"He told me that if I took his kids again that he would kill me. He has told me over and over again during our marriage about the people that he has killed and gotten away with itI believed him"
My name is KM and I have 4 children by my husband. We have 2 sons and 2 daughters . I am a domestic violence survivor. This is my story. I hadn’t lived with him since 2006 and he asked if I would give him another chance and in 2013, I let him move in. My husband and I went over to a friend’s house Summer of 2014. We watched fireworks, ate good food, and had a few drinks. My friend and her boyfriend got into a nasty argument and we left. My husband kept saying how I could never talk to him that way and that the only reason I haven’t been beaten up yet is because he won’t give his sisters the go ahead to jump me like they want to. The more I said I haven’t done anything wrong, the madder he got. He kept talking about how he wouldn’t be disrespected like that by me and how he would handle me if I talked to him like that over and over again. He kept me in the car yelling like that for almost an hour. I was so scared finally I just had to get out and he got even madder because he said I turned my back on him.
I went in the house and downstairs to my bedroom. I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed and he followed me in there. He trapped me at the sink by putting his hand on the wall behind me and behind me on the sink where I was standing. He continued to yell at me and talk about what he wasn’t going to allow from me. At this point, I just didn’t say anything because he just kept getting angrier and angrier. I have a back injury and I am on disability. I had to beg him to let me go to bed because I was hurting so bad from being forced to stand for so long.
He was all in my face, but he finally let me go to bed. It didn’t stop there. He continued to talk and curse. He kept pacing and walking to the closet that had his gun and knives. I was so scared at this point that I got out of bed and tried to run upstairs. He grabbed me by my hair and pulled me back down and on the floor. I started to scream because he was hurting me and our kids were upstairs and I wanted them to get help.
He told me that if I didn’t shut up that he would hurt them if they came down and saw what he was doing to me. He picked me up off the floor and threw me up against the wall and broke my glasses and pounded my head against the wall. Then he threw me back on the floor, he put his knee in my chest with all of his almost 300 pounds. He put his arm to my throat and was choking me. When I would almost pass out, he would raise his forearm off of my neck. I was begging for my life, promising to be good, and saying any and everything I could think of to not die that night.
He then put both of his hands around my neck choking me until I almost passed out over and over. He told me that night that if I called the cops that he would have a shoot-out with them and then kill me and then kill himself. When I caught my breath again, I went back to begging. He worked me over so bad that night I couldn’t eat or drink for weeks. It took me 2 whole days to eat a cup of yogurt and all I could do was sip water. I couldn’t talk for weeks and my chest hurt so bad from where he had his knee that I couldn’t stand to wear clothes that came anywhere near my chest.
I couldn’t even hug my kids. He kept me prisoner in a room with a bathroom for over a month. Every day he would tell me all day long that if I had him arrested again that he would kill me or have his family kill me or some of his friends he met in prison kill me. He would make me sleep in bed with him at night because he said the voices in his head were telling him that I was plotting on him. I was scared every day and every night. He wouldn’t let me near a phone because he didn’t want me getting help and he said he didn’t want me recording the threats. I was so scared I didn’t know what to do.
He wouldn’t let me leave the house and I was scared he would hurt my mother like he threatened if I called the police. He told me that if I took his kids again that he would kill me. He has told me over and over again during our marriage about the people that he has killed and gotten away with it and his family has told that he has too. So I believed him when he said that he is a killer and would kill me and my family. I asked him to leave and he said he would not leave without taking my boys with him. When I got my cellphone back, I called the domestic violence hotline. They didn’t have any beds anywhere for me and my children.
My church couldn’t even help find us shelter. Finally on August 8, 2014, a shelter had a bed. I snuck our things out in the middle of the night and I picked my kids up that day from school. I was working so hard to get somewhere safe for me that I forgot that August 8th is my son’s birthday. Now he hates his birthday. It was the first day we had to live in a shelter. Now we live in a house and they have lots of friends again. We don’t have a lot of things, but we are alive and healthy. I am a domestic violence survivor.
