"Behind Closed Doors"- Part 2

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

It's easier than you think to find yourself in a violent relationship.

Initiall the relationship doesn't begin this and there are signs, or warning flags, that you can look for.

"He was very jealous. He wanted to know where I was at and what i was doing and stuff", says "Sarah", who was in an abusive relationship for 23 years.

Jealousy is just one way the battering begins.

Nora Wright works for the Barren River Area Safe Space and says there are other warning signs to look for.

"Most of the time victims are dependant on the abuser because the abuser isolates them", says Wright.

"He wouldn't even let me keep my car running because he didn't want me to go anywhere. He wanted me to stay at home and didn't want me to have contact with anybody else because if you have contact with someone else they may figure out what's happening", says "Sarah".

"If he gets angry easily, if he trys to tell you what to do or control your behavior. You can't go here, you can't go there, you shouldn't wear this, you shouldn't wear that", says Dr. Ann Goetting.

"Usually the abuser will not allow the victim to have relationships with family and friends and so that makes them even more dependant on the abuser", says Wright.

This was the case with "Sarah" and before long the beatings began.

"The first time wasn't bad. He just slapped me and then the next day he was just so sorry and it was awhile before it happened again but the next time it happened it was bad. I ended up in the hospital. I couldn't talk", says "Sarah".

Judge Steve Wilson sees cases like this in the courtroom on a constant basis and says there are different reasons why women stay in these relationships even after the battering begins.

"There's a connection between those two people. There was love, there's an emotional bond, a financial bond. They sometimes have children together. Sometimes the victim doesn't know where she's gonna go", says Wilson.
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Many sociologists say women fear what will happen if they try to leave and have hope that if they stay this violent man will change.

"When he said he was sorry and it wouldn't happen again, you really believe that it won't happen again because he seems so sincere about it", says "Sarah".

But in most cases it does happen again and it just keeps getting worse.

"He shot my car, tried to push my car off a hill with me in it, held a loaded gun on me", says "Sarah".

Still, many women stay in this relationship, hoping to
they hope they will get the man back that made them fall in love.

"The man that they fell in love with is the very man that's hitting them. He was suppressing this need to lash out or strike out", says Judge Wilson.

"A fact of life is most of the time if a man will hit, he'll hit again", says Wilson.

It is statistically known that for women the most dangerous time for them in a violent relationship is when they're trying to get out.

That is why organizations such as the Barren River Area Safe Space are here to help.

If you suffer from domestic violence and would like to get help you can call the 24-hour crisis hotline number at 1-800-928-1183.

Coming up on Thursday at 6:00 & 10:00 in "Behind Closed Doors" we'll take a look at how domestic violence in the home can effect children and how you can prevent your children from finding themselves in these types of relationships.

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