One woman's story of abuse
Wed, 05 Oct 2011 20:34:23 GMT —
"Just have fits of rage. The first time he put his hands on me, I was pregnant with our son. And he pushed me down," says "Nicole", a domestic abuse victim.
"Nicole" was in a physically abusive marriage for eight years and was at a seminar this afternoon on how the legal system can help victims.
"Mostly I felt like it had something to do with me. I felt like I was supposed to help him as his wife. To help him not react that way or be that way, feel that way."
She says believing it was her fault changed her, causing her to lose her identity. Finally, it was her three children that changed her mind.
"And I knew I didn't want them to grow up like that and that was probably the catalyst, I guess you could say, for why I left."
It's seminars like this one that victims of domestic abuse understand the legal system and what is out there that can help them such as a temporary protective order which helps buy the victim a little time.
"During that interim, we're working with them, trying to assist them in either relocating or finding ways and giving them options other than to return to him," says Silke Deeley, the director of the Liberty House.
"And they've made it such that you don't necessarily have to have an attorney because that can be very expensive and often people in that situation can't afford representation," says Judge James Sizemore, who was on the panel at the seminar.
Nicole has since found freedom at the Liberty House, a shelter for battered women, where she can feel safe and secure.
"In the morning I go outside and sit in this little patio area they got and I just cry, I feel very grateful. Very grateful," says Nicole.
And for this full-time working mom, she's considering getting a college degree in nursing. And it's all thanks to the women at Liberty House.
"Like they're giving me a chance to make some goals and make some life changes for myself. And I never got to do that before."