Submitted By: Erica, Survivor
Even without additional stressors, domestic violence tends to escalate over time as the abuser becomes more controlling and usurps power in the relationship. When drug or alcohol is added to the mix, it becomes more dangerous. Survivor Erica briefly shares with us how the abuse escalated and what happened the night she refused to give her abuser money for drugs. Find out how she left and what happened after.
Erica met her abuser when she was 17 years old. They were at a party when they met, and they hit it off quickly. The abuse began several months after they started dating. When it first started, he was verbally abusive and extremely controlling of her. She was not allowed to spend time with her friends, because he told her he needed her to be with him.
After their daughter was born a few years later, the abuse turned into violence. He was burning Erica with his cigarettes and punching, kicking, and strangling her nearly every day. She kept all of this hidden from her family. His mother played a huge role in enabling her son to abuse Erica, and she was also very verbally abusive towards her. There were many nights she wished she was dead, but she worried about who would care for her children.
One night, Erica’s abuser was looking to get high, and he was pressuring her to give him money to buy drugs. At that point, she was definitely over him and his problems. She refused to give him the money, and that night, she nearly died. He beat Erica, breaking four of her ribs and puncturing her lung. She struggled to breathe the entire night. He refused to call an ambulance or take her to the hospital.
The next day, she acted as if everything was okay and told him she was going to work. Instead, she sought medical attention and filed charges against her abuser. After a two-year delay with the courts, he pled guilty to two counts of domestic violence. After only a serving a two-year sentence, he was released.
“Never give up on yourself. The process is long, but in the end, you will definitely believe in yourself.”
**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.
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