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This is a great site for victims of Domestic Violence in need of information and resources.
What is my site about?...
Surviving domestic violence is within you. Let's discuss safety plans, self defense, protection tips, and home security. Let's also talk about children in domestic violence, pet custody, how to advocate for yourself and other resources to keep you safe. You will also find survival stories and encouragement.
Understanding domestic violence recovery through the eyes of an advocate-survivor. I can help in ways that were not available to me in my early recovery. From legal advocacy to relocation services this site can offer suggestions and resources to help you be successful.
What's the difference between a victim and a survivor? Victims allow themselves to be victims while survivors have the will power to say enough is enough. I chose to make the change. Four years ago I made the terrifying decision to change from being a victim to becoming a survivor. My path had been one of extreme physical and mental abuse and a complete absence of self-esteem; it was a one way road to an early grave in the local cemetery.
Domestic is devastating and can break you
down unless you say no and make the decision to seek help. It is a frightening step,
fraught with uncertainty, and is not an easy step. Like every journey though, this one can
only begin with the first step. With support and help from other domestic violence victims,
friends, family and sensitive experienced professionals you can make your way along the
path of progress; through a process that will be more difficult than covering up the
bruises and the terror left by your attacker. In the long run though, you will be much
happier and will eventually find the love that each and every one of us deserves.
Please read the information on my page they are writings shared from my past. It is a story of being victimized and it leads to my recovery and the ultimate discovery that I am now a survivor.
by Kimberly Vogel
If you need help and can't find a resource here or on our other pages please e-mail us and we will help if possible. Please include the type of crime and location [city and state] where you need the help and we will respond as quickly as possible.
Ten years ago as a freshman in high school I met a guy I would later realize was nothing but a boy. He was so charming and nice. Someone who was really exciting and fun to be with.
We did everything together and things were very good for about six months. By the sixth month things started going crazy when he wanted me to quit the cheerleading squad because it took too much of my time. I dismissed it then as many years later. I passed it off, making excuses for him; like he wanted more of my time.
He wanted to know all of my friends. He wanted me to go out with him and his friends only. He insisted on knowing what I was doing all the time. He would watch me closely, to see who I was talking to; then he would interrogate me to find out what we were talking about. If I was talking to a guy, it was even worse. He would check to be sure that I was in class. I knew this was strange behavior but I loved him so accepted it. It was as though things were good only if he was in control. Aside from these drawbacks, we did have some good times, laughed and talked a lot about the future.
Things changed little until a year into our relationship. I was in summer school at the time. When he arrived to pick me up, I was talking to one of my classmates who happened to be a guy. When I got into the truck and he started interrogating me. Then he accused me of trying to sleep with that classmate. Before I knew it he had backhanded me so hard in the mouth that my braces were stuck in my lip. Bleeding so heavily, I had to open the door and spit before I could get the brace out of my lip. At that moment I wanted the relationship to be over.
He cried and said he was sorry and promised that he would never do it again; he refused to take me home until I said that I wouldn't tell anyone and that we would try to work it out the problems. I was in love with him though (or so I thought) so I agreed.
I explained the fat lip with a lie that we were wrestling and he elbowed me in the mouth, this was the story that I told everyone; family, friends, and others. Simple fact though, was that I blamed myself. I shouldn't have been talking to someone else . . . he loved me and that was all I needed.
For the next couple of months things were better but I was terrified of him when we would have fights. I had to walked on egg shells when we argued daring not to say anything that would make him mad. We would play fight now and then; he would hit my arms and legs so hard that I always had bruises. When we would get into verbal disagreements he would call me nasty names like bitch, slut and anything else that came to mind.
He chipped away at my self-esteem until I had none. Without much self-confidence I was trapped and wouldn't leave. He kept apologizing and promising that it would never happen again. I think I heard those empty words and promises more than any others. However, nothing ever changed until one day when he broke up with me.
After the breakup though, he continued watching me every time I turned around; he would even follow me when I went places with my friends. I had heard that he wanted to get back together but I wasn't sure that I could take anymore of his outrageous behavior so I stayed away. I avoided him and the phone calls.
On a date with another friend I noticed that he followed us, watching our every move. The following day at school he grabbed me in the hallway and slammed me against the wall. Then put his hands around my throat and picked me off the floor by my neck. As usual, after the violent attack, he said that he was the only one that loved. He promised that it wouldn't happen again then added that should be together and needed to stop being stupid.
As with so many domestic violence victims I took him back but nothing changed. My love for him weakened me and repeatedly, I accepted his excuses and apologies. By the third year he started using drugs and the resulting mood swings were troubling hadn't hit me for some time. I thought everything might be OK. However, the verbal abuse continued; he wouldn't let me wear certain clothes, like stretch pants, they showed too much, and tight shirts still played rough on the bruises that never seemed to heal but they were replaced with new ones and my heart had enough bruises too. He broke off the relationship so often that it became an art form; but . . . I always took him back; I think he was my security blanket.
In my senior year he had graduated and we had been together for four years when I found out from a classmate that he was cheating on me with her. Needless to say I was very upset. After I got out of school, I confronted him. We got into a big fight screaming and yelling I pushed him and he threw me on the bed and hit me in the eye and cheekbone area. I saw black for a few moments. This time though was unlike any other from our past. My face was throbbing and I could feel the instant swelling. I delayed going home till late to avoid my mother. The next day, my cosmetology class the teacher took me to the office. There she told me that if she ever saw bruises again, she would tell my mother.
She helped me hide the black and blue marks for a couple of days but more importantly she probably saved my life that day and I knew that the relationship was over. Her words and promises scared me enough to make me leave him. I was embarrassed because of the years I had wasted, the lies to cover for him, to hide what really happened.
I had let someone hurt me very badly, I allowed him to put his hands on me but most of all, I had allowed him to rob me of my self-esteem, self confidence and my happiness.
This is only some of what I went through but it is very important to me that you are not alone and that it is all right to ask for help.
I can help if you take the first step and e-mail me.
The first and probably the hardest step you must take on the road to recovery is the breakup. It will take strength and courage to say NO YOU HAVE HURT ME ENOUGH. You must turn a resistive but deaf ear toward your partner when he says, " I'm sorry. It will never happen again. I love you more than anything and I'll do anything for you to take me back. I would rather die than to be without you."
These are burdensome words. Words that you have heard many times before. They weigh you down and lead you back to their domination and their abuse. You have taken yourself from their influence and they want that control back. You have said no . . . and your future is in your own hands not theirs . . . and THEY DON'T LIKE IT . . . one bit.
What I have found in these situations and from listening to those of others stories is that it is all about control. You must control your own life . . . but you need to take that away from the abuser. It is important that you come to realize that it is your life and your destiny and it is yours to control. Be strong, positive, and assertive as you pick up the pieces of what is left of you and your heart and start putting them back together. I time, you will realize a growth you never thought possible it is your right, work with it.
As domestic Violence Victims, we loose confidence and self-esteem.
WE DO MATTER . . . WE DESERVE MUCH BETTER
My words will lead you along the path of recovery and can help you put your life back together but you need to know as you deal with what you have been through is that you are SPECIAL and that all relationships are not like this one.