Alex’s partner would abuse her for hours but always apologise afterwards. Recognising that the abuse was not her fault and that he would not change, Alex made the decision to leave.
My deep-seated belief that his abuse was wrong and not my fault somehow got me through.
My partner had been physically and emotionally abusing me for about twelve months. It started with pushing and shoving and taking my keys when I wanted to leave the house. He was very insecure about past relationships and jealous of people he thought were a threat.
Some evenings after he’d been drinking alcohol, he would accuse me of being a ‘whore’. It would go on for hours until he would fall asleep. Afterwards, it was always the pattern – he would say that he was sorry and that he didn’t know why he said and did the things he did to me.
At first, I believed him. We even went to counselling together but it didn’t last. I kept telling myself that it was the alcohol. I even tried to change my way of thinking and behaving but nothing worked and I knew I had to leave.
How my situation changed
The final point came when, after experiencing hours of verbal abuse and name calling, he then became physically violent when I tried to call someone. That night I completely realised that he would never change. I had to put myself first and do what was right for me. I confided in a friend who helped me cope and then eventually leave him. She reinforced to him that I wanted him out, or else I’d call the police. He finally believed me because I’d told someone.
Regaining my sense of self
In spite of everything, my deep-seated belief that his abuse was wrong and not my fault somehow got me through. Good friends helped me and are still helping me to feel stronger and get back on my feet again. I’ve just started counselling and know that, in time, I’ll keep moving forward and feel even stronger.
What the experience taught me
It taught me to believe in myself and to know that I deserved better. It was hard but I got out. If I knew someone in a similar situation I’d tell them that “no matter what they tell you, never ever believe that the abuse is your fault!”
About this story
While some names may have been changed, this story is true and was shared with consent for the purpose of raising awareness about the experience of family violence. Please do not republish or adapt this story without written permission. Contact us.
Telling your own story
Sharing your story of family violence and your journey to recovery can be powerful. It can raise awareness, challenge stereotypes and inspire others. There are many ways you can tell your story. This might include writing it down, expressing it through art, or sharing with a trusted person or support service.