How could you leave your husband? What will society say? What will happen to your kids? This is what a woman is asked when she gathers the courage to leave an abusive marriage.
Sometimes even the strongest of women accept to stay back in a toxic relationship just for the sake of her kids’ better future. She believes the lies that society tells her about how kids from broken homes are also broken or how incapable she is of taking care of the kids.
Finding herself alone to stand against the abuse, she accepts and agrees to suffer in silence. But sadly, no one tells her how her kids get affected if she chooses to stay in a toxic marriage. No one tells her the misery and the suffering that kids go through when they see one of the parents abusing the other. One such story is of this mother, whose daughter raised her voice to save her from a toxic husband.
While sharing with HoB about her parent’s toxic marriage and how she saw her mother suffer for years, this brave daughter shared:
“I don’t even remember when it started — it had been going on for too long. My father used to hit me with whatever he found — even belts and shoes. He used to lock me up in the dark and watch TV while I’d be scared to my core. My cries for help would fall on deaf ears. There was no reason — he would beat me for being naughty or not doing my homework.
My mother used to intervene, but she used to get beaten too. When I grew old and formed my own opinions, I realised I was a victim of domestic abuse and as a result, was timid and under-confident — I was always made to shut up.
My life was hanging by a thread. Still, I thought it was okay because we ‘looked’ like a picture perfect family — my father, mother, younger brother and me. At least we were living under the same roof. But that bubble burst when I found out that my father was having an affair.
His phone was in front of me and there was no explanation for his high phone bills, so I decided to pry. I wasn’t hoping to find anything but when I did, I froze. I knew I had to tell my mother…when I showed her the texts, she said she saw it coming — she had recently found out that she had an STD given to her by my father.
After some digging, we found that he was having multiple affairs. As a child, my mother didn’t have a perfect family, so the fear of losing this one was so harrowing that she decided to give the marriage another shot.
But when I was in my 1st year of college, I came home one day to find my mother crying uncontrollably. He had hit her and her shoulder tissues were severely damaged — while he was peacefully sleeping after that. I had never felt angrier — I got up and raised my voice for the first time.
I warned him that I would file a complaint if he didn’t leave us alone. In response, he threatened to kill my mother. Still, my mother was adamant to make this family work. Finally, my grandparents and I sat her down and made her see the reality. She finally agreed to let go and told him to get out of the house.
That day I made a promise to myself that I would protect my younger brother and never let him bear the brunt of my father’s actions. We both started therapy and slowly, both of us began healing.
Although my parents aren’t legally divorced, my father doesn’t live with us anymore. We’re working on a case against him and honestly, I wish we’d done this sooner. People don’t realise that abuse is abuse — it doesn’t matter whether it happens within the four walls of your home or not. Today, we’re in a good place — I’m working to make sure we don’t ever need money from him or anyone else. It’s time — to stand up and speak up for what’s right, even if it is against your own ‘family’.”
At IFORHER, we celebrate this daughter’s courage as she not only saved her mom from suffering in a toxic relationship but also saved herself and her brother from suffering. We hope her story will inspire more women to speak up against the abuser even if the abuser is family.