Often times the public hears only the domestic violence stories that end in tragedy and while these stories are important to raise awareness they do tend to leave a void. It is very important for women who are trying to escape this type of situation to know that there are positive outcomes as well, though the journey can be anything but.
Here is one story of a woman who made it out and actually rose above her lifetime of abuse. All names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Sarah had grown up with violence and abuse her entire life; her mother had been in an abusive relationship with a man for nearly ten years. During that time, Sarah witnessed her mother and siblings being brutalized by an alcoholic stepfather, and though he never struck her, what he did do would affect her for the rest of her life.
When Sarah grew up, she began a life of promiscuity that led to her own abusive relationship. Already a single mother she was constantly looking for a father for her children and if the truth were known for herself as well. What she met was the exact opposite of what she wanted but identical to what her mother suffered. Zach was perfectly charming and caring at first, they talked, laughed and really grew to care for one another. Until she became pregnant, at this point Zach would shove her around and over time, it escalated to beating, hair pulling, accusations and even rape.
Sarah finally escaped Zach for the last time after her fourth child was born. Through the help of kind, caring and non-judgmental women at the local battered women's shelter, she reclaimed the self-worth that had been denied her most of her life. Counseling and a deep love for her children helped lead her out of hell and toward a better future. Sarah met Bill a couple of years later and he was the opposite of all the hateful, brutal men she had ever known. They married a few years later and though there were rough patches as she overcame pain, fear, abuse and trauma she now has a wonderful life filled with love, children and grandchildren.
You can help others by sharing your story. Why? Your story may relate to someone different than those who relate to Sarah's story and could provide encouragement and strength to someone.
Share Your Story
Don't hide your success, fears, and story from others. Help others relate and find courage. Tell your domestic violence story. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
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What if only
Domestic violence stories like these illustrate a point. If you are being abused or know someone that is in this situation, you need to know there is a way out.
For many women it comes from facilities such as the shelter mentioned above because abusers will isolate a woman from anyone and everyone she has ever known. Family and friends will be excluded from a victim's life so that his or her abuser has free reign to control their every move. Some families only find out about long-term abuse after a person has escaped.
Remember, statistics show that it takes most people about 8 attempts before they are able to sever an abusive relationship completely, so try to be patient if you do know someone in this situation.
Abusive people are able to put others in these long-term positions because they are skilled in the fine art of character assassination. By the time the batterer hits a victim for the first time, he or she believes they deserve it. Domestic violence stories like these should not be repeated.
Please take the opportunity to tell your domestic violence stories to empower others to take a stand and seek domestic violence help.
You can also share domestic violence pictures and art with the public to use in the fight to eliminate abuse.