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Shared by Natalia

March 15, 2017

I thought I was set for a life of domestic violence. I lived my life always afraid of the physical and emotional abuse and walking on egg-shells in my own home. The day my husband scaled the building to my 4th floor balcony at 3 a.m. with a loaded handgun and an assault rifle – I knew that I barely escaped death.

I was in my second year of law school when I filed a restraining order against my husband. Even though I had the knowledge what needed to be done, I was paralyzed. I had a non-profit organization help me file my restraining order and provided me with representation, which I will forever be grateful. Having someone by my side through this whole situation was truly appreciated and welcomed. Not only did they help me through my restraining order process, they provided me with support and knowledge through his criminal charges where I was subpoenaed as a witness to testify against my husband. 

The worst part was my feelings of betrayal toward my husband. I needed to protect myself, but it was at his expense. I was helping put him in jail and putting him on the list of domestic violence abusers publicly. I felt alone and isolated. 

There’s a misconception that women who have their lives together and are successful do not fall victim to domestic violence. My husband’s break-in made the local news because he was a professional athlete. My restraining order was displayed on the news along with highlights of what I wrote. Reporters were calling my phone and asking me to comment and all I wanted to do was hide. Because I refused to comment, my ex-husband portrayed me as the abuser and a liar. Even with a restraining order and a criminal protective order, the mental abuse continued. I felt there was no escape.

I was granted a 5-year restraining order and obtained a 10-year criminal protective order. I filed for divorce and changed my name. I gained control of my life again. Freed from the physical and mental abuse by my ex-husband, I was able to find a better, stronger version of myself.

After my legal process was completed, I found myself volunteering to help victims of domestic violence through their legal process-divorce, child custody, or restraining orders. To have the ability to use my legal education to help victims of domestic violence is invaluable.

I no longer feel haunted by the stigma of being a professional woman and a victim of domestic violence because now I am able to make a difference for other domestic violence victims.


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