Solely when her abuser discovered one other goal for his phrases and actions — two years after she left the connection — did Marie really feel she was out of the crosshairs.
“It went from one particular person to the subsequent, however I wasn’t the goal no extra,” Marie stated. “Know that there’s hope and there’s assist.”
Since that point, Marie has sought counseling and assist providers for herself and talks with others going through home violence.
Marie, which is a pseudonym and never her actual identify, is sharing her experiences as a home violence survivor.
October is Home Violence Consciousness Month. Marie, Meg’s Home Govt Director Alice Hodges and the group’s board chairperson, Phil Zigos, lately spoke with the Index-Journal by telephone.
Marie stated she has discovered objective in serving to herself and others by means of the nonprofit. It gives emergency shelter and assist providers to these going through home abuse in McCormick, Edgefield and Greenwood counties.
“My journey has been very lengthy,” Marie stated. “I didn’t develop up right here, however I consider God put me right here to course of every part that has occurred to me and assist different girls. My three youngsters are all grown now. I put all my abuse beneath the rug. For a very long time, I by no means realized how a lot it impacted my life. By speaking with different victims and getting some assist myself, with Meg’s Home, it actually delivered to mild how severe the abuse was.”
Marie’s abuse began 36 years in the past by the hands and phrases of her youngsters’s father. Marie and her abuser had been collectively for 11 years.
“The abuse actually began from day one, however I didn’t understand it,” Marie stated. “I stayed with him as a result of we had the kids. My oldest was 10 years outdated after I completely bought out of the connection. … At the moment, I lastly had a great job. My husband virtually killed me one evening. He strangled me, however by the grace of God, he stopped.”
To today, Marie stated she nonetheless remembers the trend in his eyes that evening.
“I used to be harassed and stalked after I left,” Marie stated. “… He would observe me and minimize the strains to my (landline) telephone and break into my home after I was at work.
“I wasn’t going to convey my youngsters right into a shelter,” Marie stated. “I by no means thought of what the abuse was doing to me. Years, later, my youngsters instructed me, ‘Mother, we knew what was occurring.’ Your youngsters know a lot greater than you understand.”
Marie stated she solely reached out to Meg’s Home three years in the past and began speaking with counselors there about what she endured.
Alice Hodges, Meg’s Home government director stated surviving emotional, bodily and monetary abuse takes super braveness as does talking out in opposition to it.
Hodges stated it issues not if abuse was weeks or years in the past, Meg’s Home providers and packages can be found with only a telephone name.
Phil Zigos is in his third 12 months on the Meg’s Home board of administrators as chairman.
“It’s essential for our neighborhood to really feel compassion for what victims are feeling, and key for the neighborhood to grasp the circumstances that they’re in,” Zigos stated. “It’s additionally essential for survivors to know that our neighborhood cares about them and we need to assist.”
Zigos stated along with offering counseling and different sources, Meg’s Home additionally seeks to handle persistent homelessness, which impacts home violence survivors.
South Carolina persistently ranks amongst states with the very best charges of ladies killed by males, Zigos famous, bumping in rank lately from No. 11 to No. 3.
Zigos stated the pandemic has elevated the home violence downside statewide and nationally, with higher numbers of individuals staying house.
Keep-at-home orders left many susceptible to intimate accomplice violence.
A 3rd of ladies and 1 in 4 males in the USA have skilled some type of bodily violence by an intimate accomplice, in keeping with the Nationwide Coalition In opposition to Home Violence.
“We have to overcome the stigmas of home violence and homelessness,” Zigos stated.
“In South Carolina, there’s lots of assist on the market,” Marie stated. “Home violence numbers in South Carolina are very excessive. That’s very scary. Anytime I discuss to a different survivor, I allow them to know everyone must be held accountable for his or her actions. I perceive how scared these girls are. I used to be petrified. I didn’t know some days if I’d be alive the next day if he discovered me. … When you’re in a relationship with that particular person, they get you to consider that you just deserve it. When the bodily abuse begins, you simply type of freeze and settle for what occurs.”
Marie stated it’s not straightforward to confess you’ve been abused.
“Girls must understand it’s not their faults and to speak about it lets you turn out to be stronger,” Marie stated. “Take a stand for yourselves.”
One evening earlier than leaving the connection, Marie stated she confronted her abuser saying, “You’re not going to maintain hitting me.
“I ended up with extra bruises on my physique and face, so I knew to not problem him,” Marie stated.
If you might want to discuss with somebody about emotional and bodily abuse from home relationship, name the 24-hour Meg’s Home disaster line: 864-227-1890.
Contact St. Claire Donaghy at 864-943-2518.