ST. LOUIS — October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. 

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence at the hands of a partner.

One local survivor, who wanted to remain anonymous, is speaking out to help as many people as possible. 

"I almost lost my life, I was beaten broken bones, bruised. I couldn't see out of one of my eyes," she said.

This survivor was married for 10 years. In that decade, abuse gradually started to escalate. "Abuse ranging from verbal, emotional, financial and physical abuse," she said.

Her partner isolating her from friends and family. He controlled her money, but mostly, he controlled her. 

She said this is the type of control that makes men or women feel alone and like there is no help for them. 

"In a period of three days, beaten, kicked and so many things happened during that time to the point of coming in and out of consciousness," the survivor said. "I felt like if I was going to stay, I was going to die."

There are many reasons why men or women stay. For her, she was intimidated and scared of what could happen to her family. 

But it was that three day period back in 2015 when she knew she had to get out. At the time, she was a student going for an art degree. "I was finishing up the semester, but for some reason, he let me go, I don't know why. But it was the weekend and no one was going to be there," she said. 

But instead of going to class, she got help. United Way directed her to the Women's Safe House. 

They were able to get her back on her feet as she stayed in the shelter for a few months. 

"They provided housing resources, counseling, even ways to learn to do budget planning and finances because that had been taken away from me for so long and I was able to get my feet wet on that again," she said. "If you are worried about someone finding you, there are resources in St. Louis to protect you."

Four years later, she's now able to do what she loves and make her own choices. "The possibilities are endless, being able to go through and seeing the other side," she said.

If you need any help: 

  • You can call 2-1-1 or the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE
  • The 24-hour crisis intervention hotline for the Women's Safe House is 314-772-4535
  • ALIVE's 24-hour crisis helpline is 314-993-2777 
  • Safe Connections 24-hour crisis helpline is 314-531-2003 

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