"One time he dragged me in to the apartment by my hair. It was one of the few times that I fought back. I kicked him, but that just shocked and angered him even more. "Kick me, will ye?!" he shouted and responded with kicking me in the back of the head. I managed to get away from him and ran in to the bathroom. He tried to come in after me. I told him that I was seriously hurt and that my head was bleeding. This worried him and he kept trying to get in to the bathroom. He insisted I show him the blood, he wanted to see proof. That was out of fear for himself, not out of sympathy for me.
I never fought back after that, out of fear of making things worse for myself. I just took the abuse. After a while, you get to a point where you feel like you can take it. You can't ever get used to or feel like you take the mental abuse though. The name calling, the control, being told what to wear.
I remember pleading with my mum to help me "get him out of my head!" That was the first time I ever shared anything with her.
She had no clue what was going on. I had hid it form everyone. Speaking up was the best thing I ever did, and I hope women reading this will do the same."
"Women's Voices" is a photo essay featuring individual stories from survivors of domestic abuse. Each woman tells her story anonymously, sharing her own personal experience of the abuse she suffered. By telling their stories, the survivors hope that those in similar situations reach out, ask for help, and seek support. Read more about this project here.