The picture on the left was me just about a month before I started dating the man who would later become my abuser. We were already friends by this time but hadn’t started a relationship yet.
The picture in the middle was after 4 1/2 years of his abuse.
The picture on the right was taken 9 months after separating from him. I was still being stalked and living in extreme fear at this time but you can see how, just being away from him, my smile was beginning to return.
This is what domestic abuse and domestic violence look like. When he injured my spine I wanted to call the police but he threatened me by saying that because I slapped him across the face I would be the one who went to jail, not him. I believed him and was too scared to call. I still live with the pain from that spinal injury even though I spent several months in physical therapy and all of those records are very clear that the injury was caused by a domestic violence incident.
When he caused my shoulder injury, I went in for x-rays. The doctor asked very empathetically if I wanted to press charges. She told me she would sit with me while I talked to police. I told her “no. He won’t do it again” (I said this because I believed it to be my fault and thought that if I changed then he would stop abusing me). I found out later that she called the police after I left. They told her that if I didn’t want to call then there was nothing they could do.
He has never suffered a single consequence for any of the abuse he inflicted on me. After a year of extreme stalking, the police still haven’t even brought him in for questioning even though there is overwhelming evidence, including proof of several different lies that were spoken while he was under oath. His story changes every time he speaks and it’s well documented. He lies so much he can’t even remember his own lies.
One of the very first things he did after passing the bar and getting his license to practice law was to sue the city for something very frivolous. The police have told me they don’t want to arrest him because they’re afraid he’ll sue the department. Anyone else see abuse of power here?
Domestic violence and domestic abuse don’t always leave black eyes. Sometimes the injuries are invisible, as mine is. But you can see the intense emotional pain on my face in this picture.