The evening of December 25th 2015 was the last time I was assaulted by my ex husband. I had a dread in me the entire day knowing what he would be trying to initiate when we arrived home. He had assaulted me on several occasions previously and I knew what was to come. He was a very abusive and mentally exhausting, he would wear me down until finally I would give in. The type to feel he had a right to my body and would flip out, threaten and demean me if I refused. That night he left the house and screamed at me over the phone that he would leave me, take everything I had and fight me for our 2 year old son. I was terrified as I couldn’t take the emotional abuse and stress anymore. I cried silently to myself as he assaulted me that night, just as I had all those times before. It took me eight more months of brutality before I finally found the power to leave him and even more time for me to come to terms with what he had done to me. He will never understand the gravity of his actions, but I am at peace now. I am free of the guilt and shame I felt for so long. I now have a healthy relationship with a man who understands that I am human and treats me as not a object, but a partner with respect and dignity. My hope is to anyone in a position they feel trapped and silenced is that they break free and find their happiness, it is possible.
— Survivor, age 25