If you would like to connect with abuse victims and survivors, multiple forums exist online, such as Women's Aid, isurvive.org, and DomesticShelters.org. Until you want to talk, the below stories are here to inspire your abuse survival plans.
“When I met him, I thought he was charming. When he told me I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, I was flattered. When he jealously punched a hole in my male friend’s car window, I was scared. But I was trapped by marriage and pregnancy. He became violent, sexually abusive, and more controlling. My mental health suffered. I didn’t know how to escape; people thought he seemed like a great man, because the image he showed everyone else was different from what he showed his family in private. It took years to finally be in the right situation and have the right support so that I felt safe initiating the divorce. He made death threats and I was stressed and afraid during the entire divorce process. But I got a restraining order, used the settlement money to buy a home where I live independently, and he has never hurt me again. I am free, and I am the happiest I have been in years.” ~ P.S.
“He always had anger problems. It got worse after we got engaged. I knew he had an abusive childhood, so I didn't blame him for his intense reactions. He had a good heart and he was always a good man when he wasn't angry. But the anger started to scare me, and he shouted horrible things at me. We started couples therapy and nothing was changing. When I wanted to get away from him during a fight, he wouldn't let me leave, so I started hitting him during the fights so I could get away. I was scared he might eventually hit back. When my doctor suggested that I create a safety plan and an escape kit, I did. I mentioned it during our next couples therapy session. Suddenly, it hit him how serious this was. Up until then, he didn't recognize that I was scared. He started seeing a mental health professional to deal with his emotional and communication challenges, and things have improved dramatically. I'm not scared when we argue any more.” ~ Anonymous
“When I was young and cute, I was able to get in the middle of their fights and make it stop just by crying and begging him to stop screaming at my mom and hitting her. I wasn't as cute when I turned 7, so instead of being able to end the fights, I became his new target. He screamed at me, he told me all of the problems in the family were because of me, he called me names, he hit me, and he threatened to do worse. I knew I wanted to escape but I didn't know how. As I got older, I made a plan, and one day I finally left. I haven't talked to him since then and I never want to speak with him again. I'm just happy to be free.” ~ K.C.