OOP Survivor Blog

Four women and five children die every day in the U.S. due to domestic violence. Read President Barack Obama's Presidential Proclamation announcing his commitment to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence in our country.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why I'm speaking out

Someone recently asked me to write a summary of my story .... what I've been through over the past year and why I'm speaking out to spread awareness. So here is what I wrote:

I was married to a good man for 18 years, and we have three extraordinary children. Unfortunately, we had differences that we couldn't work out and divorced in April of 2008. He remains my good friend and is an excellent father to our children.

Only a few months after our divorce, I met a man who I thought was wonderful, and I quickly fell head over heels for him. An Air Marshal and Army Reservist, he had never married and had no kids. He seemed to love my kids, and when we married six months after we met, it felt natural and right.

But soon after we married, things didn't feel so natural and right. His facade began to crack, and lies started to show through. Such as the fact that he had told me and my children that he had a college degree in Criminal Law, but in reality he had never finished college.

When the verbal abuse started, I was not only horrified, but ashamed and embarrassed. It became apparent that I had made a terrible mistake, and yet I remained in a state of denial for several months as the wonderful man I thought I'd married simply faded away and I no longer recognized my husband through all of the degrading name calling and emotional manipulation. I cried nearly every day of the ten months we were married.

One night in February I called the police to remove him from my home because I was so completely terrified that he would physically hurt me or worse. When the police officers encouraged me to file an Order of Protection against him, that was the first time I'd heard those words.

I soon discovered that filing an Order of Protection against my husband was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was devastating to think that I had to go to that extreme measure to keep myself safe. Especially when I was trying to keep myself safe from the one person who I thought had my best interests at heart. Someone I trusted and opened my entire life to. Someone I believed in. To have to cope with the fact that my husband never really loved me at the same time when I was also dealing with having to file an Order of Protection against him was beyond devastating. It was also an extremely lonely place to be. Sadly, I discovered that for much of the time we were together, he was having an affair with a married woman (who actually provided me with written documentation of their affair). The combination of the abuse and the betrayal have been horrendous to deal with.

I am speaking out and sharing my story with the hopes that I can reach other women who may be hiding in the shadows with their own stories of abuse. The only way to eradicate domestic violence is to lean on each other, stand up, speak out and educate. The main thrust of my message is: you are not to blame and you are not alone.


  1. So sorry that you have been going through what you've been going through. It's horrible to think that there are people out there that would do such things to their wives. I think it's great that you have been out there advocating on behalf of domestic violence victims.

  2. Clearly he messed with the wrong woman. You're very brave, Kristin!

  3. I found your blog on a search for info on orders of protection. I'd like to know how hard it is to get one and what evidence I need. I'm in NM and need some advice.

  4. Hi there, I'm really happy to help you. If you are being abused and feel scared, I would recommend that you seek help immediately. I found help through my local police department.

    The hardest part about filing an Order of Protection against my then-husband was the emotional toll it took. At the time, I was completely terrified of him and wanted the abuse to stop and for him to no longer be a part of my life or my children's lives in any way.

    An Order of Protection has its pros and cons. Deciding whether or not to obtain one can be excruciating, depending on your level of fear and if your abuser is threatening to harm you if you get an Order of Protection. The order can't guarantee your safety, but it can make certain actions or behaviors by your abuser illegal. It will provide you with police protection. There are many things to consider, and like I mentioned, you might want to seek help from your local police who will not only help keep you safe, but can also direct you to resources that exist in your area. You may also want to get in touch with your state's chapter of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Here is their web site: http://www.nmcadv.org.

    I wish you the best. Be safe!