“I am a survivor of domestic violence. Like so many victims and survivors, I began my relationship with my abuser at a young age. I was 16. I married him shortly before my 17th birthday. He was 21. There were many warning signs throughout the relationship, but I minimized them, always making excuses that things would get better. But things didn’t get better, and I realized this after leaving and going back numerous times. Many asked, “Why did you keep going back?’ The reality was, I knew one day he was going to kill me. After idealizing the thought of killing myself and actually attempting to, I found the courage to leave and not go back.
We hear you, Charmaine, loud and clear. You have followed your heart. We thank you for sharing your story. Please describe for us your situation: Well, even though he is in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waist down, my ex-husband was not wheelchair bound when we started dating. So, the abuse started before the car accident, which resulted in his paralysis. There was lots of physical and emotional abuse, with more physical prevalence. It started out as a push here and there, then progressed to slaps, close fisted hits, and beatings. There were also threats of hurting my family.