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Survivor Stories

Afraid to Step Out of Hiding

I am still in my abuser’s clutches, and am afraid to step out, because, he has continually told me that he will do whatever he has to in order to keep my quiet.  You see, he is a high-powered individual in Will County, and has a lot of friends.  It doesn’t matter that he has beaten me up on a daily basis, because I know that no one will do anything to help me.  They consider him more worthy than me, so I have no where to turn to.   I am scared………I lose sleep………I cry………and his abuse has caused me severe anxiety and stress.   Having a rally is great to address DV, but without much needed change, I see nothing different for those of  us as victims, when the system does not protect us!!!!!   How do I step out of hiding and speak when I won’t be protected?    I am tired, not just physically and emotionally, but also tired of being treated like I don’t matter at all!!

I am tired of being laughed at by my abuser, and by other officials who have witnessed some of my abuse and what I have gone through, but they just walked away.  Shame on you all officials, for not doing anything to help!!!

Anonymous and in Fear for my Life

There is Always Hope, BUT there needs to be more Caring…

I have been through hell at the hands of my abuser and didn’t think I would wake up the next day, hundreds of times, but I am still here!   I lost so much blood after being beaten, yet nothing was done to help me.  I heard laughter, and ignoring of the problem, by those who should have protected me, but NO help!

I have many, many physical scars, that will NEVER heal, and emotional ones as well that I keep hidden, and I just pray I get through today.   I heard laughter, and ignoring of the problem, but NO help!

NO thanks to the failed system, I’m still here!

IT IS No good looking back and wondering why some failed me and others.

I just pray that for the next woman that is wanting to get help and get out………..that there will be help!

Taking My Time…..It’s a Journey of Recovery

No, I “can’t just get over it” as many people tell me….

Surviving Abuse is a journey…..and not something an individual “gets over” in a specific amount of time, as so many think it does.  I went through twenty years of abuse, and it is not something one gets over in a specific amount of time.  I went through DAILY physical beatings and emotional lashings, and the scars are VERY, VERY, VERY deep.  Not something that one can recover from easily, if at all.

It is so amazing to me that people think it is so easy.  It is unique for each survivor, and the journey takes each survivor on a different path.  No recovery is the same.

Nothing is easy in this process and on this journey.  Myself, like all survivors, have to take my time in my journey and do the best I can.

So, the next survivor you may meet, which unfortunately, may be a family member, remember to not judge them or rush them to “get over it.”

I had dreams that were shattered.

I had dreams that were shattered……….broken…forever…

Imagine if you could, feeling in love and thinking that this person loves you too.

The honeymoon was over pretty quickly.

The beating started two days after we returned from our honeymoon.

The pain of the beating was so severe, but the shock of what was going on was even more Unthinkable to me.

I thought it was somehow my fault and that I had to be better.

When I went to work I would cry after I would be beaten.

I constantly tried,  it seemed, to do whatever I could to please him, but to no avail, he was always so angry.

I thought giving him a child would make him happy, but during one of his beatings I lost our first child. No one can imagine the loneliness and despair I felt.   There isn’t a day that goes by, that I don’t think of my child that was lost.    Even with two other children I have now, there is an empty place where my child should be.  That pain will never go away.

I know that I stayed too long with him, for the sake of our children, and for the fear of what he would do.   He is still trying to hurt me in any way he possibly can.

20 years lost of myself.


“On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home.  My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends. Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance weird like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs, and then I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.

Assault is not an accident. This is not a story of another drunk college hook- up with poor decision making.

The point is, this is everything my family and I endured during the trial. This is everything I had to sit through silently, taking it, while he shaped the evening. It is enough to be suffering. It is another thing to have someone ruthlessly working to diminish the gravity and validity of this suffering. But in the end, his unsupported statements and his attorney’s twisted logic fooled no one. The truth won, the truth spoke for itself.

I want to say thank you. To everyone from the intern who made me oatmeal when I woke up at the hospital that morning, to the deputy who waited beside me, to the nurses who calmed me, to the detective who listened to me and never judged me, to my advocates who stood unwaveringly beside me, to my therapist who taught me to find courage in vulnerability, to my boss for being kind and understanding, to my incredible parents who teach me how to turn pain into strength, to my friends who remind me how to be happy, to my boyfriend who is patient and loving, to my unconquerable sister who is the other half of my heart, who fought tirelessly and never doubted me. Thank you to everyone involved in the trial for their time and attention. Thank you to girls across the nation that wrote cards to my DA to give to me, so many strangers who cared for me.

Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.

And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining. Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you.

Thank you.”