I was a vicim of domestic violence…
I married a man that should have been safe. I had met him in church and had saved myself for marriage. The day after we got married I was yanked out of bed by my hair, slammed up against the wall, and informed that I was there to service him, take care of him, and that my job began with making him breakfast. I was dumbstruck! This man who had been so kind when we dated was truly a monster. The abuse got more frequent as time passed and increased in intensity and horror. I was a hiker and loved to climb mountains and we had hiked a lot when dating. After we married, he took me to the top of a mountain I had loved to climb, when I walked to the edge he grabbed me by the arms and held me out over the edge; he then peered directly into my eyes, reminded me that all my friends knew I loved to hike the mountains and that he could shove or drop me off and no one would ever be the wiser. It terrified me beyond words. The look in his eyes guaranteed he was capable of doing exactly what he had threatened. After this the beatings were daily and intensified daily. If smiled at the wrong person, or didn’t smile at the right person, shook hands for too long with this person, or wasn’t kind enough to that one; everyday was another nightmare!
When I was pregnant with my son he beat me and threatened to kill me every day. He would force me to perform oral sex acts on him and beat me if I refused. He would beat me until my face would swell so badly I couldn’t open my mouth, and then beat me because I couldn’t open it. He would demand sex, and then rape me with whatever he could get his hands on. He would force me to lie still while he performed sexual acts on me, then beat me, run his finger down his throat, throw up on me, and then urinate on me. The day my son was due to be born he shove me out of a vehicle going 65 mph. When my son was 2 years old he tied me to the bed and beat me so badly I couldn’t even open my eyes; then he beat me with a broom handle and then raped me with it. I was still conscious so that wasn’t good enough; he then raped me with a loaded double-barrel shotgun, a loaded 45, and then a hoe handle. When I couldn’t get up, he began beating me again. He would often put my son in his baby bed and roll it into our bedroom, then beat me and rape me in front of my child, while telling him “this is how you teach your wife to obey”. On one occasion my son cried, because I couldn’t help but cry, and he turned on my child. He beat him pretty badly and then set his baby bed on fire with him standing in it. I had been beaten so badly I couldn’t stand up at this point so I had to drag myself to the baby bed, pull it over on top of me with it on fire, to throw my child out of it and onto our bed to prevent him from being harmed by the fire.
I was raped in 1979 and got pregnant from the rape. My husband was so angry that he pinned me between the bed in the wall and stomped me in the stomach until I miscarried the child. Not long after that he began locking me a small room, approximately 6 x 6 x 6, in complete and total darkness. I had a bucket to drink from and a bucket to go to the bathroom in. My child was locked in there with me every day when he went to work, and he would take him out when he came home from work. This little room had rats the size of small house cats in it, and I was let out once per day until my punishment was complete, often times this would be in 1-3 week intervals. This punishment was repeated any time I broke about any of the rules I have been given, or if I forgot ‘my place’. I remember one day making the mistake of thinking a neighbor would help me and he threatened to kill them if I ever spoke to them again. I hid in the house for weeks because I feared he really would do it. While we lived next-door to these people I prepared a meal one evening and it was the wrong food, (meaning it was something he didn’t want that night) so he beat me, tied me to a chair in the kitchen at the table, hung my precious dog from the chandelier, and while my dog choked to death over my head and defecated in the plate in front of me, he held a loaded 45 to my temple and force-fed me from that plate.
My son developed a very high temperature and the doctors were unable to get it to break, so he built an altar in our yard and was going to place my son on the altar to burn alive. He was rescued by EMTs shortly before he would’ve been laid down on that alter. That night he beat me so badly I was throwing up blood and then he called the EMTs (he told me if I let them take me to the hospital he would kill my son) and he told them I had issues hurting myself. The EMTs on the ambulance included a girl I went to school with, so I slipped her a note telling her I needed help; she gave it to him. When the ambulance left, he beat me again. He would even threaten to kill my family. I found him one evening pouring gasoline around my parents home when I spent the night at their house. I was terrified to go anywhere because I never knew who he would harm next.
One day I had a doctors appointment and I saw an article in a magazine of a casket with a huge bouquet of roses spread all over it. The article read something like he beat her every day of their marriage, he broke every bone in her body, but he only gave her roses once. I knew this was going to be me and that I was going to die. What was worse was that I knew there was nothing I could do about it. I had left him before but I had been threatened, and he would threaten my family or my child until I would go back. I knew I could never escape.
Then one day he began beating me and choked me several times, causing me to pass out several times. He got mad because I kept coming back around, and then I when I had to feed my son and he made me drop him when he choked me out again. That made him really mad and he got rougher, he was beating me with anything he could get in his hands. He had put padlocks on the inside of our home so I couldn’t leave at night when he slept, and on the outside so I couldn’t leave during the day while he was at work. So when he pad locked the doors that day I knew things were going to get really bad. Then he put out the pilot lights on the stove and locked himself in the bathroom with a lit candle. I tried frantically to find matches to re-light the stove, but he had collected all the matches in the house and taken them in there with him. He intended to blow the house up with all of us inside. I had one chance to get away, and the ensuing fist fight was a frenzy I intended to win.
My abuse that his hands lasted three years and 12 days.