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Readers Respond: How Did You Escape From Domestic Violence?

Responses: 11

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Victims of domestic violence who have escaped harm and established a life independent from their perpetrator can do a lot to encourage those who are still stuck in a pattern of domestic violence. If you've escaped domestic violence yourself, share your story with our readers, in the hope of encouraging a fellow victim who needs your help.

Note: If you suspect that your perpetrator may have access to the computer you are using right now, close this window and visit the page from a safer location, or call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

I got away, but I fear for my son.

I left my abusive husband and I am now in a custody battle. A guardian ad litem was appointed to help decide what custody arrangement would be best for my son. My husband first abused me when I was pregnant and then two other times in front of my son. My husband has never admitted to the violence. He also has an alcohol problem. He is fighting for 50/50 custody of our son. He has manipulated this guardian ad litem and taken counseling classes--all the while never admitting to what he has done. I live in Florida, and apparently they feel joint custody is the best custody situation. I disagree. I pray the judge will see through his manipulative ways. It's so hard to get out of that situation. You fear for your child's safety. Why can't they see that?
—Guest Amy

Need Help and There's None Out There

My husband moved his girlfriend into my house. (He's in the military.) I have two babies, and it's taking a great toll on me, and there's no one who can help me. My friends can't help because their spouses are in the military, too. I just can't believe I have to stay in this house with my children while they live here, too. When I left two weeks ago, it was because he beat me in front of the kids. Since the police weren't called, the military said I just left on my own because my husband told them that, and no one will talk to me. So now my husband and his girlfriend are making my life hell, and I can't leave the house because he calls the police and says I'm kidnapping them. I need help!
—jasmen1

30 Years Later - His Actions Are Identic

31 years ago I was pregnant and married the guy. Because of his mental and physical abuse, I miscarried that baby. Instead of taking me to the doctor, he impregnated me again. That baby was born early and barely survived. She is now a strong, healthy young woman. When she was two, however, he shifted his alcoholic anger to her. That was what it took for me to leave and never look back. He caused as many problems for me as he could, but I found a great man who loved me and my baby. The ex refused to pay child support and threatened to kidnap her. During this time, he remarried and she fueled his anger towards me. Eventually, I filed charges against him because of his not paying child support. When the state police brought him in, the choices were: 1) pay; 2) go to jail; or 3) sign adoption papers absolving all rights. Of course he signed. He and new wife were unable to have kids, and recently adopted two precious pre-teen girls. Now he is exhibiting the exact same abusive behavior. I pray his wife and kids leave, too!
—Guest Guest Dona

I Almost Left Seven Times...

He and I met online, which is a big no-no. Almost immediately I saw his true colors! I came from an abusive, neglectful, broken home, which he later used against me to manipulate me. We have two children - beautiful babies that are my world! He hurt me emotionally, verbally, and mentally. Every day I was blamed for a lot of things, and I believed al ot of it. I saw clearly one day that my children were suffering, as well. In his fit of rage in the kitchen - breaking dishes and yelling about my incompetence on kitchen upkeep - my daughter sobbed and buried her head into the sofa of our pristine living room, "Daddy is scary like a monster!" I whispered to my baby, "I promise you, me, and baby brother will be gone from here soon. I will take you guys away from this. I promise! Now shh...come here," and I held her. A few days later, true to nature, he started up again. I called the investigator I had worked with on a previous occasion. My plan, honed and perfected, was ready to be followed through with. He showed up with the cop and they took him. Now it's been a year.
—Guest jubiex

Thank You

I would just like to thank all of you for sharing your stories. You are all so strong for leaving your abusers. I have been "free" for the last 5 years. Even though my daughter's father and I were not in a relationship, he would use rage and emotional control to manipulate my actions. The last incident was in front of my daughter and I could not stand the thought of her growing up thinking that was normal or okay. I won't file for child support because I don't want him to have visitation and I don't want him to know where we are. He threatened in the past to leave the state and said I would never find them. So, although money is extremely tight, I have my sanity and peace of mind. It was so hard to get help from the court system. They treat domestic violence as a joke. I had policemen rolling their eyes when I called for help. I had to fight so hard for the PTO. Good Luck to ANY WOMAN or MAN dealing with this type of situation! Life gets better and you will be ok!
—AnyGirl_1

I Had to Flee for My Life...Unbearable!

