This video shows Leslie Morgan Steiner telling her story about domestic violence.
She’s a successful author and advocate against domestic violence. Although her story isn’t exactly like mine, she, too, became a victim at age 22. Like me, she’s well educated and had never had any exposure to violence before.
But unlike me, I never heard “I’m sorry” from my abuser. He never gave me flowers after being violent with me. And he never beat me, per se. My ex was a shover, a grabber, a strangler, a threatener and a rapist.
Or should I say, he IS these things.
Ms. Steiner answers the question of “why does she stay” very simply: She didn’t know he was abusing her.
That’s exactly right. I never, ever thought of myself as being in an abusive marriage. I thought my ex-husband would change if I changed, somehow.
And the most painful question, she says, is “why doesn’t she just leave?”
As she says, all of us who have been in this situation know the answer to that. It’s dangerous. We could be killed. We could be stalked. We could become a victim of the court system, manipulated by him.
If you’ve read my memoir, you’ll know how much he manipulated the courts against me and against our daughter.
At this point, I’ve been considering telling my story in person, as well, but I’m still afraid of my ex-husband. Not an unfounded fear, either.
But I do feel inspired to talk about what happened to me, because it happens to millions of other women every single day. Maybe I can make a difference.