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Allie, age 38

I married my high school sweetheart. Both of our families were prominent members of our communities. It was supposed to be a fairytale.

The abuse didn’t start immediately but gradually became worse over time. As a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, I didn’t see any escape. And then, during the pandemic, life became much worse, but ultimately better. I had begun working and was in the office full-time while my abuser worked remotely, at home, with all four kids attending virtual school.

Someone walking in my shoes would have felt shame, helplessness, exhaustion and as if no one would understand. People knew what was happening to me – I could sense it. But nothing was said or asked about.

A coworker’s husband is a detective. He was aware I had recently removed myself and my kids from the abusive situation. He suggested I file for a protective order and introduced me to the Family Justice Center.

If a victim discloses to you – believe them without question. I made it through the most horrifical part of my life, but I am still here, my kids are still here. I discovered a fierce determination I never knew I had. And I am proud of myself. 

Do you have a story to share about domestic violence? You can submit it here (you will remain anonymous).