My name is AC… today I am 35 years old… and I am most definitely a survivor! Abuse first entered my life when I was 9 years old courtesy of my stepfather in the home I shared with my mother in Los Angeles, CA. Up until that point my childhood had been a joy and my mothers the best mommy any girl could ask for. She was absolutely the most beautiful woman ever to me; with the brightest smile. . My mother taught me how to love unconditionally and with her I always felt safe. However, once she allowed my stepfather into our lives; she changed into a person I did not recognize. She became weak and controlled by this man; characteristics I had never seen her display. After only a few months of living in our home, he began to isolate us from our family and friends; and started to control every aspect of our lives down to every cent of my mother’s finances. My stepfather began to physically abuse my mother; and the love I had for her would not allow me to stand by and watch the woman I loved more than anything be mistreated. My mother had always taught me to fear nothing; as God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. Therefore, I began to take up for my mother when my stepfather would beat her; causing him to turn his hands to me and begin physically abusing me as well.
As if beating us awfully weren’t enough; he was also verbally and emotionally abusive to no avail. It was pure torture as we weren’t just punched or slapped around; he beat the crap out of us, often until we were bleeding profusely or even vomiting. My stepfather would use billet clubs, sticks, and extension cords to beat us for hours at a time. Often there were times when my mother would need medical attention but she could not call an ambulance or go to an ER; she had to go lay in her bed and deal with it. It was like living in hell with a real life monster. My childhood abruptly ended and I was forced to be an adult fending for myself. He no longer allowed my mother to care for me. So, simple things like combing my hair, cooking my meals, providing me with clothes and shoes for school were no longer available for me. I had to cook and clean for them both, was tortured with mice, placed in the dumpster in my alley, and not allowed to watch television – go outside to play – or engage in any other social activities with other children.
Then as if taking the joy of my having a strong loving mother and a healthy childhood weren’t enough; my stepfather began molesting me while my mother was at work. He stole my innocence and literally tried to break me because he knew that although my mother feared him; I didn’t fear him at all. Just about every night I thought about ways to kill him to save my mother and me from his terror. But I never acted on it simply because I did not want my mother to be mad with me. I even got the courage to tell my mother he had been molesting me; and when I did she took me right in the room to him and told him what I had said. He laughed and told her, “If she says I did it, then I did it”. She did absolutely nothing! That was the moment I began to resent her and anger started to grow within me towards her.
I was a model student in school, extremely smart, and placed into a gifted program, top of my glass; but I was going to school daily keeping this heavy secret about my home life. It was like having to be an actress and it became unbearable. So after being physically, sexually, & verbally abused from the ages of 9-12 years old, I finally built up the courage to confide in a friend and run away from home to her house after school. But, her mother brought me back to my school and told them what was going on. My principal informed me that ever since my stepfather had isolated me they had been keep a close eye on me because my aunt and father in New Orleans had mailed her a letter saying they suspected abuse, but that they had been shut out of my life. My principal said she never had any proof and called the police in that evening. The police booked me as a runaway and took me to the hospital to be examined. I was then placed in a foster home while I awaited court proceedings for my custody to gain custody of me.
After a few months in foster care, my father was given custody and I moved back to our hometown of New Orleans. However, my father was sickly, being on kidney dialysis and couldn’t really care for me; so I lived with my aunt. She tried her best to fill the void I had of being without my mom; but no one can replace your mother. I didn’t understand how my mother could choose a man over me. So, I used to refuse to talk to her and would tell people she was dead when they asked where she was or why I lived with my aunt.
On New Years of 1993, just 2 months before I turned 13 years old, I finally had a conversation with my mother. She apologized, asked for my forgiveness, expressed how much she loved me, and told me she needed me; begging me to come home. I told her that I would never come back to her home because she could not protect me from her monster. She then told me, that she was coming to me then; that she would leave him. We arranged for her to sneak from work and pick up my twin baby brothers whom my stepfather had fathered from their daycare and catch a flight to New Orleans with plane tickets that my grandmother would buy for her. BUT 2 days later, January 3, 1993, my aunt returned home from work to inform me that my stepfather had learned of her plans to leave him; and he murdered my mother. He stole the most precious thing I’d ever known from me!
