What happened that made you decide to leave?
My ex husband had kicked me in the leg with steel-toed boots. I needed medical attention. My family doctor helped me to connect with a Family Life Centre where I live. The counselors there helped me to understand that what was happening to me was domestic violence. I also saw a reflection of myself in a store mirror which started me thinking about what was happening to me.
They helped me research and make a safety plan to escape. I spoke to my family and a couple of friends. We made a plan for me to leave my ex while he was working an afternoon shift. I was successful in leaving, found a lawyer immediately to get custody of my child. I then applied for a legal separation based on marital rape and violence.
How did you feel about your abuser and/or your relationship in the days before you left?
I was terrified to leave but knew I had to leave for my personal safety and that of my child.
What three emotions did you most experience in the days closest to leaving Abuse? How did you deal with them?
I felt fear, anxiety, and numbness and dealt with them through deep breathing, grounding, praying, and talking with my friends.
What planning did you do before you left? Who knew you were leaving besides you?
I worked with counselors from a professional agency in my area. They helped me to develop a safety plan. I spoke to my parents, and two of my friends.
What were the one or two BEST things you did before you left?
To do something for my self and my child, and to get safe and not live in fear anymore.
If there was anything you wish you had not done before you left, what was it?
How long ago did you leave? How do you feel today?
I left in 1981. I live a happy and rich life, I have my own home and work in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault. I look forward to each day.
I have written two articles about my experience – Coming Back to Me and Looking Back and Moving Forward. These will be posted to my blog. They are being used by students and professionals for research and to make protocols in working with victims and survivors.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I successfully charged and had my ex convicted of domestic violence and sexual assault. The detective in my case was incredible and helped me to feel empowered as a person. I have written an article about this experience and published it on my blog. The title of the article is called Looking Back and Moving Forward.