Warning - For those who have been abused - this may cause triggers!
This story came to us from DorothyElizabeth's daughter, Heidi. She wants to let her mom know that there are people out there that will believe her Mom's words. DorothyElizabeth hopes that it will help other survivors of abuse
Why I Stayed
It has proven that 1.8 million women are battered each year, making battery the single largest cause of injury to women in the United States.
Domestic Violence can be physical, emotional, verbal, and financial, or sexual abuse from a partner you reside with. I suffered from most of these abuses from childhood years well into my early adult years. I had black eyes, busted lips, broken nose, broken ribs, bruises, and even scars on my face and other parts of my body. He always had to be out with his friends every night, yet he claimed that he loved me same as my family claimed to. Friends and neighbors and family, asked, ďwhy did you wait so long to decide to leave him?Ē I didnít know or couldnít answer that question so the only real answer I would always say; I stayed for many reasons.
First, I was born in a very religious family that didnít believe in divorces and the male was the head of the household and the wifeís place is to stand behind their husband. Many of my family and people accept violence against women as part of life. They also believe that a marriage is forever in the eyes of God and it would be a sin against Godís word. I grew up seeing abuse in my home and seeing my father take a speaker wire and hit my mother across the face with it and leaving a scar across her face and staying with my father living with his rage and violent behavior regardless how I feel or my siblings.
My parents wanted their children to grow up knowing who is in charge of the household and what happens to women if she steps out of line. Family convinced these womenís as myself to try to make their marriage work and not to run away from the marriage problems. Violence behaviors were all I knew.
Another reason I stayed in my abusive relationship was that I was afraid to make changes in my life. I had been abuse in my childhood years and I didnít know what loving somebody or somebody loving me in return was really like so I thought this was how he showed me he loved and cared for me. I had been married to him so long that I thought I had nowhere to go. I depended on him to provide my children and I with food and shelter. How could manage on my own and support three children? The longer I believe these things, the more my self-confidence withered.
Finally, I stayed because I was afraid and so isolated. I felt ashamed to talk to friends about my problems, believing somehow the abuse was my entire fault. Fear was my isolation, too. Living in a violent home in my childhood years and than in my adultís years also is very frightening. Like many women, I was afraid to say anything to anyone, thinking he would get upset with me. I believe if I just kept quiet, just maybe he wouldnít hurt me today. Nothing I have done made any difference, just the same life cycle I was living in my childhood years. Nothing I did made my dad or my partner is proud of me or to love me.
When I finally realized that the abuse was going to continued and was not going to stop, I decided to get enough courage up to do something about it. I was finally fed up and ready to end my suffering and pain. I began to talk to someone who would listen to me and took advice and learn about ways to get help for my children and I.
On June 9th, 1985, I finally found enough strength and courage and started to fight back. When he grabbed me and punched me in the nose and stabbed me I called 911.
Thank God he spared my life and for changes in the way domestic violence and family violence as well as child abuse cases are being handled today. Today I am a strong women and working to get my life back on track and the first step I made was to go back to school. It felt good because I made this decision and I didnít have to be afraid and little by little I am getting back my self-esteem. I cry often, which helps my pain. I pray for many women and children who live in a home where violence is presented.
Help is out there if you just reach for it. Most towns and cities have twenty-four-hotline.
There is help at many colleges and the Department of Student Development. Shelters are available, a close friend you may trust. These people will not fail you. Only you can break the chain. Fight Back.
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