The following was shared by a survivor with permission to share in order to to bring awareness and help educate victims about resources.
The first time he hit me, I literally thought a meteor had fallen through my ceiling.
Before the shock even wore off, he had my shoulders pinned under his knees, and he just kept hitting me, my face, my head, strangling me, then punching me again somehow. I don’t even know how I got out from under him and ran to my bathroom, where his dogs were huddled in the bathtub (having both witnessed and endured it themselves many times, I would later learn).
That was the first of many terrifying attacks I endured over four months until, thankfully, my oldest daughter both offered me a place to stay and sent her son’s father to rescue me! I left my own house of seventeen years and everything in it.
Five months later, he finally moved out, and I moved back in. The house was by then in foreclosure, and he had broken or taken all my artwork and so much more. Four months later, he showed up around eleven one night with his cousin. I had let a friend stay to help me pack up my house, and he was there. For the next three plus hours, he repeatedly beat and strangled me unconscious until my baby Saphy started barking, lunging, and snapping at him so that he had to take his hands off of my throat and I was able to regain consciousness. Eventually, I was able to get out the door and to a neighbor’s and thank God they answered (it was around 3am by then).
For a while, I lost a whole year of memory. I had a traumatic brain injury, broken hand, and broken spirit. I still, three years later, struggle everyday with the side effects of the TBI. I have severe PTSD (so does Saphy) anxiety, and depression, among other things (vision problems, issues with my spine etc.). I never thought it would happen to me. No one ever does!
If you’re going through it, get help please. It does not get better. They don’t change. It only gets worse and more dangerous!
YWCA OKC and Palomar Family Justice Center are amazing and have the resources to help you, your kids, and your animals get out safely and to help you start to heal, learn to break the cycle of violence, and rebuild your life in a safe and healthier way!
If it’s your friend or family going through it, let them know you’re there, give them this resource info, be loving and supportive without judgement, and always keep lines of communication open. Check on them as frequently as possible until they can safely get out. It can happen to ANYONE! Regardless of your social or economic background, whatever your race, gender, or sexual orientation, no one is immune! Every four seconds, someone is abused physically or sexually, most by an intimate partner! It could be you, your mom, dad, sister, brother, son, or daughter!
It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so be aware! Especially now, with the pandemic, many are stuck with their abusers. If you see or hear something, say something. Don’t be afraid to call the police or report it. You very well could save someone’s life and definitely change it!
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
YWCA OKC: (405) 948-1770
Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center: (405) 552-1010