Speak Your Truth
Staff and volunteers are inspired daily by the victims who come to Schuylkill
Women in Crisis (SWiC) for services. We are amazed at their strength and courage.
We think that one woman summed it up when she said that she had gone from being a
victim to a victor.
We acknowledge that the challenges victims face are real and daunting and, at times,
feel like they are never ending. SWiC views abuse as a community problem requiring
a community solution and we invite you to join our efforts...if and when you are ready.
One way that you can help is to recognize the power of your own story might have in
inspiring others — perhaps those not as far along on their paths as you are on yours —
with some even just wondering if they should take the first step. Your story could also
be used to help raise awareness, improve SWiC's or other community systems'response to victims,
or motivate others to support our work. Signficantly, many tell us that sharing their stories,
whether in writing or on video, increased their own sense of strength and empowerment.
If you would be willing to share your story, SWiC Staff are here to provide resources
and support during the process and to do so in a confidential manner. You can also
share your story anonymously below. Please do not provide any personally identifiable information!
You will not be contacted and potentially identifying information will not be shared.
We will only share your story. If your story is approved, you may find it in the following section.
Call today to speak with an advocate:
1-800-282-0634 or 570-622-6220.
Living in fear is no way to live.
I started dating a man who I instantly fell in love with. I have never felt the way I felt about him before in my entire life. I never believed in love at first sight, but we were as close to that feeling as is humanly possible. It went great for a while but eventually he showed me how extremely manipulative he could be. He was a narcissistic abuser. He was so good with his words that I could never stay mad at the things he would say to me. He made up for the screwed up things he would say or do so well that I felt lucky to have him. He was breaking my heart every day with his words but was so good at keeping me around anyway that I fell back into a serious life-threatening depression. It started affecting my work and friends. I pushed everyone away but him. He made me miserable but was the only thing I wanted. I used to pray to God to just let me die because I couldn't take the internal pain he would cause with his words, but I couldn't get myself to leave him. He eventually left me for another woman, telling me I was essentially a place holder after his ex. I went through all of that, believed everything he told me, just to be the most heartbroken I've ever felt. After he left, he still tried to manipulate me and verbally abuse me. I finally had the strength to stop talking to him, ask him to stop contacting me and block him, but since then he has still found ways to get to me and make sure I'm not forgetting him. The most embarrassing part of it all to me is that I still miss him like crazy, but I just can't take the pain anymore and remind myself why I decided I no longer need him. This is the first time I'm admitting, even anonymously, that I've been mentally abused. I've been too ashamed to think I could have let this happen or afraid that because it's not physical or extreme abuse, people would think I am looking for attention. I figured writing this anonymously is a good first step to accepting it and moving on... because I can't seem to move on even though he's essentially gone.
I met my abuser in 2011. Everything was going great. Around Christmas 2011 we got engaged, and I got pregnant with our 1st child. April 2012 we got married and 1 month later we moved out of my Dad's house into our 1st apartment. At that time is when the abuse started. It was starting with name calling, and yelling. Our son wasn't even a month old and we lost our apartment and we moved out to Illinois. The whole time we lived out there was HELL! He would get a job and quit 2 months later. Go out with drinking almost every weekend and come home drunk at 2am screaming at me. At one point when we were living out there he branded me with a pair of scissors. 2 weeks later I was ready to leave him. I had all of my stuff, and our 6 month old son's stuff packed, and a way to get back to the east coast. He cried and begged me to stay and said he would change. He changed for a little bit. 6 months later we moved back east. We lived in a motel. He pimped me out online for money. This happened almost daily for 2 months. Jan. 2014 we moved north into another motel. Things were going good for a month. He started yelling at me for something very simple and because I told him no he picked me up (one handed) and threw me onto the bed. I got a job working over nights in March. 12 hour shifts (6p-6a) I would get home from work at 7am and he would let me sleep until 9am and if he would let me take a nap in the afternoon so I could go to work that would be great! I wanted to sleep in the afternoon I was lazy. By the time June 2014 came around we got our 2nd apartment. About a month later I got pregnant with our 2nd child. When he found out that I was pregnant he wasn't happy. He made me call a family member of mine and tell them that I was pregnant but I lost the baby and I had to get surgery done. He made me go get an abortion. The day came to get the abortion done. I went and they couldn't do it because the baby was "to large". I went home and told him. My husband proceeded to punch me in the stomach a large number of times! and told me to put it up for adoption. I found a wonderful agency and picked out a great family. I lost my job in Nov of that year. He abused me a number of times while pregnant with our 2nd child. Mental, physical. In March 2015 I gave birth to out 2nd son after having major compilations during labor. I had to have an emergency C-section. I got a new job and started 2 weeks later. I lost my job after doing something he told me to do. He told me to do this or not come home. I did anything and everything he told me to do. He got a good job and quit because he didn't like "being on call". A night that he went out with friends from work he came out drunk midnight drunk yelling and screaming at me, At one point he hung me over the rail on our front porch and said tell me why I shouldn't drop you and kill you. I was holding on to my life so he wouldn't drop me. If he would of dropped me it would of been a 8 foot drop on the top of my head. I called the police and all they did was told him to leave for the night. We lost our apartment and moved to Florida in Feb 2016. Things didn't get any better there. We lived in Florida for about 18 months. We moved back north in Sept 2017. We were living with his sister and her family. The abuse only got worse. Every day it was mental abuse from everyone in the house, physical abuse at least 2 or 3 times a weeks. My husband left me in June of 2018 but was still abusing me threw social media, and his family. I woke up one morning and said that's it and I got a PFA on him. His sister didn't like it and told me to drop the PFA or get out of the house. Me and my son finally came to SWiC. I am so thankful for the wonderful staff of SWiC. I really don't know what I would of done that night without them. Now because of the great staff at SWiC and the wonderful help in their legal department me and my son are able to move back to my home state where all of my family and support are.
Many years ago I was a teenager looking for love and met a guy that was older and my parents didn't approve. I was with him from the time I was 13-18 when I finally was able to leave him! We had planned together to have a baby and be were to be together forever and at age 15 I was pregnant and filled with joy but it was short lived further in my pregnancy he became abusive with no way out and threatened with my life and not being with my child I stayed! I had a healthy baby boy and was juggling work, school and parenting secluded from friends the normal teenage girl stuff I was stuck at home with my baby and no where to turn... abusive physically and mentally I was drained... years had passed and my baby boy was soon turning 2 it was the worst of the worst ever I was begging to leave and finally thought I could fight back. He drug me around by my hair threw all my clothes out in the front yard and had me pinned up against the wall! I fought I hit and nothing seemed to faze him at all but hurting me. I had heard a noise and thankfully that day his mother came home early and found me abused, bruised and naked and scared to death and told me to get dressed and to never return this was my way out!! I left and had many hearings at the courts for child custody but in my place was a PFA order! It has forever changed me what i experiences no one should ever have to! We realized at that moment we could Co parent but wasn't fit to be together it was toxic!! He never understood why he abused me but did apologize for causing all those bad moments in my life! I have never left another man treat me that way... I met my husband years after and was expecting him to scream or get in my face slam the doors or break stuff during an argument I started to do it cause it's all I knew and waited for him to do it in return but he wouldn't. It was very hard to overcome and today I am still married after being with my husband almost 22 years together stronger now because of my struggles and life lessons! It's not ok to raise a hand or verbally be abusive life is too precious!