domestic violence



Inspiring Stories Of Courage – 4 People Who Survived Domestic Violence (And How You Can Too)

You might feel that you are alone in feeling immense doubt, desperation and guilt at the thought of leaving your partner. You are not. So many women and men who are survivors of domestic abuse thought and felt just like you do now at one point in their lives. Some of them were brutally battered or almost killed by their partners before leaving. Others did not have scars or bruises to show for their abuse, but the effects of emotional violence were so severe and long-lasting that they attempted suicide before or after leaving the relationship. Some stayed for 6 months with a violent partner, others for two decades. But they all left – and they all survived. And you can too.

“He waited until after we were married to tell me that he was thousands of dollars in debt” – Kate’s story

    Kate Ranta was a divorced single mom when she met a military officer online who swept her off her feet. After three months they got married and there was no emotional or physical abuse for three years. However, there were a few red flags, and her now-husband turned out to be very financially controlling. After being physically threatened by him, Kate decided to get a restraining order and left him. Unfortunately, over the next few months she was unable to keep up with the mortgage and her exorbitant legal fees from the divorce. After eight months of struggling financially, she took him back. Eventually she left again and they were separated for over a year. The husband showed up one day at her new apartment and shot her twice, once in her hand and once in her chest. The bullet barely missed her heart.

    Now Kate shares her story with the world to help people understand that financial insecurity is one of the primary reasons why victims return to their abusers. It is a real issue and it needs to be talked about more. If you are a victim of domestic violence and you are in need of financial assistance, please reach out at The Domestic Violence Prevention Center, In Charge Debt Solutions or Jane Doe Inc.

“Silence was his weapon” – Nicola’s story of emotional abuse

    Nicola met a handsome, charming professional rugby player when she was 21. She had many friends, a successful job and high ambitions for the future. “Why are you being so clingy?” was one of the first remarks her boyfriend made about her. What followed was constant criticism, belittling and guilt-tripping. Everything was Nicola’s fault – she was “too boring”, “too stupid”, “a bitch”, and if she ever became upset with his behavior she was being “too sensitive”. Whenever that did happen, he would ignore her or isolate himself from her until she would come crying back to him, feeling that she was the one who had wronged him in some way.

Sex also had to happen whenever he wanted it. When he brought a friend to their house to watch them have sex and Nicola refused, she was told that he feels disappointed and sad. Over time he also began punching walls and tables before the relationship was finally over. You can read more about Nicola’s story here and find out about the traits of an emotionally or sexually abusive partner here. Reach out for help at The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

“I didn’t know he was abusing me” – Leslie’s story

    Meet Leslie Morgan Steiner. A graduate of Harvard College, Leslie is a successful businesswoman who met her abuser on a subway. The man loved everything about her and supported her in all of her professional endeavors. He was also someone who was savagely abused by his father growing up. Leslie thought of herself as a self-reliant woman who would under no circumstances ever tolerate abuse of any kind from another person. Eventually she moved in with him and slowly became isolated from friends and family after the man quit his dream job “for her”.

Five days before their wedding, Leslie was working on a writing project and got frustrated with it. Her partner strangled her and hit her head repeatedly against the wall. He apologized, told her he was stressed, that he loved her deeply and that nothing similar will ever happen again. He then proceeded to beat her two times a week and constantly threaten to kill her for the next two and a half years of their marriage. “I never once considered myself as a battered wife”, Leslie says. “Instead, I was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man and I was the only person on earth who could help [him] face his demons”.

“You don’t love me enough, you have 5 minutes to be ready for sex” – Ian’s story

    “I loved my wife. Those feelings got abused”, says Ian McNicholl, a man who has been systematically and gruesomely abused by his then 34-year old wife. Ian has had his skull fractured, his cheek and eyelid split open, his head battered with a metal bar, his nose smashed, his ribs cracked with a hammer, countless surgeries and several other injuries – all of them inflicted by his ex-partner. The woman would push lit up cigarettes up his nostrils, batter him with a hammer and boil his groin with hot water. After a violent incident, she would tell him he has five minutes to get ready for sex and would start counting down. To learn more about Ian’s story, click here.

Her “reason” for abusing him? She would tell Ian that he does not love her enough and does not initiate sex enough, making her feel unattractive. Ian never called the police on his wife. It was a concerned neighbor who tipped them off and saved his life. “For men, they may not be believed if they come forward”, says Ian, “but all victims should find the strength to confide in someone because help is out there. I’m proof of that.”

If you are a man who is in a violent relationship (whether it is physical, sexual, emotional or economic abuse), please reach out here: Center Against Domestic Violence, Mankind Initiative, Rape Crisis, How To End Domestic Abuse and 1in6. To learn more about domestic violence against men, take a look at the following resources: Help For Men Who Are Being Abused, Sexual Assault Of Men And Boys, Male Sexual Abuse And Rape.