Domestic Violence Awareness: Woman Describes How She Got Out Of Violent Marriage
Businesses across central Ohio are taking part in the Clothesline Project to raise awareness of domestic violence.
The project is an art exhibit with a lifesaving message.
Kandice, a 24-year-old mother, knows both sides of the story.
"I grew up with a lot of violence,” she said.
But she never thought that violence would be her future.
Kandice said the loss of a child to cancer changed her husband in dramatic ways.
"The first time he actually put his hands on me, he choked me in our neighbor’s yard,” she said.
Kandice says it was the start of a cycle of isolation, control, and violence.
"His bank account was how I cashed my checks. It was like I got my jobs, but I don't have a way to cash my checks because he cashes my checks with his bank account,” she said. "He made me feel like trash all the time. Nothing I could do was ever good enough."
Her breaking point came in February, when he attacked her while she was pregnant with their second child.
"This time I was fighting him back. Usually I let him slap me or hit me and I would just walk into the other room. But it was like, I was already feeling like I want to kill him, and then he put his hands on me. It was just, it was bad," she said.
Kandice says a police officer spent hours talking to her about getting help.
The connected her to the CHOICES program, where she found shelter and support.
She says the smartest, scariest thing she did was to ask for help.
"As soon as I walked into the building, I cried. I felt safe. I heard that door click behind me, and I knew he wasn't coming up in here. I felt safe immediately,” Kandice said. “The feeling of being safe is not something your mama, your daddy, anyone can give you. It's something you have to give yourself."
Today she and her baby girl live a life of safety, security and hope, the control and violence behind them.
"The time to leave is the first strike. The first hit, the first slap, the first, ‘where are you spending your money?’ The first time you no longer have control over certain things; it’s time to go," Kandice said.
Help is available, seven days a week, 24 hours a day at the Domestic Violence Crisis Information Line. That number is 614-224-HOME.