DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU

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Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often excused, overlooked, or denied. When people talk about domestic violence, they usually are often referring to physical abuse however abuse comes in other forms, emotional, verbal, sexual and financial.

Domestic abuse occurs when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose only; to gain and maintain control over you. The abuser will use fear, guilt, intimidation, mind games, threaten you or the children, hurt you or the children.

1 out of 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Many of us believe that the abuse has to happen more than one time. Well take it from me. One time is one time too many!

I was married for 8-1/2 years. My husband had never been abusive to me, not physically or verbally. On February 23, 1996 I left for work and around 10:00am my husband called to see if I had time at lunch to bring him our family van. I arrived home a little after 12 noon my husband was upstairs. I had asked a friend to follow me home so I could ride back with her since I was leaving the van with him. As I walked to the front door he kept pushing my hand off of the door knob. I reached for the doorknob again and on the third try he punched me in my face.

He stood over me with his face full of rage and anger saying he wanted to take me back to work. Well, in a twenty minute period he pulled a gun out of his pocket and told me where to sit and that we were going to die. I was lost and confused. I couldn’t understand where this was coming from. I begged and begged him and he eventually pointed the gun and shot me. I thought he had only shot me once in the arm because my arm went numb immediately. When I got to the hospital I was informed that I had been shot three times.

I was shot with a .38 Smith and Wesson. I was shot in the head, the bullet entered above my ear and traveled out the other side above my right ear. I was shot twice in my right arm and one of the bullets traveled up my arm and ended up exiting out the back of my neck a inch from spine. I could not believe he hit me and it was mind blowing that he shot me 3 times. I did not need surgery, stitches or a blood transfusion. I only stayed in the hospital 3 days. When I saw the bullet holes on each side of my face I knew without a doubt that God had saved me for a purpose.

The local newspaper did an article on the shooting and labeled me as a victim of domestic violence. I was so upset. I didn’t want people to think he had been beating on me. I decided to educate myself on domestic violence and I realized if it happens one time or one hundred times it is still ABUSE! I was a victim of domestic violence although it happened one time.

We divorced, he went to prison and I found my purpose. I am now a Domestic Violence Advocate, Author of four self published books, Empowerment Speaker and Facilitator. My purpose is to bring awareness about Domestic Violence especially to our younger generation.

I live in Georgia and we rank #1 in the nation for dating violence ages 16-24 that is alarming. When you love yourself, truly love yourself you will not allow anyone to disrespect you. You have to know what’s true to you when it comes to love. You have to know that LOVE does not HURT!

You have to be willing to let go of these type of relationships. Your life may depend on it! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or looking for resources. You are not alone and there is a safe way out! Love Smart!
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Written by Valerie L. Williams, Empowerment Speaker/Author/Consultant
www.valerielwilliams.org

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