My Survival Story, by Emily Austin

Posted by Alisa Hein on


 I was in an abusive relationship for 12 years before I finally had enough.  The final straw was when he was yelling and swearing at me in front of our two young boys, 3 and 6.  I didn’t want them growing up to think it was okay to treat people that way, or be treated that way.  


A couple reasons it took me so long to get out is because I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about what was going on, and I considered myself a strong, independent woman, so surely I wouldn’t allow myself to be abused.  But the truth was I allowed myself to be isolated from friends and family so my husband could control and abuse me.  I lied to myself that it “wasn’t that bad” because he never hit me (a lie he now tells my kids) – his preferred form of abuse was emotional, verbal, financial, and sexual.  Although I’m not saying it’s worse than physical abuse, it is JUST AS BAD!


I asked him to leave in March 2015, and in September that year I ran the first 5k sponsored by You Can Stop Domestic Abuse.  I finished the race in 3rd place overall and was the 1st female!  It was the confidence boost I needed and the comradery from fellow survivors was invaluable.  



Since then I’ve only become better and stronger.  My boys are thriving and I’m raising them to become good men.  I started my own business as an Interior Designer (Three-Sixty Interiors) and Photographer (EmPowers Photography).  Someday I hope to start a non-profit to help supply survivors of Domestic Abuse with furniture and clothing, as a lot are escaping with just the clothes on their back.  


Anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, religion, etc. can be victims of abuse.  But you don’t have to stay a victim!  Tell someone, anyone, your story.  We believe you and you are loved!    

*Photo Credit to Negrean Photography* 

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