-Thank you, Safe Harbor- (1)I had been with him for over four years, and the first two years were our honeymoon. A trip out of town, lunch, dinner, bills paid, clothes, jewelry and his undivided attention at any time. Everything a lady would have wanted from a man she thought was just hers. This man had me believing that I was his world and there was no one else but me. We were inseparable.

I had just come out an abusive relationship a year earlier. But being an abused woman, I started looking for those “red flags” because something this good cannot be true, this was too familiar. So I started asking questions, and he didn’t care for this at all. It was always, “Baby, I’m not your ex, he did you wrong, I will not.”

Two months later, I saw his true colors. We went out for the evening to grab a dinner and a drive. We were sitting in the restaurant and I received a phone call, and he got upset. He made it a rule that when we were out, “NO INTERRUPTIONS” unless it was an emergency. To keep the peace I turned it off and put it up because I thought at that time he was right, and I didn’t want to ruin the evening. We ate dinner and I thought we were going out for a drive, but he said he said, “No, I think you have plans to meet up with someone else, so I’m leaving.” I said no I’m not, the phone call was for work, it’s all good, let’s continue our evening.

m story quoteThat’s when he grabbed me and choked me by the collar, throwing me up against his van. That look in his face telling me that this was a relationship I should be honored to be in, and that no other man would treat me the way he did. And that from that day forward, I should not get on his bad side because I surely wouldn’t like it. I knew then: What the hell had I gotten back into? Two years of honeymoon, and in an instance it all came to what I already knew.

That’s when I became involved with Safe Harbor, after he tried to kill me for answering the phone in his presence. Safe Harbor was a place of safe haven for me. The very first day I walked in they assured me that, and it lasted until I had the courage to leave the city. They gave me the tools I needed to survive these violent relationships. I use these tools on a day-to-day basis, because I now know how valuable I am. Safe Harbor was what I needed to move on – someone who understood my grief, pain, anger, embarrassment and shame, without judgment. I don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for the domestic violence support groups and the family bond they made just for us.

By moving, I still fear he might find me, but I can sleep again and knowing that gives me peace of mind. Thank you, Safe Harbor, for giving me back my freedom and security.

– A Survivor of Domestic Violence


If you need to talk to someone about an experience with sexual or dating violence, call our confidential hotline anytime: (804) 612-6126. To learn more about ways Safe Harbor can help, click here.