Every survivor has their own unique story.
Survivor Story #1
My husband and I were married for over 10 years. Those years were fraught with physical violence, threats of violence, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, and various forms of exertion of power and control. Throughout this time we were very involved with our church. Both of us had ministries, my husband on the governing body of the church, and I worked in children's ministries.
Early in our marriage my husband was physically violent with me. I told him I would leave if he ever laid his hands on me again. At that time I tried to contact my pastor; however he wasn't available when I called. After I made the call I began to fear the implications of telling my secret. What would everyone think? Would they believe me? My husband is Mr. Wonderful, everyone likes him. Then the personal self-doubt started. Am I making a bigger deal out of this than it really is? Do all husbands act this way? What I saw as a child was nothing like what I was experiencing. My Dad loved my mother: treating her with love, respect and kindness. I was completely unprepared for the abusive situation I was experiencing. The doubt lingered and festered.
As time passed, the abuse transitioned to verbal and emotional. Name calling, threats of physical violence, breaking of personal property, verbal abuse of the children, neglect, spiritual and financial abuse were all methods that he used to perpetrate domestic violence. For years I lived in fear. My children were young and with the birth of each he got worse. The more perceived responsibility he had, the more abuse I incurred. It got to the point that my eldest started being a target for abuse. That was when I knew I had to make some changes in our lives. Follow this Link to Read More.
Survivor Story # 2
It was a beautiful morning in Cuba on July 27. Although sad, I was packing up and moving back home to Southeast Missouri. It was the place I had called home since I was young. My husband and I had discussed the matter, and he seemed fine with the idea. He was a truck driver and could live anywhere. My 3-year-old daughter was happy because she would be closer to her father, my ex-husband. We had just settled an almost-two-year custody battle, and we were looking forward to the prospects ahead.
That morning my husband was eager to help load the car for us. He had been home for a week and was scheduled to go back out on his truck for a little while longer. The week had been rough. He had come home and threatened to kill me on Wednesday. We had been arguing a lot. But I had somehow settled him down and thought if I could get him back on the truck on Friday, all would be well.
I was wrong.
As we were driving to a local truck stop, my then-husband drove past it without saying a word. I asked him where we were going, while I had my finger on the button to roll down the window. I was scared. This was not the first time he had threatened my life. I was so tired that morning of struggling with him all week and hoping and praying that everything would be OK. Follow the Link to Read More.
Susvivor Story # 3
First Person - Kara's Story
Who is She?
How I moved from darkness into the light of healing and learned to embrace the quiet power of forgiveness.
By Kara Greenspun
When I was younger, my family rented a beach house every summer. It was the highlight of the season for me, days filled with sunshine and the salty ocean air; it was freedom.
The summer after my 13th birthday, there was a cute boy staying next door. He was strong, tan and a few years older. He took an interest in me, and the excitement I felt was weird but undeniable. Just as I started to find words to my feelings, he turned my crush into chaos.
I didn't understand what was happening, but I knew it felt wrong. I was afraid-afraid of the pain, afraid of what my parents would say, afraid to fight. I didn't know what to do, so I hardly did anything. I was a child and I was ill-equipped to understand what was happening, what it meant, what it was called. In retrospect, of course things become clearer: I know now that he raped me, even if this is still something that I struggle to put into words, or to understand at all. I don't like going over the details of exactly what happened. The details aren't what is important anyway. What matters is what the rape did not just to my body, but to my soul.
Like the riot of confusion that follows when a wave knocks you down and pulls you under, I was engulfed by his betrayal, which was not just physical, but spiritual and emotional too. In an instant, my life changed. I couldn't pull myself toward the surface. A week passed, where twisted memories and dream-like events blurred together. I remember screaming. I remember yelling "NO!" But did I? The questions flooded my mind: What happened? Did I do this? Did he? Follow This Link to Read More.