Rising from the ashes
Organized by: Rebecca Byrne
In an attempt to protect my children's identity, I would prefer to not use my name. When I was 16, I met an amazing 18 year old guy that was a god send. I was sexually, mentally, and physically abused by family members since I was 4, and this man protected me. He kept me safe. When I was 17 I lost my virginity to him, and got pregnant soon after. While not planned, I was so excited. I was going to have something of my own. Someone who I could love unconditionally. When my baby was born, I was holding him in my hospital room, and his dad snatched him out of my arms and sent him back to the nursery. I was shocked, but that day would set the tone for the next decade of my life. His dad worked 16 hours shifts, so it was mostly just me and my baby. I loved those moments. I adored being a mom. When he was 9 months old, I got pregnant again. His dad was leaving for work one day when my baby was 10 months old and my baby turned his head when his dad went to kiss him. In my terror I saw his dad raise his hand to smack my baby. I screamed and he punched me across my jaw. The violence never stopped after that. When I had my daughter, I had 2 broken ribs at delivery,and had to have a c-section. Their dad refused to let me hold my daughter. He told the hospital staff that I was in too much pain to hold her. I cried and cried, but knew I couldn't tell the staff the truth. The day I took her home, he had to work, and I finally got to hold my baby girl. She was 3 days old. A couple months later, after he had bruised my spine and broke another rib. I told him that I wanted a divorce. He shoved me back to the bedroom, put my babies on the bed with me, and raped me. My babies were trying to get to me and her pushed my 18 month old son off the bed. When he was finished. He grabbed my son, and threw him into the door frame,fracturing his skull. He went to his car to grab his gun and I locked the doors and called the police. He was taken to jail, but his family baked him out in 48 hours. I had gone to my mom's that night, but had to go back to my house 3 days later to get more clothes. I was in the bedroom when I felt his hands wrap around my body and grab my breasts,and put his other hand down my pants. He raped me again, even with a restraining order. He threatened if I called the police that he would shoot my babies in front of me. That even though he'd be in prison, that he would pleased knowing the pain I felt. 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant again. In Ohio, you cannot get divorced if your pregnant. He found out, and told me to come home or he'd carry out his threat, and if I divorced him after I had the new baby, that he'd kill all 3,then commit suicide. I filed many many domestic violence reports, he even plead guilty to them all. In total he spent 3 months in jail. I divorced him while he was in jail. To my horror, bc we were married when my kids were born that he would get joint custody. He was going to have them unsupervised every other full week. When I kissed my babies before they left for their first visitation, I kissed them like I would never see them again. A week later, when I got them back, my oldest son had a bruised hands mark across his throat and every capillary in his face was broken. My 8 month of youngest son, had a broken nose, and my daughter had several hand shaped bruises all across her butt and back. I made a report to cps, but their dad made excuses. This went on for 2 years until he had choked my oldest son nearly to death and my 4 year old daughter called 911. His rights have been terminated, but he's not out of our lives. He makes up fake fb profiles to stalk me. He stands outside my kids school across the street. It's been 3 years and he still hasn't stopped. My kids are all in therapy, with my oldest 2 having PTSD. They'll never be able to forget. What I'm asking for now, is for help to get my kids a safe distance away, in another town. For money to change their names so he'll never be able to track them down later in life. My kids desperately want be rid of his last name. We are like the mythical bird, the Phoenix, trying to rise from the ashes to be born again. To have a chance to have a normal life.