I died inside that day. This man had beaten my mother so badly that her ribs, hand, and nose were broken; and she laid in her bed broken like that, then he stood over her and shot her in her face. He called his mom and sister as my mother laid there dying…. cleaned the scene… and his gun…. all while my toddler brothers looked on. He was arrested then released because he told the police that my baby brother accidently killed my mother playing with his gun while he had it out for cleaning. AND LAPD went for that, not because it made sense, but because they were a black couple in South Central Los Angeles; and my mother’s life just didn’t mean much to them.
I refused to let my stepfather get off scott free and told my family I had to do something. So, my aunt contacted to DA on my behalf and told them they needed to talk to me because most definitely this man had murdered my mother in cold blooded rage. I flew back to L.A. and after speaking to me, the DA picked him back up and began a thorough investigation. Forensics ended up proving that there was blood under the cleaning kit; meaning my stepmother tried to clean up his mess. Ballistics showed that my mother was shot from someone standing over her; something a toddler could not do. I ended up testifying against him at trial and the monster looked me in my eyes and laughed as I looked at pictures of my mother lying in her own blood, dead. He was convicted and sentenced to California Life. When he became eligible for parole I gave my testimony as to why he shouldn’t be released but the coward wouldn’t even appear at his hearings and face me. He stole my innocence, my childhood, & my mother from me; but he never broke me or stole my inner strength.
I have however lived with a pain and a void that has never healed and never been filled. But as time has passed, I’ve learned to live with it better. My father passed when I was 15 years old; and because I had still never processed my abusive childhood nor my mother’s murder, I began to act out. I left my family and started living on my own. I looked for love in all the wrong places, especially the streets of New Orleans. I cursed and blamed God. I was angry and hurt! BUT God never left my side and I didn’t even know it!
At 15 years old I had my first child for a man 6 years older than me. Not realizing all of the things I was doing to myself was because of the abuse I had endured and that I was actually abusing myself. My daughter was born premature and ended up being disabled. I always provided good care of her and myself. Always had my own. Prided myself on being “strong”. But in actuality I was weak inside crying out for help. I went from one unhealthy relationship to the next but would never let anyone abuse me. I had my 2nd child when I was 20 years old. Then when I was 22 years old I left a man who I loved and who I thought loved me; who also was very wealthy and resourceful, which made him think I would never leave him.. He had never so much as raised his voice to me or disrespected me. BUT he could not handle me leaving him and had me & my 2 year old son kidnapped. My ex-lover tortured me for 7 hours, setting me on fire and pouring boiling water on me; telling me I had hurt him, so now he was going to hurt me. That was the first time since I was in my mother’s home did I feel I was in danger and that I wasn’t in control. At that moment I called out to God. I repented and prayed. I promised to God that if he got me and my son out of that house I would turn away from the streets and live my life right. My son and I were in my ex lover’s house for 3 days before I was able to escape.
I was naked and burned horribly but I grabbed my son and ran to his neighbor’s house and called for help. We ended up in protective custody hiding in a domestic violence shelter never able to return to our home or retrieve any of our belongings. I had to start my life all over again from nothing. It was like being in a Lifetime Movie. A truly humbling experience. We relocated from New Orleans to Seattle for our safety and I began to rebuild our lives.
In February 2005 I returned to New Orleans to care for my aunt who took me in when my mother was murdered and my father was too ill to care for me. She was dying of bone cancer and leukemia. In August 2005 Hurricane Katrina came and devastated my life again, causing me to relocate to Atlanta GA and have to start all over from nothing AGAIN. In 2012 I had my 3rd child and had pretty much established my family here in Atlanta. Everything seemed to be on track for me. I was taking my trials and turning them into testimonies and focusing on creating a legacy that could be proud of and that would set them up for success.
Then in November of 2014, I met a man from my hometown of New Orleans who is much younger than me but who I feel deeply in love for. Things moved very fast between us and I ended up pregnant by March 2015. Not long after he started displaying characteristics that I saw in my abusive childhood with my stepfather. Instead of running for the hills, I tried to fix him. My finances declined, and I found myself in the same cycle my mother was once in… being isolated and controlled… blamed for his disrespectful behavior… and it even turned into physical violence. He never abused my children but for the first time in their lives they witnessed me being mistreated. I kept telling myself, “I know better… Why am I allowing this...? If I don’t get out I will end up like my mother.” I had to call the police on him 3 times to remove him from my home. A little time would pass, he would apologize saying he was going to change, and I would let him back in. Until I woke up and had enough! I snapped out of it and realized that I was not about to let him steal me from my kids like my stepfather stole my mother from me. I had to remind myself that love doesn’t hurt and that if he was hurting me he didn’t care about me or our unborn child. I got a restraining order against him and by the grace of God I am standing strong; and trying to rebuild my life.
