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Tiffany Johnson

English 1201

Professor Brett Sipes

January 15, 2019

Surviving the Life of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one

partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence includes a

wide range of violence such as physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and

emotional abuse. In the summer of 2001, I was hospitalized after being stabbed in the neck by an

abusive spouse. I would be lying if I said I didn’t see this coming. All the signs were there from

him controlling when I get to see my family to the clothes that I wear. I felt as if I were a

prisoner in my own home this went on over the course of 5 years. My main concentration for my

research will be on why women stay in abusive relationships. When people hear that someone is

in an abusive relationship, their first question is, “Why don’t they leave?” The truth is when it

comes to relationship abuse, it’s never as easy as “just leaving.”

One out of every three women will be abused at some point in her life. According to

statistics about 4000 women die each year from domestic violence. I never wanted to be hurt,

beaten or made to feel inferior. I wanted love so much that I denied all signs right from the

beginning. As a survivor myself it’s extremely important for me to share my story. There’s a real

sense of stigma and shame and embarrassment about speaking out about this, so I’ve got to make

it more accessible so that people understand that this is a problem, this is happening to a lot of

women and across all sectors, all races, all demographics, all suburbs, all ages. Every time I

speak on this topic it empowers me and helps me explain what happened in my mind to myself. I

know that I’m doing good for other women and hoping to enact on social change, so we can

change this social paradigm, it’s very cathartic and empowering.

Through my library research, I will examine why do women stay in abusive relationships.

Is it fear of the unknown, or could it be guilt? Also, do women who stay in abusive relationships

like the abuse? Can you identify a potential batterer when you meet him? I also plan to interview

several women from the Artemis Domestic Violence Center.