Anitha (name changed) thought the whole domestic violence story came to an end once she met someone really special but only to find herself victimization in another abusive relationship. This is her story:
He started giving me a feeling that I was good for nothing. I wasn’t working then so he always made me feel that I was a burden to him. I was so far off from my family and he was the only one I knew here.I felt neglected and sad.He always believed that his thoughts were the truth and my beliefs are fantasy. I never understood what the reason for this sudden change in his behaviour. He criticized me for not being happy and doing what I want to do saying that it is my new addiction. He always suspected me to have an affair with men.
Few years passed, I decided to take up some work to support him and thought it will be good to contribute. After lot of convincing I was allowed to work. While working, I met someone who seem to be kind and friendly to me. There was nothing between us initially just mutual respect and friendship. After all those years of torture at home, I used to feel relaxed and peace with him. I began to trust him and shared about my husband and relationships. Suddenly, one day when I went to work, I was told that he left his job. I tried calling him but he didn’t pick my calls. He disappeared and there was no contact. I didn’t know what to do. I was unable to understand what has happened. A month later, he emailed my husband with some photographs of us together and began to harass me. I was unable to understand why was he doing that? I got to know that he was already married with a daughter. I was shattered and felt more like ending my own life. I couldn’t understand why he was doing it and why was he so nice to me earlier? Just to have a physical relation with me? My husband was furious and the beatings came thick and fast and the sexual abuse came with it: walking sticks, pens and other items put into me because I deserved it. The domestic violence continued for years, the reason he used was that I’d been unfaithful – it was his ideal excuse for his behavior, he made me feel so bad about myself and for hurting him, that I believed, I deserved that kind of treatment – I was at one of my lowest points in my life.
♦ How the situation changed ?
Days and years went on and eventually, after 18 years, I broke the silence and informed my family. With their encouragement, I summoned up the courage to seek help. By that time, I had reached my breaking point and decided that enough was enough, so, when I was presented with the opportunity to escape from him once and for all, I fled. With strong support of RoopaAurAap Team and my family it was made possible. They organised me to stay in a refuge. Two years have already passed and I feel I am a new person with self-confidence. I don’t know if true love exist or do I deserve a true love but I am scared to be in relationship for sure. I didn’t have to suffer for 18 years if I had taken a move earlier.
♦ My Advice:
I know that although it takes a lot of strength to either leave or get help, and most women think they don’t have it, all they have to do is look for the strength and it will be there. I did and I am much better off now. I feel I am reborn after 18 years. The world is a brighter and happier place for me, so take heart and leave the violence and abuse, take as much time as you need to regain yourself, your soul, self-esteem and confidence and you will come through a better and happier person.