Author: Free@Last

I Am Woman. The Helen Reddy song has long been one of my favorites. However, when I fell prey to a domestic abuser, I no longer felt the strength I had always found in the words of that song. At first I was ashamed. Gradually I lost myself completely to this man who whittled me away on the outside and sucked out my very soul. Bit by bit, I will share my story, but more importantly, I want you to understand the dynamics of abuse itself so that you can help women who are trapped or escape yourself if you find yourself in this horrible nightmare. Who I am is irrelevant. I am a survivor! You can be too.

My Story

A very few of my closest friends and family know my story, but I have never published it because I have never quite recovered from the trauma. I know a lot of people don’t/can’t understand the lingering, haunting symptoms of trauma that drag on for years. I can’t say that I understand it myself. What I do know is that…

Rising Above

I Am Not a VICTIM! Semantics matter. Not everyone will agree with what I am about to say, and I respect that. I’d like to be patently clear about some things: Rapists are predators. Sexual abusers are predators. Domestic abusers and domestic violence offenders are predators, as are child pornographers and child abusers. I have been prey in my past.…

Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: a time when advocates, survivors, friends and family of domestic violence speak out and speak up in an effort to help alleviate one of the most prevalent and most dangerous crimes in the United States today. In order to understand why DV is such a scourge on our society, it’s important to understand how…

The Meld

Why doesn’t she just leave him? If he’s abusing her, truly abusing her, she should just leave him. If only it were that simple! In order to understand why leaving isn’t as simple as just walking out the door and never looking back, one first has to understand the dynamics of abuse: how it starts, how a person becomes entangled…

By the Numbers

The latest comprehensive statistics the Department of Justice has published on family violence (see note) was in 2005. As of this publication: There were nearly 500,000 men and women in state prisons for domestic violence Approximately half of those were convicted of a sex offense against a family member Most (78%) were against a female More than half were against…