When I was 25, I became a domestic abuse victim. It’s still hard to talk about it and I still can’t believe that was me. I met him at 24, at a Halloween party. He was always moody and up and down. When the two-year relationship finally ended, I looked back at so many points and wondered why I didn’t end it sooner. It’s not that I didn’t try. He was so manipulative. And I truly believed he was a good person deep down, just with a very bad childhood and mentally ill. But looking back, I have no idea how much of what he said was true and how much was lies. I was going to write about everything that happened but it all kind of blurs together now. It first happened in 2005, after we had been together for about a year. I tried moving, I sent him to jail. But somehow he always scared me into coming back. I truly thought he might kill me, and I had never known that kind of fear. And when my mom died, he made me believe that he was my biggest supporter. After my mom died, he got out of jail and was seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis. He was on strong anti-psychotics. But I still couldn’t get over the things that had happened — I had been punched in the stomach, the head, had my face stepped on, and more. Instigators of the fight were always stupid – I didn’t hide a bruise well enough, he thought I liked another guy etc. The final incident was the one that landed him in prison for nearly two years. He choked me, pulled hair out and nearly killed me because he blamed me for losing his job. But there’s two things I want everyone reading this to know: Victims: You will NEVER feel safe until he is locked away. I know he tells you he will kill you if you tell anyone, but he’ll kill you if you don’t. Trust me, people suspect, they’re just too afraid to ask. Everyone: If you think you hear someone being abused, it IS your business. It’s EVERYONE’S business. I used to pray somebody, anybody would call the police because he would kill me if I did. It’s taken me almost seven years to talk about this, and as you can see, I still have a hard time going into detail. But it’s so important that I speak out. That everyone speaks out. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NEVER OK. To do my part, I’m holding an Online Holiday Gift Fair and 20 percent of all sales will go to a local shelter here in Omaha, Neb. that serves as transitional living for women and children who are victims of this violence. Please help if you can – participate in my event, invite others on Facebook/spread the word, or help at a shelter in your local community. PLEASE. This has to stop.