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Domestic abuse is not always physical

Nehha (name changed) After 21 years of living with verbal, spiritual and emotional abuse at the hands of her preacher husband, Nehha, determines to break free and take control of her life. This is her domestic abuse story:

“Domestic abuse is not always physical, it can be emotional and psychological as well”

 My Story:

Every time someone is nice to me, especially strangers, I cry. Not tears of joy but I get sad. Is it normal to cry like that? Well, I realised very late that no point of cornering myself and crying. I was emotionally and verbally abused for 21 years. I have an 18 year old son with this man, who grew up watching this. At first it was the mental abuse, chipping away at my confidence and character bit by bit,little things like what I was wearing or how my make-up looked. It is true what they say; the more something is said, the more you start believing it is you and not them. Everything has to be his way and only with his friends. He does not like anyone that I know or work with and if I am with any of them then he accuses me of having an affair. He has called me everything imaginable. I am working 18-19 hrs a day between 3 jobs. And when I went home to get sleep he cursed me out for not getting the house cleaned first, before going to sleep.

♦ How the situation changed ?

I think you need to get to a point where you recognize that it’s a problem. I always thought that abuse was about hitting someone or sexual abuse but shouting and being aggressive can be very intimidating and they are a form of abuse. Years went by and I had a hope that things will be fine someday. One day, I came home from work and heard my son verbally abusing me like his dad. That was the day I decided I was done. Over the next few weeks I planned my move with my son. It was not easy but we did it and none of us ever looked back. My son is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He hates his father for what he did to our family.

♦ My Advice:

Don’t wait for it to get better because it never does. While you are waiting your children are getting hurt and for them that hurt and damage never goes away. You have a responsibility towards them to protect them that is all they want from you. Identify the courage within yourself!

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