Now that I am a woman; I realize that even the strongest women can become victims of abuse. That my mother didn’t turn her back on me. She has gotten herself into a situation where she was brainwashed and manipulated. I’ve forgiven her and I’ve forgiven myself. I used to blame myself for leaving her with my stepfather; thinking had I not ran away, I would’ve saved her life. When in reality my stepfather probably would have murdered me too. Now that I have an intimate relationship with God; I realize that He allows everything to happen for a reason and that although I may not always understand why, and some of it hurts intensely, He is working it all out for my good. I believe God allowed me to go through all I went through so that my life could be a living testimony to help masses of people. I believe that it was to make me into the woman that He intends for me to be; so that when my purpose is fulfilled I will be able to relate to, reach, and heal those who need me.
A few years ago I formed a non-profit agency in honor of my mother and named it after her, The Cheryl Ann Corporation. Its mission is to shape the lives of troubled, abused, and homeless teenage girls from the ages of 9 to 18 years old. To help them find refuge and resources to set them up for success in life and help them heal through their pain. I feel that I can help them because I’ve already been through just about anything they could have experienced; so they will feel the genuine desire to help them and open up to me. I know God made me a strong woman so that I can change the course of the lives of multitudes of young females.
I had the vision but I let my annual registrations fall behind and owe filing fees and need to pay my 501(c)3 filing fee as well in order to get the ball rolling with my nonprofit. So in this upcoming year, it is my biggest aspiration to get my nonprofit where it needs to be as far as in good standing with the Secretary of State AND thriving as a functioning organization serving the metro Atlanta area. I see a building that provides housing, community outreach, counseling, and legal services all in a “one stop shop” environment where these young women know they are safe. I want to be able to provide scholarships and business startup investments to these young women. I want them to not have any barriers to pursuing their dreams. I believe that God will definitely make a way if I stay focused and remain faithful.
At this time I am struggling financially; but now that I have gotten the negative energy of my abuser who was holding me back removed from my life, I am doing what it takes to get back on solid ground. I appreciate that your organization chose my family as a recipient for your Thanksgiving Turkey Baskets and Holiday Angel Gathering Of hope programs. Every little bit helps and would be greatly appreciated. I count myself lucky to have Women Are Dreamers Too in my life
My name is TH and I am a 38 year old single disabled mother of a 15 year old disabled boy who has survived domestic violence.
My son was born one month early on April 5,200 and was immediately diagnosed with several syndromes and ailments. Having heart surgery at 3 weeks old and a tracheotomy at 3 months old.
He was later diagnosed with slight autism, add and SEVERE scoliosis which he has had two spinal fusions because if. He kept his tracheotomy for seven years and hand it removed on Halloween 2007.
He survived that dispute what doctors said and still thrives today. The doctors said he wouldn't live to see his first b, and he has now seen 15 of them. I have survived kidney disease, diabetes, retinopathy and a heart attack having a kidney transplant June 27,2010.
My ex husband is currently serving 10 years of a 20 year sentence for aggravated assault, battery and terroristic threats . He abused me off and on for almost the whole three years we were married.
I divorced him while he was still in the prison for fear of my life. He still finds ways to contact and harass me but I cannot prove it because he uses different cell phones despite him being locked behind prison doors.
My son witnessed the abuse and endured abuse as well from his ex stepfather. My son has physical and mental disabilities and sometimes acts afraid of men due to my ex-husband's actions.
I would really appreciate some help with Thanksgiving and/or Christmas this year as the SSI doesn't really go that far and we do not receive food stamps or child support from my son's biological father.
