It is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. People are often dealing with more than what appears on the surface. Most people do not look at me and realize what I have been through. I experienced abuse as a child...physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and exploitation through child sexual abuse material. Some of this abuse began when I was 5 and did not end until I left at the age of 17. Just like many others who have experienced this type of abuse as children, I went from abuse to abuse. I left one abusive situation and found myself right in another. I officially met my first husband, my next abuser, at the age of 17. He was 5 years older than me. In this relationship, I once again experienced abuse...physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse - raped while strangled and raped at gunpoint. If you have experienced abuse in any form, I want you to know that you are not alone. I care about you, as do so many others. There is hope - hope for safety, peace, and healing. You deserve it. You have probably been told things that make you feel as though you may not deserve to be loved and to be safe. It may be difficult to feel that there is any hope of getting out of the situation you are in and living a different life. I am here to tell you otherwise, and my life is a witness to the contrary. You are worthy; you are loved; you are deserving...healing is here for you!
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