I can tell you what it's like to be one of those victims.. one of the survivors!
I know what it's like to be pushed, shoved, slapped, kicked, beaten.
I know how it feels to be degraded in front of family and friends.
I know what it's like not to have any control over finances - to beg for money for formula for a newborn baby and to later find $2500 in my husband's jacket pocket.
I know the humiliation of being made to sleep on the floor because my husband said I wasn't worthy enough to sleep in "his" bed
I know the ultimate degradation of having my glasses hidden, so that I could not navigate in my own home, much less in the outside world.
I know the terror of seeing my nine month old daughter held by her feet - her father threatening to drop her unless I did what he wanted.
I know the feeling of a woman who is trapped. Trapped, with no money, no education, no skills, in an abusive situation which was slowly wearing away my spirit and my soul... day by day.
I can also tell you what it is like to be the butterfly that breaks out of the cocoon; how I felt when I was able to breathe, really breathe, again... the loveliness of the world when it no longer shadowed by pain and fear and violence ... and finally my relief when I realized that I had power and control over my own life.