Survivor Story: Abuse Was Just “A Part of Life”

Submitted by: Dawn, Survivor

Survivors of child abuse and childhood domestic violence are at higher risk of being abused in romantic relationships as teens and adults. The presence of any abuse in the home conditions them to view abuse in personal relationships as normal, even acceptable. Survivor Dawn shares with us how the normalization of abuse as a child would end up influencing her adult relationships. Find out how she was able to finally free herself and how she sees herself now.  

Dawn is a survivor of abuse that started during her childhood. Violence was normalized at home at a very young age when she was molested and raped. Unfortunately, Dawn’s mother was the first one to show her that hitting was just a part of life, and she had to stay silent so it would not be worse the next time.

The last time she was in an abusive relationship was about ten years ago right the birth of her last child. As a judge would later describe the abuse, he had tortured Dawn by kicking and punching her, being mentally abusive, and raping her. Most of this happened in front of her two children.

Dawn’s abuser threatened her at least twice a week that if she ever left, he would hunt her down and punish her for leaving. Although she knew it could and would happen, she tried to escape many times, only to have him find her and bring her back. After five years of being with her abuser on and off, Dawn was finally able to break free when he was arrested for an issue unrelated to the abuse.

“I do not see myself as a victim any longer, but as someone who could have been killed at any time. I made it through and am a survivor, and I am thankful every day that I was able to have another chance at life.”

**If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence website at, chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777, or send a private message through our Facebook page.


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