Lorrie, who asked that we not use her last name or show her face, is a domestic abuse survivor.
"He always said that if I left him, he would kill me he said first he would go through and kill my family one by one and my kids and make me watch and then kill me last," Lorrie said.
She left him, time and time again.
"I kept going back just like so many abused women do because they think it's going to change," Lorrie said.
The abuse continued throughout the late 1980s and early 90's.
"Anything he did to me was because I wasn't good enough, I did something wrong or I provoked him," Lorrie said.
From emotional abuse, to physical abuse.
"Convinced you're worthless, that you deserve it, these were constant type things, being put down," Lorrie said. "I was thrown down steps, I had my face hit into the wall, my jaw dislocated.
"I have really bad teeth from having this happened, most of my teeth are broken."
Lorrie was blind to the reality of the situation.
"It's become normal, it becomes normalized into your thinking that this is all the way it's supposed to be," Lorrie said.
One day, her friend gave her the book, "Women Who Love Too Much," by Robin Norwood.
"It made me realize I had to get out and that this was a lot more serious than I was thinking it was, I didn't realize all that time how serious it was," Lorrie said.
She got her kids out of bed.
"Sat at the top of the steps with them and told them 'goodbye,' I told them what I was going to do and that we were probably going to die in the process, but that we were better off dead than living that way anymore," Lorrie said.
Fortunately, she and her family survived. He left, but continued to stalk, harass and at one point -- hid inside her home with a gun, waiting for Lorrie to get home from work. Eventually, it stopped.
"I have gone through the situation and I survived it, and I am who I am now because of it," Lorrie said.
"The trauma experienced by victims and survivors is not isolated to the abusive episode. Victims of abuse often experience significant emotional and psychological impacts, regardless of the presence of physical abuse," Program Director for Safe Haven Ministries Tara Aday said.
"Safe Haven offers a free and confidential 24/7 hotline, 616-452-6664. Additionally, all of our services are completely free and confidential. We do not require any form of identification nor do we bill insurance providers.
"Lastly, someone does not have to have made the decision to leave the abuser in order to utilize our services -- we work with survivors at all different stages of their healing journey."
The YWCA also offers 24/7 confidential support; you can reach them at 616-454-YWCA (9922).
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