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.
That’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.