Open Up About Domestic Abuse…Please

January 3, 2013 Kellie Jo Holly

I will never say that I am grateful for having experienced abuse. I do not believe that abuse made me stronger, smarter, or braver. I did not "need" to go through the soul-threatening experience of an abusive marriage to become who I am today. If I could do it all over again with what I know now, I would have left him after our second child was born.

However, I am grateful that my experience with abuse can be used to benefit others. I am grateful that abuse did not silence me. Abuse did not take my life, and it didn't take my soul. I am lucky and blessed.

Over the past few years, after blogging through the last year of abuse and my subsequent release from it, I've gained a unique perspective on abusive relationships. I feel blessed that so many people contact me about their abuse (or about their desire to stop abusing). I know heartbreaking domestic dramas play out every single day, and it is sometimes hard to remove myself from other people's pain and stay objective and clear-headed. Sometimes I don't detach so well and take their pain to bed with me.

Tonight will be one of those nights.

I think it is so hard to detach from this particular story because it resulted in a death. No, it isn't that. It is hard to detach because I wanted this death to happen. I wanted this person to die. And then they did. And now I feel relieved even though I know that the dead man's victim will not have it any easier now than she would have if he lived. In fact, the whole mess may be worse for the victim because his death makes him look like a victim, too.

The Faux Victim

talk about domestic abuseHe has people who will mourn him (his victim included). He leaves behind a child and family and friends who may never make sense of his death. They may blame the police, his victim's family, and the victim of his violence herself. Despite his horrific abuse of his lover, he has a family who will desperately seek explanations that align with their view of him. They may forever hold the pain of his death in their hearts as unjustified, unfair. I feel for them whole-heartedly, and I pray that they pull their heads out of their great memories of him long enough to see the truth of the situation.

Only by embracing the fact that their loved one violently abused another person and seeking to understand his thoughts at the end will they find peace in his death. They must admit to themselves that he was possessed by the Abuse Demon and acted on those terrible whispers commanding that he control, manipulate, humiliate, and annihilate his lover's individualism at any cost. If they ignore his mind-set, they will never understand.

The Real Victim

Likewise, the man's victim must understand what he was thinking, too. She must accept that she did not cause the abuse or his death. Unlike me, she will not see the day that her abuser treats another woman the same terrible way. She will not see him abuse his child. She will receive no confirmation that her perceptions and her choice to leave him are valid, right on the money. With his death, he victimized her in a way that can never be taken back. He took away her substantive proof that she was abused when he took away his future ability to abuse again.

In that lies the trouble I have detaching from this story. If he'd lived, she would know in her mind and heart that she did the right thing. But if he'd lived, he would have abused another, and another, and another...

I know beyond a doubt that he caused his story to end the way it did. He chose to abuse and beat another person. He chose to leave prison on bail. He chose to call her after the judge ordered no contact. He chose to return to his home and retrieve his gun. He chose to show up at her home with his gun. He chose to stand down the police. He chose to hold onto his weapon. He chose to commit an action that forced his death.

Nowhere in that chain of events did his victim cause his death. Now it's up to us to help convince his lover that her call for help was the best thing that happened for her and her children. If she hadn't cried out, there could be four deaths today instead of one.

Please, people. Share what you know about domestic abuse. If you see a person being abused, find a way to let them know you see the truth. Stop worrying about being wrong, causing trouble, or alienating your friend. Put any residual and undeserved shame about your own abuse aside and share what you know. Your knowledge, courage and honesty can literally save lives.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2013, January 3). Open Up About Domestic Abuse…Please, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 17 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

January, 3 2014 at 8:24 am

First of all, I wish to congratulate Kelly for all her initiative and actions here!
Unfortunatelly, most abuse victims live a terrifying and silent story, accepting it as some kind of given-fate, which is completely wrong, of course!
I've been a victim myself, otherwish I would probably not be here, writing this.
My story is similar to any other victim's I guess...abusive husband, verbally, physically and emotionally. My different part of the story is the fact that I have never felt embarassed or ashamed of my misfortune to have such a disastruous marriage. He never succeeded in making me a real victim, even if I felt all the fear and turbulences , insecurity, pain, diminished self-esteem, anger, confusion and all the "package" a victim might have. I divorced after one year and a half of marriage and left with a one year old child who, fortunatelly remembers nothing about my traumas. I told every single person that questioned me about what had happened. My only regret was the fact that it , my marriage,didn't work out properly and healthy. I used to feel terror and shivered only at seeing his name calling on my mobile. Took my daughter out, accompanied by my parents, as he threatened to kill me in the streets. I beleived him to be capable of doing so, I have seen his rage not once and alcohol, would certainly help him accomplish his goal to destroy me completely. The reason: I left him, took his child and now, he felt like he was my victim. So, I deserved to die!
I realised that I had no self anymore, I was a nobody, a rag, my friends and family couldn't recognise me anylonger. I didn't know who i was either. yet, the moment I found the courage to leave, I started the healing process, which is not finished nowadays...even if it's been 3 years since divorce. I still have a lot of work to do.
My daughter doesn't yet know his real face , so that she sees him from time to time and loves his presence sometimes...I'm consequently forced to meeting him still, as I do not leave my daughter alone with him. I'm cold, indifferent, peacefull, hostile to any of his attitudes or ideas. Our dialogue is technical. He still tries to manifest abuse towards me sometimes, but I am not afraid anymore and he can sense his lack of power towards me, he feels helpless, he cannot control me anymore, his abuse is useless, as I do not care and I face him with a cold stone, he has no power upon. I've done a lot of work on myself to attain this state of body and mind and I still work on copeing with myself.
Unfortunetely, a victim remains a victim always and has to struggle continuously with this trauma, control it, as it never heals completely.
i wish the best of luck and courage to all abuse victims, hope and self-confidence!

