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The Voices of Women Who Live in Fear Every Day

Love is different for everyone, but there should never be a day you get mistreated for being yourself. Being in love can make you blind to the signs of an abusive partner. In an abusive relationship, everything starts out fine, but slowly things turn bad progressively.

Some of the most common signs of an abusive relationship is physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and discriminatory abuse. The characteristics of the abuser are extreme jealously, possessiveness, unpredictability, bad temper, cruelty to animals, extremely controlling behavior, and antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships. These are not the only signs because there are so many more. One emotional abuse is gaslighting. Gaslighting is the act of someone making someone else doubt their own feelings and thoughts to the point you feel insane because they manipulate the truth.

Domestic violence has been around for hundreds of years and its not just in the U.S. its everywhere. According to WHO, 30% of women on the globe have experienced some type of domestic violence that is 1 in 3 women which is insane. Men do experience domestic violence too and out of 10 million people surveyed, 1 in 9 men experience some type of abuse. These numbers are crazy, but they are only numbers of people that have spoken out or reported. They do not include numbers from victims that have never spoken out. It happens everywhere even in the city of Gainesville.

Ashley R., age 19, from Gainesville recently spoke up and reported her ex-boyfriend. She said, “it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it because now I can be me.” She reported him multiple times to the police, but they told her she did not have enough evidence for them to remove him from her apartment. She said, “I couldn’t believe my word was not enough evidence.” Her ex-boyfriend kept hitting and screaming at her. The last time she recorded on voice memo and took pictures of her bruises. She called the police again, and they removed him off the property for questioning. She went through the process of getting a restraining order. He only got one month of jail time even though she had been put through this abuse for over two years.  She did not believe it was fair, but she is happy that she is at peace and alive.

Anonymous., age 21, from Gainesville has been free from her abuser for six months. She is living her life at the fullest and is extremely happy to be free. “He was mean, a liar, a beater, and gaslighter,” she said. “The beginning of the relationship was amazing because he would love bomb me, shower me with compliments, and tell me everything about himself or so I thought.” It all went bad when her ex-boyfriend asked to move in with her and she was too nice to say no so he moved in, and that is when everything went bad. “He would never pay rent, ate all my food, did not want to work, and lied all the time.” Eventually, she stood up for everything, and he began to beat her, called her horrible words, and controlled everything she did. “He would beat me one day then act like nothing happened the next day and always told me to wear long sleeves, so no one asked questions.” He was arrested October 20, 2020 for beating her so bad to the point her nose bled for more than one day, all because she wanted to celebrate her birthday early with friends at a beach. He told her that she was planning to runaway with someone else and that was the reason he beat her so she would not go to a made-up trip to the beach. She had a lot of support from her friends and herself so she could be back to normal and now she is glowing with joy.

“Everyday was a living nightmare that you could not escape.”- Anonymous

Do not let the signs slip your mind. Help anyone you may see suffering because sometimes they are just too scared to stand up for themselves. Ask your friends how they are doing and ask them how their relationship is going even if you think it is weird because that question can help someone speak out. There are a lot of resources for anyone that is suffering through domestic violence. The first resource is to call 911, but if they do not do much to help, call a close friend and ask to stay with them for a while until you figure out what to do. If the other two options do not work, then perhaps call, or visit a shelter that can help. Do not feel guilty or embarrassed to speak out because you have a voice and you matter. Please never look away, you could save someone’s life.

The following are resources:

  • 911
  • 800.799.SAFE (7233):Hotline
  • Nearest Shelters to Gainesville: My Sister’s Place, Circle of Hope Domestic Violence Center, and Peace Place, Inc


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The Voices of Women Who Live in Fear Every Day