I have been beaten, kicked, slapped, verbally abused, and even tortured to near dead - but the moment I realized that there is nothing I need because I can do everything for myself. I had to run - run away from him with my two daughters. My fist daughter had a thorough beating for nothing, just because he had a temper problem. He would kick, slap, or beat at any slight mistake, and the pain was so unbearable. But I left and I never want to look back or see him again, nor do I need his support. Those where 7 years of my life that I can never get back because they where so torturing. I remember how me and my daughter used to sob all the time. But now it's a free and fair life I've got. I work so hard to provide for my kids; even when he calls I never get his calls at all...gone, dead and buried. I can never bring myself to forgive him of what he did to us.
—Guest Lillian

Joint Custody With My Abuser

The courts didn't care that my ex was abusive, manipulative, and controlling. They only cared that my kids still had equal time with him. In Oklahoma, they make you have joint custody during the temporary time between filing and finalizing. When he didn't do what he was supposed to, they ordered a Parental Coordinator. This has helped somewhat. He knows he has rules to follow, or he'll lose visitation. The problem is that I was a housewife and I don't make nearly as much as he does. It costs me $150 every time I take him in. I make a list and take him in 3-4 times a year. It's a mess. He manipulated the kids and has convinced them I lied about everything, and since he's the father and they are boys, he "knows how to raise them" and I don't. But, even with everything I have to deal with, I still do not regret my decision. I've learned that I cannot control his actions, only mine. Living in peace is priceless, but it's the hardest thing I've ever done.
—Guest momoftna

My Child Opened My Eyes

I was getting abused by my child's father even before I got pregnant. I also had a previous miscarriage due to his abuse, (physically, emotionally, and sexually). When I had my baby, he got to my labor room at the last minute - high on drugs (heroin, marijuana and pills). When i got back to the house, I thought it would be different, but i was wrong again. He beat me while I was holding my baby because I was feeding my child and didn't have any more heroin. And that was it! I put my baby in another room and start fighting back like it was a war. Finally when we finished fighting he left, and then I left after he said he would be back to stab me. I packed all my baby's stuff and went to a friend's house. From there, I went to the precinct. After all that I moved to another state and now I want to fight for custody of my baby. I'm trying to get all my information and research together to win this battle! I found at the end that he was the weakest man, and we are happy on our own!
—Guest glory

How I Escaped Domestic Violence

My ex was always drinking and injuring me. During one such instance, we were hanging out at a friend's house and we spent the night. I was tired and went to sleep, when he came in and started to assault me. He pushed me off the couch and started hitting me. I pushed him off me so he slapped me and scratched me and left a long scratch on my hand. He wouldn't leave me alone, so I left him and haven't been back since. Now he is trying to get me back, claiming he didn't remember anything from that night. He has called me numerous times, harassing me and trying to get me to go back with him. He has even threatened to blow up my house. I'm actually afraid that he will do it. I recently found out that I was pregnant with his child and I don't want anything to do with him, but he won't leave me alone. What do I do? How can I keep my child and myself safe? I am afraid to even send the child to him. He has a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
—Guest Destiny

I Got Away, but He Has My Son

I left my husband, who was hitting, screaming, and yelling, and who held a gun to my face. He took my one-year-old child away from me and still has him. For me, it was like, "If you're being abused, that's too bad. Stay or lose your kids." Those were my only options: lose your life or lose your kids.
—Guest Michelle

Young and Stupid

I am a woman who was abused by two men and fought back. The first one out of high school tried to choke me to death (after a run of "casual" slapping, punching, crushing my hands, throwing me, breaking my fingers, etc). The other was a cocaine addict who assaulted me and tried to shoot me when he was coming down. (Meanwhile, he had been clean for three years prior - ha!) At any rate, I faced the fear. I had to stab one of them to keep from being choked to death. Only a few close friends knew what really happened. It was hard to talk about, to admit to myself even. I hate them for what they did to my body and to my mind. One of them actually claims that it was both our faults. Funny. I don't care what he thinks anymore. Twenty years later, I am too smart for anyone to get the best of me now. But for you young or inexperienced women, you need to put it in perspective. There are easier ways to get out than how I did it. You can pack up and walk away. You don't have to go back or even call. Just be done.
—Guest Tina

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