February, 7 2013 at 8:13 am

I just left an abusive relationship which lasted about 6 months. Its going on one week as of Friday. I have to say today I am proud of myself, but it has left me very emotional, Im still terrified to the point I dont want to go places by myself, I look out the windows. I cant sleep at night. I searched alot of websites about controlling/abusive people. It helped me better understand what I was going through. I am having a touch time dealing with this, but I know in time I will heal from the damage he has caused. I am glad to have come across your website. I sometimes feel the need to talk with someone. I went through this with my sons father years ago, I just hate that I did not see the signs before I got with him. But I know I must move on with my life. I know there are alot of women who sit back in silience about the being abuse, I was one of them. Im still going to read your stories on your blog and add comments. I appreciate that you decided to do a this. May God continue to bless you & your family.

Debbie Bongiovanni
January, 26 2013 at 5:39 am

Love what you've done with domestic violence. I was a victim of abuse but luckily I got out of it. I would love to talk on your show about it and I also wrote a poetry book for abuse victims. Please contact me.

Tracie Montgomery
January, 6 2013 at 8:44 pm

I have been married for 16 years and it hasn't been the best, there has been ALOT of cheating going on with my husband for the pass 16 years, so I cheated back and got pregnant the second year we was married he was incarcerated during the time, I told him that I was sorry and we can go ahead and get a divorce, he tells me that no way he has done so much cheating on that he didnt want to and he was going to except the baby, but little did I no that he had it in his mind to pay me back for the rest of my life and for the last13 years I have been going threw it there has been me,he and another young female since, 2009 was the worse year of my life I caught him with this young child that was 22 at the time he was 52 and I was 39, every week after that I continue
To catch them so at that point I knew then that there was some care there so I put him put during that they moved in together and 10 months later there was a baby conceive , but before all of that there was another baby and for four years I dealt with it and it hurtled so bad because she was a friend of both of us so when the second girl was pregnant he finally got a blood test with the first one and that wasn't his, so the second was pregnant a d they live together when she got about 7 months he came back home,and I excepted the baby, and we move to same side of town that he live with her and he brought the house they live in and she continue to leave there as we speak, the invested a club together so the second week we moved in our house i caught Him over there he hadn't come home and since we have been back together I have caught him over for about 5 times and one time she came out and said you ain't use to this,basically she says and post stuff on Facebook that he is her man, I then start looking in his phone cause the trust was gone well to my surprise there was another 19 year ole that text to him she was going to let me no about she had a tatto with his name on her, well during all that I have bee goin through he has start talkin very disrespectful to me calling me whore,bitches, on his b-day he cruse me out at his club bad at there club, which I never had any dealing with so New Years I went to the club and he putme in the bathroom,and push me to that nasty floor about 5 times on my side which left a big bruise on my hip which I though I role tune told me he wanted me out of the house which he never told me to get out but he livery fought me we was in the bathroom for 1 hour he would not let out, finally I got out ram out the club and caught a ride home to get my kids to to leave well of course we got into a big fight outside while I was gettin in thecar he push my 20 year daughter down,but we finally got away and left for 3 days I went back to get us some clothes, he acted like nothing and he didn't remember nothing he claims,but I found me and my kids a place now he talks like he want to getaway with me and he is gonna change but I do twant this. Because this will continue and I can not go through a man hitting on me and I am scared if I try to move he might do something. So I need advice quick!!!!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
January, 7 2013 at 1:28 pm

Try to get a restraining order against him. Even if the restraining order is NOT granted, you must do these things:
move out (keep your location as secret as possible for as long as possible)
do not answer his calls, but keep track of when he calls on a list
do not answer his texts, but keep track of them (message and date/time)
if he comes to your new home, do not answer the door - call the police and have them tell him he is not welcomed there
if he returns after the police tell him to leave, call the police again (and then attempt to get a restraining order using the information you've collected)
Never, under any circumstances, do you let him inside your new residence. He will say things in voice mail and text that you will want to respond to, but do not respond. Your responses can be interpreted as you encouraging him to continue the abuse.
This has been going on for 16 years. He is not going to change. He does not want a fresh start. He wants to keep you on a leash, abuse you, and feel good about himself for being more powerful than you. He cannot feel this way if he cannot talk to you or reach you in any way. He will eventually choose to live with one of the other women while continuing to harass you (in a mean way or by trying to sweet talk you back into his life). It is time for you to stop playing his game, Tracie.
Leaving him may be dangerous, so it is important that you remain vigilant and prepared. Here's a safety plan that can help:

January, 5 2013 at 12:00 pm

i fell like crap my husbands verval abuse is killing me should i leave

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
January, 5 2013 at 12:56 pm

Since your husband's verbal abuse is killing you, I suggest that you do leave the relationship. There is no sense in staying with someone who does not return your love. Please plan to leave as best you can. Take care of yourself first for a change. Download a safety plan.

Dianna Bellerose
January, 3 2013 at 12:39 pm

I have written a book about abuse and given so much information, so anyone in a situation like this could benefit from it. It is everything what an abuser do not like you to know. They are extremely manipulative and dangerous soul eaters who have no love towards anybody else, but themselves. They can use you and leave you on the street without a shelter or financial support. Here it is link to my book, and I am available if anyone is interested to learn more. Best wishes, Dianna Bellerose

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