Day 22: Strength of a Survivor (Patricia’s Story)

Do not give up! Everyday is worth putting one foot forward, life does get better! It is a difficult path but everyday brings strength and confidence! Find the good in everyday and be thankful! Most importantly though speak out! You are not alone and the more people who share their stories the more light we can bring to those who are living in the darkness that is domestic violence.

PATRICIA’S STORY:

14 - SOS

What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, etc)?
I was with my former abuser four years. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I was a perfect victim. I experienced all forms of abuse from him early on and later figured out that he was the worst kind of abuser. He is a sociopath, meaning he has no sense of true emotion or sense of remorse. I was strangled twice and beaten up several times throughout the relationship. I had all of my freedom taken from me, isolated from my friends, family and my two oldest children. He had convinced me that he was my only support in this world and without him I was nothing. He nearly took my life twice but I was able to make it out before the birth of our second child together. He was a skilled manipulator and proficient at faux emotional displays. I am thankful everyday that I am no longer in that relationship.
What advice would you give other survivors who have experienced similar situations as you?
Do not give up! Everyday is worth putting one foot forward, life does get better! It is a difficult path but everyday brings strength and confidence! Find the good in everyday and be thankful! Most importantly though speak out! You are not alone and the more people who share their stories the more light we can bring to those who are living in the darkness that is domestic violence.
Why do you feel it is important to empower women?
It is important to empower women so that we can have more women who are strong and educated in what to look for in an abuser. Too many fall victim in part due to lack of knowledge about warning signs and red flags. In reviewing my life experiences I was exposed to domestic violence indirectly but I was never educated about the signs. This lack of education is part of what set me up to be a victim. I also know that an empowered woman is not a well considered target for an abusive person but anyone, even an educated woman can become a victim. Knowledge is power though. Empowering women will also empower society!
Why do you support Break the Silence against Domestic Violence?
I support Break the Silence against Domestic Violence because you have helped me as well as countless other women in knowing we are not alone. Your organization not only empowers women but is allowing us to have a voice that is otherwise mostly ignored. Eventually I am planning on getting the BTS survivor tattoo as well. If I am going to be labeled as a DV survivor it is going to be on my terms not those set by society! Your organization is part of the change for women like me! Thank you for being part of the change!

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