The Central Virginian

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Part III: Violence unsilenced

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

This final installment of a three-part series examining domestic violence is a first-person account of a victim’s personal experience. Names have been changed to protect identities.


Many victims of domestic violence feel embarrassment and shame and don’t want people to know what has gone on in their relationship. Then there are others who speak out and have become advocates for victims.

“Sarah” is one such survivor of domestic violence who is speaking out in hopes of reaching just one person who will find the strength and courage to walk away from her abuser.

This is her story.

“I grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s when abuse was something you did not talk about and there were no resources.  Whatever religion you were, you were told by your minister, priest or rabbi you were to be subservient to your husband and whatever you had to do to better your marriage.  That was our job.

“I just want to say that I was not only mentally abused, but physically abused and really didn’t know any better.

“Some women get so abused mentally that it’s almost as bad as the physical.  Sometimes you almost wish it was physical, because at times the mental never eases up.

“In my case it was a little bit of both and it started about right after I married Jack.

“At first I did not understand the manipulation and the being so nice, which is actually a form of controlling and I thought I liked that.

“Jack would make the decision on when we would go out to eat and what we would order.

He would say, ‘Let me order for you.’

“The control that I thought was so admirable really became something that could have killed me.

To read the entire story, see the April 11 edition of The Central Virginian.