The following is a true story of healing and gratitude from a survivor of domestic violence who was helped by Empowerhouse. Please check back over the next four weeks where we will be sharing the remaining four chapters of Kelsey’s powerful and inspiring journey.
“I could feel death was near. I could feel it & I could sense it.”
I began dating my abuser when I was only 16, and he was 24. He actively groomed me those first several years. He controlled me. He even formed my behavior & thinking patterns. There were periods of terrible physical & sexual abuse. I was so young & unaware of red flags & what domestic violence was. I thought this was normal. I believed with my whole heart he loved me. I trusted him more than I trusted my own self. Eventually, we married and had children. When I was 9 months pregnant with our last child, he was arrested for domestic violence. But I was too scared to go to court, so nothing really happened to him. Afterwards, he moved us away from our hometown to isolate me further from my family & friends. It worked. Physical abuse had been on & off throughout the marriage but with each time, I believed & hoped that THIS was the last time. I was being abused so badly I didn’t even know to call it abuse. I didn’t know what was happening. Until the night he strangled me 4 times….
During unconsciousness, he threw my body down a flight of stairs. It resulted in a bleeding laceration on my scalp & a broken C1 vertebrae in my neck. When I came to for the third time, he was coming after me again. This time, at the bottom of the basement stairs, he tried to break my jaws. When that didn’t work, he resorted to strangulation again. I could feel death was near. I could feel it & I could sense it. I had no other choice than to play dead. He dragged what he thought to be my dead body to another unfinished room of the basement. He left me there and went to get the kids.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, please call Empowerhouse’s free, confidential 24-hour Hotline at (540) 373-9373.
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