It takes courage: Survivor encourages others to leave domestic violence situation

Chrissy spent 7 years in a violent relationship before learning about Harbor House

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 sat down with Chrissy, a survivor of domestic violence, who was willing to share her story if we hid her identity for safety.

“It started with mostly emotional and mental abuse and it progressed to physical. Hitting, punching, kicking. I received multiple black eyes. I was choked while pregnant. I was hit with various objects, thrown against doors, walls, you name it. It just got worse and worse over the years,” Chrissy said.

Chrissy and her ex-boyfriend have three children together. The abuse lasted for about seven years.

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“I know a lot of people are probably wondering why I didn’t leave. It sounds easier than it is when you’re in the situation and you’re receiving death threats. ‘I’ll kill you if you call the police, I’ll find you if you leave... I’ll kill your family,’” Chrissy said.

With no money and no plan, Chrissy finally made the difficult decision to leave in February.

“That’s when I knew I had to get out... I was struck in front of my son... I remember looking at him and seeing fear in his face and at that moment, I knew that by any means necessary, I had to go. I grabbed my children and I ran and I never looked back,” Chrissy said.

She said she gained courage after sharing her experience with a co-worker. Her employer connected her to Harbor House and got her and her children into a shelter. Taking advantage of counseling, financial literacy courses and family support groups, Chrissy said Harbor House has changed her life.

“I feel like I’ve gotten my life back. I’m performing better at work. My employer still works with me. I’ve been able to focus more on my children and getting them the help they need,” Chrissy said.

Now she’s encouraging other survivors to take the brave step to come forward and ask for help before it’s too late.

Harbor House has a 24-hour crisis hotline at 407-886-2856.

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