“As we got ready to go to a movie one evening, I checked my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Hair looked good, make-up done. I was wearing a brown and beige houndstooth blazer over a brown top, and blue jeans. Nothing fancy, but dressy enough for a night out,” she told me. “When he saw me, he told me I needed to change. He wouldn’t explain why, just demanded that I change. I looked fine– I wasn’t going to change my clothes. We argued about it briefly, before he reached out and grabbed the lapels on the blazer, pushing it down over my arms. I struggled to keep the coat on, and he pushed me to the floor, getting his hands under the brown top, he worked it up over my head as I tried pushing him away. He got up, went to the dresser, and pulled out a pair of worn out, black stretch pants, and a homemade, green sweater I had bought at Goodwill, but had never worn outside of the house. He tossed them on the bed, and said ‘Put these on, or we’re not going.’ Still in shock, I put on the ratty old clothes. That was the first real major incident of abuse after we were married.”
My actions are still being controlled by another person. It’s no different than that man wrestling his victim to the floor and physically pulling clothes off of her. My voice is being silenced. Therein lies the reality that the abuse never really ends, because the demand for control never actually goes away.