I Am A Millennial Domestic Violence Survivor.
According to www.safehorizion.org 1 in 4 women will
experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Never did I imagine one of them would be one of my closest Bennett Sisters.
One cold February night, my Bennett sister and I were on a road trip traveling from DC back to NC. While riding and listening to the best 90’s songs, she opened up about an abusive relationship she had been in. Years later she is finally ready to tell the world her story.
This is based on a true story to keep my Bennett sister anonymous I change her and her ex-boyfriend’s name.
1. How did you and Travis meet?
I first met him through our parents. Travis was the son of one of my mother's friends.
2. Describe your relationship in the beginning.
We started off as bestfriends, honestly. As time past, we started talking more seriously and dating. He was a great guy at the beginning however I did notice he had a bit of a anger problem.
3.When did you notice his behavior started to change?
When he begin to get stressed out with life. His relationship with his family was very poor and he would always get into it with his mother because she would not help him with his personal life issues. As time continued to pass, I would notice he would take his stress out on me and begin to start petty arguments.
4. Explain the night of the tragedy.
I remember it was like yesterday. One of my high school bestfriends called me from prison where he was at the time. As I went to answer the phone, I noticed Travis was getting mad and stressed out from arguing with his mother and not being able to find a job. As I proceeded to open the front door to his mother's house and walk outside, Travis came around the corner and asked who I was talking to. I told him it was my bestfriend who was in prison. Once I said that he then asked why I am talking to that nigga and begin to walk towards me angry. As I noticed he was beginning to get angrier, I begin to run toward the back room and try to close the door. As I closed the door, Travis busted in the room and begin to curse at me and asked me if I thought he was playing. He then grabbed me and begin to chock me from behind. As he was chocking me, I begin to fight for my life, begging him to get off of me. I begin to notice that I couldn't get him off of me and started having trouble breathing. I had never been so scared in my life as I begin to start crying thinking about my life being over. As I closed my eyes laying on the bed that he was chocking me on, I begin to see my family at my funeral crying and my Bennett sisters standing around the flag pole on our campus with signs saying stop domestic violence I then realized that I had something to fight for. As I grasped for air I felt God giving me strength to fight him off. I was able to get him off of me with the help of God and get away.
5. When did you say enough is enough?
After the day he choked me. I never was able to be around him without being scared. He would still get mad at me and start petty arguments. He didn't trust or respect me anymore. And he thought every guy I knew wanted me. As we were driving home one day, I begin to tell him how I could not do this as I begin to cry hoping he would have sympathy for me. As I started crying he told me to pull over so that we could talk about it. He told me he loved me and he couldn't live without me and I told him that I didn't have peace with him anymore. Once I said that he came and picked me up and put me in the passenger seat saying he was gonna drive since I could not stop crying. He then begged me to stay with him and I told him no. Once I told him no, he told me if I couldn't have him nobody will. He then begin to drive my car in a neighborhoods going 75 miles per hour. I asked him to stop and he wouldn't. I begin to cry out to God saying if he would get me out more one time, I wouldn't come back. Travis then stopped the car saying fuck you and got out and walked away. At that moment I took that as a sign from God. I crawled in the drivers seat and left. That was my breaking point to leave him alone.
6. Since then have you heard from him?
A year later, Travis was sent to prison. Once day I received a call from him and I decided to accept. To this very day I was glad I did. When I answered the phone. He said hey this is Travis. I know you don't want to hear from me but I want to say I'm sorry. Sorry for all the hurt I did to you and bad things I said to you. I hope one day you can forgive me. But if you don't, keep your head up and keep going after your dreams. Before I knew it, I was telling him that I forgive him and that even though I will never get back with him, I love him because that is what God wants me to do. I also told him that I will be praying for him. After I said that the call ended and I felt much better knowing that I don't have to carry that burden anymore.
7. Why didn’t you tell your friends/ Bennett Sister earlier?
At the time I told one friend. I couldn't tell no one else because I was ashamed. I have always been seen as the strong friend/Bennett Sister. The one that trusted God and tried to do my best at whatever I did. I felt if I told anyone, I would let a lot of people down. I didn't want to appear weak.
8. Looking back, what would you have done differently?
Know your worth. it comes a time when you have to look within yourself and tell yourself that you deserve better. Women were not designed to be beat and mistreated. We were designed to be Queens and treated with respect. Often times, when women are in domestic violence situations, they have failing in love with the man’s potential. You can’t fall in love with his potential because he may never reach that point and before you know it, you have lost sight of who you are and possibly putting yourself in the position of losing your life. Know that you are not alone. Talk to someone, get help because you can’t get through it alone. Even after I was out of the relationship, I still had to talk with people about it to begin my process of healing. Lastly, forgive your abuser. Forgiving is the ultimate decision that you must make to move on. Its not for the abuser, but for YOU. Once you have truly forgiven your abuser and forgiving yourself, you are able to walk into a life that was destined for you. You have so much to offer in this world, so get up, speak up, get out, and be the Queen that you are!
If you know someone who is a victim of Domestic Violence call 800-799-SAFE (7233).