Survivor Stories

Creating My New Normal

What is normal?! I only know that my “new normal” is not being hit and punched and sworn at, everyday by my husband, who thought it is his right to do so. I know my “new normal” is not having a daily bloody nose due to being punched in the face. It has taken a long, long time to get this “new normal” because it has taken me years to escape from my abuser, due to his influence and power.

I am often afraid of what he will do next, even though I am no longer with him, because as he told me, he would see me dead first or take everything I have including our three children. I have heard from other survivors, that that is the threat they have faced as well.

When will we all, as survivors, have peace? I am afraid for those still in their abusive situation, especially now during this pandemic.

No one has the right.

Sexism in Will County

As someone once asked me what were the worst parts of going through the system with my abuser–besides the abuse I suffered, I could say a whole list of things, but the few that stand out are the fact that domestic violence is so downplayed in the Will County Courts, and within the local and state media as well. The fact that the court system, judges and many of the attorneys are sexist and have not only made sexist remarks to survivors, but treat women and especially women who have survived abuse, as animals and as though we have no rights and no voice.

As a black woman survivor, I stand with all of my “sisters” of different races and ethnicities, to say that there needs to be reform and accountability in the Will County courts. As a survivor of not only domestic violence, but A SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AS WELL BY A POLICE OFFICER, who was not disciplined, the change needs to start now, as this has been going on for many, many decades due to the lack of accountability, and the fact that it is allowed everyday to occur. Survivors are laughed at and not believed. Maybe that is what they want, to see women kept underneath them forever, and not allowed to be heard.

I am anonymous but standing proud as a survivor!

Women Strong

There is a time to step out and seek a new way to survive, all of the past hurts and bruises you have suffered at the hands of your abuser.

There is a time to say enough is enough.

There is a time, to say to the screwed up system, that their “good old boys club” privileged behaviors will not be tolerated any longer and there needs to be justice for all, and accountability for all judges, attorneys and court officials, who cross the line and don’t adhere to the law, but only to their pocketbooks. They protect abusers, but not victims/survivors.

As a millennial African American woman, I have seen my mother survive this and now, I am dealing with my own survival story as well. I have seen the trauma it causes, and have felt it myself.

I applaud the bravery of all survivors. We are strong.

#WomenStrongDVSurvivors

No One Stopped to Help

If I could speak of one incident done by my abuser it would be this. As I was pushed out of a moving vehicle not long ago by my abusive husband, who had just got done beating me at home, and then he dragged me into the car so he could continue berating me. I lay on the concrete, crying, bleeding and numb, as other vehicles continued to pass by without stopping.

I don’t even remember how long I lay there, or how many dozens of cars passed me, but it felt like it was one after another, before someone actually came over, but they were not in a car, but were on their bike, as I recall. I was hurt, but was able to walk. My abuser came back and the nice young man on his bike didn’t seem to know what to do to help me.

This was not the first time I was beat up, but for some reason, this was was more traumatizing, as most times I have been beaten when no one was around, but being pushed out of the car, and so many people just driving by and not caring, left me horrified. I had heard stories about people ignoring victims of abuse, but I never thought people actually did that, when it is right in front of them, and never thought so many people would not actually care to stop and help me. It seems that victims of domestic violence like me don’t matter to people. Hope to escape my abuser someday.

A Leap to Freedom

I guess you would say that I am not only taking a huge chance but also a leap to freedom by preparing to escape my abuser, who is my husband and a guy with considerable power as a law enforcement officer.  I have tried to leave before, but got pulled back in and scared due to the constant manipulation and bullying I face everyday from him and his police friends have been beaten to within an inch of my life, and was just laughed at, because my husband is a cop. When I tried to leave with my son before, I was stalked, harassed, had my tires slashed numerous times, threatened by him and his friends and told he would take our son, because he could.  You see, his friends include Will County judges and attorneys, so as I have been told by many people, the system is rigged to favor those most powerful, and they aren’t interested in truth and justice.  Far from it. 

When women like me are scared to leave for fear of our child being taken from them, just because the abusive spouse has rich friends and family, is so disgusting and sexist, to say the least.  Racism is surely a problem within police departments, but sexism within the court system and police departments is an epidemic as well.  My husband and his friends have joked about letting abusers go, when they are called out on a domestic violence call, because they don’t believe what women say.  They laugh about it too.  I have heard them laugh about hurting and beating African American individuals who they have taken into custody, because they can. 

As I spoke to an attorney recently, and shared some of my concerns with him, his response was, “that is the way Will County courts are.”   Interesting that the “norm” is sexist and that victims of domestic violence are pushed aside and thrown away like garbage.  Abusers get custody from the good mothers all the time in Will County, I am told.  I have met a few and their stories of survival are horrific.  I have heard that it happens as well in other parts of America as well, but Will County is one of the worst.

Hopefully this pandemic will cause the Illinois Supreme Court, the Will County Board, The Attorney General, Inspector General, Illinois Bar Associations, as well as many other entities, to look at how money and power are allowed, and have been allowed to corrupt our system, and tear survivors of domestic violence away from their children, just for the own personal agendas of the powerful.

My hope and immense prayer is that some miracle happens and I can be finally free and allowed to live at peace with my son.  PLEASE!!!!!!!!

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Groundwork 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at (815) 729-1228.