To protect the identity of the victim, we will call her Lisa. This is what Lisa had to say to Woman to Woman.
Ironically, I just went to court for domestic violence today. I didn’t even know it was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, until I was seeking a place to speak to others who have been where I am. I can tell you my experience with domestic violence has not been a pleasant one, and not just from an abuse stand-point.
I had taken an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) out two other times before I finally made it to court. That would make this the 3rd and final time. This time, I had the strength to take it all the way. The first time, he would come over, climb up the balcony, and flick his lighter in the windows to let me know he was there. My kids would get scared, my family would get scared, and finally I gave into seeing him, hoping I wouldn’t have to worry he was in a window, on a balcony or even the roof.
The second time I was determined. I really believed I could see this through. I went to court every two weeks, just like I was supposed to, but he was on the run. One day, I actually spotted him, flagged down a cop and explained the situation I had the temporary EPO paperwork in the car with me, just as instructed. The cop said, “sorry, I get off at 3 p.m., I do not have time to do anything, besides a Sheriff has to serve that.” I asked “Can’t you call them, tell them what is going on and where he (the abuser) is?” I got a stiff, ” I am sorry ma’am there is nothing I can do.” I drove away feeling sick. Here I was going to court every two weeks, he was still stalking me, and the temporary EPO lapses after 45 days. This time, the third time, I had made up my mind. I was not going to let this continue to happen, what went around came around eventually.
Even when things were good, it was hard to be happy because I knew he would eventually end up abusing me for some reason or the other. This time just happened to be because I went to get the keys to the new apartment from my Mom and ran late getting home. I remember so many things about that night but the one thing that stands out clearly was there words, “Listen to you crying (mocking me) Whahh, whahh, you think anyone feels sorry for you, no one is going to save you.” And those words saved me, here all this time I had felt sorry for him, sorry for his needs, his feelings, oh, he loves me that is why he does this, his emotions for me run so deep he is overwhelmed and that is why he did that. All that time I tried to understand him, not once had he tried to understand me, nor did he care to. It is unfortunate, but the one person and only person an abuser cares about is himself.
So I went to court and the EPO turned to a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVO) only because he had criminal charges against him. Did I forget to mention I called the police this time? It was the only time ever in a close to 5 year relationship.
The cops locked him up at the apartment and the entire time he kept saying “I don’t deserve this babe, don’t let them lock me up.” He didn’t mind locking me in a room, scaring me to death, hitting me hurting me?! I had evaporated in my own life and in the lives of my family members. He got 45 days of HIP with 9 days to get a phone installed, isn’t that nice? 9 days, just upset me… you all know why. He has to repeat domestic violence classes (previous relationship got them), attend a substance abuse program, 325 days on the shelf for 2 years and he has to report to a probation officer once a month. I wasn’t real happy about it, wasted time, energy….All I can say to the women out there, and men too, in abusive relationships, time is precious, your life is precious, you can’t get time back. So take the time you have today and give it back to yourself.
You are worthy, it is not your fault. Best wishes to you all, you have to be strong,
YOU MAY LIKE Why Some Women May Stay in Abusive Relationships