"Never did I think I would be forced to choose life.  We were a middle class, church attending, community volunteering family. Unfortunately, I was married to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I truly believed that if I just did what he wanted life would be fine without understanding that such a person will eventually explode.  

I never really knew fear until that night. I found myself huddled in the fetal position in the corner of our bedroom trying to save myself and my unborn child from the beating I was getting from my husband/my child’s father. Unbeknownst to me, my husband had been planning his escape from our marriage. When I told him I was pregnant he went into a fit of rage threatening to make me have an abortion.  When I told him the baby was my choice and I would never murder my child, he started beating me trying to get me to miscarry.  It continued until my loud sobs caused our sleeping 3-year-old son to stir in the next room. He finally stopped and went out on the sofa to sleep mumbling, 'Fine, give it up for adoption, because I’m not paying child support for 2 kids.'

I regret that I did not contact the police or anyone about that night, but fear can keep you a hostage and seeing freedom. He continued to make plans to leave us.  However, he soon lost his job due to a contractual morality clause.  His affair with a female coworker had been uncovered. He didn’t go through with the divorce due of lack of money.

I struggled trying to make the relationship work for another 17 of the 28 years we were married, believing it was better for our kids. I lived under his financial and emotional control as he would not abuse me in front of our sons, but in private.  I kept believing I had no other real choice, who would believe me. He was truly a Dr. J and Mr. H.  

Finally, one night our sons 17 and 21 became aware of their dad’s abuse to me and they immediately told him to leave.  He walked out on his own that night and did not re-enter our lives.  It’s been 6 years since then. I am thankful for my two loving sons who exercised their freedom of choice that night. I regret that I allowed fear to control me and keep me and my sons from freedom. My sons and I are fortunate, our fate could have been far different.  

Please, I beg you, if you find yourself in a situation like me. Please get help, choose life and choose freedom for your child and yourself."