship, that of a family member or neighbour, DO SOMETHING. Talk to them. Show concern. If the issue is brushed aside and you are still concerned, TELL SOMEONE ELSE. If there are children involved, do what you can to see their rights are protected. Don't let them or you yourself become a statistic. I almost was.
Authors who have written on the subject:
Artists and Advocates:
- GrandmaK (Kim) recently posted a YouTube video Girlfriends4.wmv: Girlfriends who speak up and reach out help bring awareness and an end to relationship abuse.