Wednesday 26 July 2017

This woman's viral texts show a terrifying form of abuse that is often overlooked

Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKros
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross

Sasha Brady

One woman's social media post has gone viral for highlighting the many different forms an abusive relationship can take.

Imgur user, KrissyKross, shared a collection of text messages she received from her ex-husband to demonstrate what an abusive relationship looks like.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said her husband was physically, mentally and sexually abusive towards her throughout the course of their marriage.

She told the HuffingtonPost that she chose to share the messages last Monday because it was the third anniversary of her husband's sentencing and she wanted to challenge the stigma that surrounds women who choose to stay in unhealthy relationships.

"It was weighing heavily on my mind," she said of her ex-husband's abuse. "I never got therapy afterwards due to lack of money, so I never really learned how to deal with what had happened. I didn't ever bring it up with anyone and never really talked about it with my family after the fact."

textmessage4.jpg
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross

Her series of screenshots show that her ex would text her constantly, demanding to know who she was with and what she was doing at all times. He would blame her for his controlling behaviour and accuse her of lying.

KrissyKross, told the Huffington Post that she "finally got the guts to leave when he hurt my dog and kitten".

"While he was at work I packed a bag, my pets anmd their food and hit at a coworker's house and called NCIS and the police. I spent hours getting bruises photographed, giving my statement, waiting while they put him on restriction. I saw him only a handful of times after, all in court."

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Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross

While she eventually left him, KrssyKross acknowledged that it was difficult to do so as she made "very little money" and was "financially dependent". She also didn't want to give up on the relationship; something that she said was hard for people on the outside to understand.

Irish charity Women's Aid told Independent.ie that it's vital that women are supported, without judgement, whilst living with an abuser.

"If she feels that she will be excluded from ongoing support if she does not leave, she is unlikely to seek help from the same person or organisation again," Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid, said.

"And the abuse does not always end when the relationship does. We know that 23 percent of women who contacted us in 2015 were experiencing abuse by their former partners, including stalking, physical assault and abuse during access arrangements.

"In order for women to move on many things are needed - good legal protection, the practical and emotional support of their friends and support of organisations like Women's Aid."

textmessage2.jpg
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross
textmessage3.jpg
Credit: Imgur / KrissyKross

As the text messages show, domestic violence can take on many different forms but Ms Martin said that it is common for the abuser to reject responsibility for their actions.

Domestic violence is a learned intentional behaviour rather than the consequence of stress, individual pathology, substance use or a 'dysfunctional' relationship," she said.

"Perpetrators of domestic violence frequently avoid taking responsibility for their behaviour, by blaming their violence on someone or something else, denying it took place at all or minimising it."

If you believe you may be in an abusive relationship, or if you're worried about someone you know, Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline is open seven days a week: 1800 341 900

For more information visit www.womensaid.ie

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