Thank you Women Are Dreamers Too for being my Angel this holiday season. I cried tears of joy when you called. You are truly Angels at #wadt
Pregnant or not, he didn't care. I would go to the store with busted lip blacks eyes and the people around look as though it was normal
This past year has been one of the most life changing year's I have ever experienced. August 2014 I met my 5th child's father (currently pregnant with now). I just knew I would never know what pain was anymore because I found Mr. Perfect. My 4 children loved him and really longed to have a father figure in their life. They begin calling him daddy and after 2 months in October 2014 I moved him with us. A happy family we went to church, family days, traveled to Savannah( we had never been there before) met his 7 children from past relationships it was amazing. I never knew that I had to pick between a man and my children until I met James. I really can't recall what transpired in his head or what triggered the rage in him but November 29th,2014 I kind of figured this was how the rest of my was going to be. I was hit so hard I staggered trying to get up. At the moment my children was not aware of the abuse I was experienced. I apologized for anything abd everything....that's what came to my head after being hit that hard. I didn't leave and I should've.
That year my children didn't even have a Christmas or Christmas dinner. I wasn't even allowed to put up a Christmas tree. January 2015 we found out I was pregnant and I thought things were going to change but the got worst. pregnant or not, he didn't care. I would go to the store with busted lip blacks eyes and the people around look as though it was normal. I cried in the inside for help, "Like please ask me if I'm ok?" Nobody did, and he would walk right beside me with no remorse. May 2015 my 2 year old daughter took her older sister scissors out her book bag and cut his 1year old sons ear
I knew she didn't know better but him not even. I watched this man slap my 2year old down to the ground in the hospital room. I died in the inside because I felt powerless and afraid. He begin to take his anger out on my children and treated his children like gold. I couldn't understand it, how and why they continued to call him daddy. But I wasn't showing them no kind of example because I still stayed. By this time I was getting abused in front of my children and his children as. I cried a lot with my children and told them I was sorry.
My children didn't even celebrate their birthday this year. August 2015 God saved us. Me and my 4 children. I watched this man I thought loved me and my children beat my oldest daughter a 9 year old the way he beat me. He gave her a black eye busted lip, beat her the way I got beat and to see her face the next day I wanted to kill myself. I talk her daily and she's just as strong as I am. September 23 he was put in jail and due to the current charges he will have to serve the 4 years left on probation incarcerated. The Lord heard my cries whenever ignored them. He heard my children cries even louder though.
Due to the fact I'm expecting another child Thursday I'm in desperate need for my children's sake.
Thank you Women Are Dreamers Too, for all you do. I am indeed thankful for all your help
"God WHY..... WHY ME..... This life growing within me, transplanted due to the violent act of a man"
December 2005, I broke up with the older man as he was verbally abusive to me in front of my then 5 year old. I removed my things from his home in Decatur, GA, when the words "If I cannot have you, then no one will." I fought, screamed, cried.... I was not strong enough. He took what he wanted and left me to pick up the pieces while my 5 year old was in the living room.
Devastated, confused, hurt, violated, was just a few of the emotions I felt after being raped. I felt alone with my emotions. I kept reminding myself "I have to be strong for Jonathan." The night sweats, inability to sleep, fear, and anger plagued me every day.
The jolt of reality arouse when I found out I was pregnant. The horror of the news hit me as I fell to the floor in the stall of the bathroom looking at the test result. I muffled my scream as I hit the floor over and over...looking above asking "God WHY..... WHY ME..... This life growing within me, transplanted due to the violent act of a man who claimed he cared. Random thoughts flowed through my mind, body and soul. "How can I be a parent to a child whose father took my life, my womanhood, my soul, my strength, my trust, the touch, smell, taste, sound, and sight of what love is truly has to bring. I felt broken. The thought of an abortion did come to mind. I reached out for help, but that help left me alone to fend for myself; to deal with the evil thoughts and emotions ALONE.
My son is now 10 years old and was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. He is my second love of my life. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I began my journey to healing by attending a group and individual counseling at my local rape crisis center. I had to learn it was ok to be loved, hugged, and touched, by my own children. I had to learn how to love my children and me. When I look at him I smile inside. I can finally wrap my arms around my young man without feeling bitter or ashamed.
As my son sits here watching me complete my homework, I can hear him say over and over... "I can't wait until mom is a nurse." This is my beginning for us. Going to school part-time and working full-time to help pay for a better life for my family, will be one of my ultimate long term goal. I have the strength and the courage to move on....and I shall.