Survivor Story: Family Court Forced Me to Co-Parent with My Abuser



Written by: BTSADV Survivor

I started dating him when I was a freshman in high school and got pregnant a year later. Things started changing slowly—a shove here, a push there, sometimes with my daughter in my arms. He would pin me against the wall with his forearm on my neck, yelling and cursing at me. I would wake up to him trying to force himself on me; when I would tell him no, he’d say it was his right. When I fought it, he would explode in anger.

Everyone thought we were the perfect couple. I got used to smiling and pretending nothing was wrong so my daughter and family wouldn’t know. One day, he showed his true colors in front of a group of his friends. He grabbed me by my hair while screaming at me. None of them stopped him. Instead, they all walked out of our apartment as if to give him space.

I reported the abuse only once. He was not arrested, and all I got was a restraining order since there were no visible bruises—there were never any. I stupidly removed that same order to give him yet another chance.

It’s been about ten years since I left him, but he never truly left. The family court forced me to co-parent, and I have had to see him almost weekly ever since. My daughter will be 18 in three years.


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