On August 8, 2017, I was strangled, choked and suffocated nearly to death by a man that I dated for 4 months.
My name is Lisa Smith. I am a victim and a survivor of an abusive relationship. I’m here to share with you what happened to me, the warning signs of an abusive relationship, and how to take steps towards leaving your abuser. I want to share with you how I got through it and what my purpose is today.
From an Abusive Relationship to Relationship Truth
Welcome to Relationship Truth, my business and brand. Relationship Truth is an UNapologetic, UNcut and UNbreakable movement to end relationship abuse.
My goals for you are to…
- Understand what relationship abuse is
- Learn how to protect you or a friend and get help
- Support you to take steps towards leaving an abusive relationship
My mission is to…
- Speak at high schools and colleges across the United States
- Educate and empower young adults about healthy and unhealthy relationships
The Real Truth About my Abusive Relationship
You may be asking yourself, “Why is she doing this?”
Let me share with you what happened to me…
I met my attacker in May 2017. Over the course of 4 months he lied to me about EVERYTHING… Even down to his nationality and the state he was born.
He had a hefty criminal record as well… I didn’t know because I didn’t Google him.
I was the PERFECT target for my attacker…
- Easily persuaded and manipulated
I had family, friends, a job and a home. None of which he had.
On July 13, 2017 my attacker flipped out on me because he was JEALOUS that I had dated other men so he called me names…
Back at my apartment, he attempted to suffocate me with a pillow.
But I was physically hurt, extremely confused and VERY angry.
Not having experienced this before or knowing better, I believed my attacker when he told me that it would NEVER happen again…
I stayed with him.
Spotting the Signs of an Abusive Relationship
On August 8, my apartment door was unlocked…
He came into my home while I was in bed, grabbed me from behind and proceeded to choke me. I remember looking up at the ceiling and counting the seconds…
… I’m almost dead.
Is this what it looks like when someone is murdered?
This can’t be happening to me. This IS happening to me.
From the grace of God, he stopped… Got up and grabbed a knife, sat on my couch, and put the knife to his throat…
I thought I’m going to watch this person kill himself in my home and live with this for the rest of my life. I pleaded with him not to do it.
Somehow I ran out of my apartment and into the hallway. I was trying to scream for my neighbors to hear me… But I couldn’t because I didn’t have a voice.
I ran down the stairway. I lived on the 2nd floor of an apt building and he blocked me. I knew I couldn’t run back up to the elevator fast enough and that I was TRAPPED…
At that moment, something inside me kicked in and I pretended everything was fine between… Otherwise he was going to kill me…
I later learned in domestic violence counseling that that’s actually what people do in these situations.
I calmed him down. We went back into my apartment and somehow fell asleep.
I woke up put on my dress to go to work and he followed me to the train. I spoke calmly and told him he couldn’t kill me now because we are in public.
I got into my office and finally, I was SAFE…
Escaping From an Abusive Relationship
The next month was a DISASTER…
Physically, my throat and entire body were in so much pain. I had bruises on my neck and I thought my voice had permanent damage.
Personally, I was so ashamed. I only told two friends what had happened.
My attacker was in and out of mental institutions. He faked suicide attempts which I later discovered were pleas for my attention.
He even had a doctor try to manipulate me to help him. He stalked me.
I was paranoid and scared for my life.
I didn’t know what to do. DESPERATE, I called a domestic violence hotline. I shared with them what had happened to me…
They pointed me to free resources such as Safe Horizons and Sanctuary for Families and helped me realize that I was in DANGER…
I begged my attacker to leave me alone. I told him that I wouldn’t tell anyone and I wouldn’t file a police report if he just left me alone.
HE DIDN’T… They never do…
My Abusive Relationship Nightmare
On August 15, he ran past my doorman up to my apartment…
Luckily, my door was locked…
I screamed, “I’m calling the police.” and he ran off.
I called my doorman to ensure he was out of the building and I called 911. The police came to my home and I filed my police report.
After I filed a police report, I refused to work with the District Attorney’s office and the police. The arraignment court date was set… But because I didn’t show up, the felony was dropped to 2 misdemeanors:
- Criminal Obstruction of Breath/Applied Pressure
- Strangulation in the 2nd degree
- Menacing 2nd-Weapon
Would you believe I even contemplated helping my attacker so he wouldn’t have to go to jail for what he did to me!?
As I gained clarity, began to realize how dangerous he was and I started to cooperate with the district attorney’s office, the police and the domestic violence detectives…
I told them where he was staying and in mid-Sept he was arrested and incarcerated.
He pleaded GUILTY and served 15 months in jails and prisons.
While he was incarcerated, he was rearrested 3 times for violated my 5 year order of protection by sending me letters and calling me from jail.
Leaving an Abusive Relationship
- I moved.
- I changed my phone number.
- I spent 7 months in domestic violence counseling.
The WORST part was that I had to pass the jail he was in each time before my counseling until they relocated him to Rikers Island.
What DRIVES me today to build Relationship Truth is that my attacker recently committed the same crime to another woman… But much worse.
This time, he’s facing 10 charges. 2 of which are felonies. He will most likely spend years in prison.
Abusive relationships are RAMPID, DANGEROUS AND DEATHLY.
It’s a MUST that we begin to talk about this!
1 IN 3 women and 1 IN 4 men will experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime…
THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION: Join me in this movement to end relationship abuse!
Stayed tuned for my weekly blogs. Next week, I’ll talk about My Recovery, What I Learned and How I Healed.