By Christine Murray, See the Triumph Co-Founder
“Primarily verbal and mental abuse from partner; making things up that didn't happen to try to make me feel crazy; telling me our friends hated me, my family hated me; continues to send me verbally abusive emails, calling me names …telling me that i am unsuccessful and a bad mother, unable to provide for my child, unable to be stable. This continues because we have a child together, and i am committed to having contact with him because of that (legally bound to), but the abusive contact continues weekly under the guise of contacting me about our child.” ~ Domestic violence survivor
This month, along with our theme of “Every Survivor Has A Story,” we’ll be sharing some of the many stories that survivors of intimate partner violence shared with us in our research. As a reminder, all participants in our research studies have past experiences with abuse, but they have been out of any abusive relationship for at least two years.
Keep in mind: The quotes we’ll share each day this month represent just pieces of the full stories of their lives. We collected data in our surveys anonymously in order to protect participants’ identities. However, we’ve still changed some of the details of the stories in the quotes we’ll share this month, as we want to be extra cautious about making sure that participants can’t be identified through the details they shared with us. But, as much as possible, we are using participants’ own words to describe their experiences, as these words are so powerful and important to hear.
There are just over four weeks in August, and we’re grouping the stories into four sections:
Week 1 (August 1-7): Stories of Abuse
Week 2 (August 8-16): Stories of Courage
Week 3 (August 17-23): Stories of Finding Peace
Week 4 (August 25-31): Stories of Inspiration
Of course, these categories are somewhat arbitrary, and others may group the stories into different categories. But, we wanted to begin with the Stories of Abuse week by sharing some examples of the severity of the abuse that survivors may have faced. Then, the Stories of Courage will show the strength and bravery that survivors can exhibit when leaving an abusive relationship. The Stories of Peace demonstrate the ways that people can find peace and happiness in the aftermath of even the most horrific abuse. And finally, the Stories of Inspiration will share examples of survivors who have used their own experiences with abuse to motivate them to help others.
We hope you’ll be as moved and inspired by the stories we share as we have been!