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No One in the Illinois System Cares About Someone Like Me

Black eyes and bloody face and arms, almost weekly, has been my life for the past 17 years. Hiding in plain sight.

I was threatened by my abuser not to say anything, but when I tried to ask for help from a coworker and a person in law enforcement, I was laughed at, ridiculed and asked what I did wrong, and told to “just live with it---no one cares.” I finally decided to break away one day, after being beaten, no matter if no one supported me. I felt broken that day I left but also more free than I had felt in years. It is a difficult journey, where I feel violated again and again by the system that does not care about someone like me. During my court dates so far, I have had the judge and some attorneys smirk when myself and other abusers in the courtroom tell our stories of survival. I always have that feeling of overwhelming anxiety when I have to be in court with my abuser and his enablers, including his attorney and his friends.

I used to think I was alone with my abuse, but I know since I have left, not long ago, that I am not the only one that has survived abuse. I am still scared every day, of what he might do, as I am still stalked. I always have to look around and over my shoulder. Fear is so powerful. Something my abuser and now the system, has pushed down my throat.

I have realized even more that the system won’t protect someone like me, a survivor of abuse. I live in Illinois, where abusers are protected, not victims.

Some days are good, some are more difficult, to overcome and start to heal, all while dealing with a system that doesn’t care about victims/survivors.



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