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Domestic Violence

photograph from Family story

(before 2003)

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Laura was married for 6 months. Her husband was using drugs. She didn't want her son or her unborn baby to live that way, but she was afraid to ask her husband to leave. She left him a note instead. After reading the note, Laura's husband waited for her to come home and then beat her and her son.

He smashed dishes, pictures and toys and left the house in a terrible mess. He said it was all her fault. After Laura cleaned up the mess she went to the hospital. She was badly bruised all over her body, but the baby was fine.

Laura had little education and she never had a good paying job. She was ashamed to ask for help from the police, courts or women's shelters. Laura wanted her marriage and family to work. Sometimes her husband was very nice to her. She decided to try harder so her children could have a home and a father. Laura joined a church and told a priest about her problem.

But her husband kept using drugs and hurting the family. Finally, she told her husband she loved him, but they should live apart for a while. He beat her again. The priest had called and could tell Laura was in trouble. He came over to talk to her. He asked the husband to go out for a while. Laura packed up her kids and left. The next day she lost the baby. Her husband went to jail.

Laura got a lot of help from groups that help women who have been beaten. Now she is in college, has her own apartment and works on special projects at a women's shelter. "We got out, and it changed life for me and my children. You can do it. You can break the cycle," Laura said.

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