You are not alone. An open letter to end the silence on abusive relationships, domestic violence


Hi, my name is Angela and I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

It was not easy fighting for my freedom, but it was worth it. I have been free for over a decade now. I cannot express the gratitude for the people who helped me when I finally woke up, realizing I did not deserve to be abused that way when all I have been was loving and caring.

The psychological control of my abuser convinced me that it was the only way to live my life. But it wasn’t.

I want to share my story to  help others see that they can get to a safe place to heal and to move onto a health relationship with themselves and when they are ready, others.

I sadly helped hide the abuse well until the moment where I knew this had to end. Before my mother was on the phone with police and my father rushed home from a night out with friends, my parents didn’t know anything and the relationship appeared to be great. Our friends would never see much besides a so-called “normal” argument. My abuse was invisible.

One day I woke up to devastating news, my aunt who I was extra close with was murdered by her fiancé. We lost her to domestic violence. It was a nightmare I had to re-live watching the news on TV. 

It was not long after that, my boyfriend at the time and I had another altercation and I realized what happened to my aunt could have been me and I may be on that path. I drew my strength and reached out to my best friend and explained I needed to free myself.

I would need support telling my mother what I had told her because I felt I would be in trouble for not telling anyone sooner. The hold he had on me made me feel that exposing his abuse is bad and continuing to hide it was the only way. I truly wish I made this step earlier because no one was mad at me and all it did was save my life.

Coming forward lead me to be the strong independent woman I am today.

Many people always ask a question of “Why didn’t you just leave?” but the answer is beyond complex.

The victim never feels safe, there is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that can lead to much anxiety and OCD patterns, along with other feelings such as depression. People do not understand that when one is put in this situation, they are being controlled, lied to and most of the time threatened.

There is usually a sense of feeling like you cant reach out to anyone or they wont understand. Domestic violence is emotional, sexual and physical abuse. Chances are the victim is convinced by the abuser they are to blame for everything they are experiencing. They are also told the behavior won’t happen again, but likely it does happen which leaves the victim with increased fear. 

The worry that goes through someone’s head that is experiencing abuse is unlike a feeling that many know. There is no spectrum when it comes to an abuser talking or taking action, it happens in many ways which can mentally effect a person no matter what. Such as a slap, being pushed out of a moving vehicle, or even threatened with death upon them or their family (not limited to just this).

If you are unsure how to define your own situation in an abusive or domestic violence relationship, there are definite signs. If you are being told you are not allowed to do something with your friends or family, that is abuse. You are subject to degrading name calling and made to feel inferior with words, that is abuse. Preventing you from working or go to school, controlling your money, which are possessive actions and very much abusive.

If you are constantly being accused of being unfaithful, having forced sexual activity, and being told you deserve the violent behavior as well as telling you that contacting the authorities won’t help you, you are in an abusive relationship. You are not in love, you are in fear. If you find any of these fit your relationship please know you are NOT alone, you can and will be safe if you reach out to the police, a family member, friend, or therapist.

Hotline/Resources for help:- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) –

Top: Scenic photo of a woman staring off into nature. (Credit: name_ gravity)