1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. In honor of our #PutTheNailinIt campaign to end domestic violence, Safe Horizon is sharing a true story of one of our clients. Check back for for continued installments of one family’s survival story, and donate today!
* This story contains details of a violent act that may upset readers.
Lorna’s Story, Part II: “I was embarrassed.”
(Missed Part I? Read it here.)
I was an educated, career woman. I’d worked hard to become successful. I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on at home. I didn’t want to admit that I lived with an abuser or that I needed help. To me, that meant failure.
Not only was my partner back on drugs, he began to display behaviors of jealousy and aggression. It surfaced in small ways at first. I would be watching a movie, and if a handsome actor was on the screen, my partner would say, “You’re staring at the TV for too long.” He also wanted to control my appearance. He didn’t like me wearing makeup, so I gave it up. I always complied when he criticized me or made demands.
We were six years into our relationship, but there was no give-and-take. I always lost.
Then, I lost my job because I wanted to hide the abuse.
My partner was convinced I was having an affair with my boss; I wasn’t. We had a fight. He beat me so badly, I had bruises everywhere. I didn’t go to work. If I had, the secret would be out, and I didn’t want to be put into a situation where I’d have to explain what had happened. My boss and his wife already suspected something serious and had repeatedly asked, “Is everything okay?” When I didn’t show, my employer came to my door. He saw my bruises and said, “When you’re ready to come back, just let me know, ” I wasn’t let go, but I stopped going to work completely. I was embarrassed. Plus, this way my partner wouldn’t question my fidelity.
I was often scared. I remember a point when dinner wasn’t cooked by the time my partner got home. He punished me by putting me in the closet. It was horrible, because the kids would bang on the closet door saying, “Let my mommy out!” I could have opened the door to come out. It’s not that I was restrained, I was just afraid of what he might do to me if I did.
That’s why, when he got a temp job that sent him off-shore for three weeks, I was so relieved he was gone! I had freedom.
I also knew that he would come back. (To be continued…)
A word from Kyana Askin, Case Manager at Safe Horizon:
“Domestic Violence doesn’t just affect victims. For Lorna’s boss, it happened to someone working in his company and cost him a valued employee. Chances are, you already know someone who is suffering in silence: your mother, sister, friend, neighbor, colleague, child…
That’s why, if you have a friend or family member that you suspect is experiencing domestic violence, it is important that you speak with them. While 60 percent of Americans say they know a victim, 2 out of 3 (67%) Americans have NOT talked about the issue with their friends.
Make your support visible through #PutTheNailinIt, and end silence today by following these simple steps:
- Paint your left ring fingernail purple to signify your vow to end domestic violence.
- Take a photograph of your painted nail, and spread awareness through social media by sharing your photo, your vow, and your story.
- Make a contribution to Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading organization devoted to turning victims of domestic violence into survivors.
Contributions to #PutTheNailinIt help provide safety, right here and right now. As a case manager, I can attest to the lives changed by your support. When you give to Safe Horizon, you not only give victims a secure place to sleep, you impart with them resources, options, and professional care. Our clients get a new beginning.”