Domestic violence has many faces: Emotional, financial, gaslighting

By BARBARA GREEN, editor@bowienewsonline.com
During 2020, 228 Texans were killed by their intimate partners.
Three or more U.S. women are murdered every day by their current or former intimate partner.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is important to note domestic abuse is not about arguments or violent tendencies, it is about domination and control.
Men who kill their female partners usually dominate them first, sometimes without any physical violence. For some 28-33% of victims the homicide or attempted homicide was the first act of physical violence in the relationship.
A local woman shares her story of coercive control and how it almost led to her death twice. To protect her identity, The Bowie News is using a pseudonym for her, Sarah, and her aggressor, Tom. She hopes her story will shine a light on this facet of domestic violence.
The beginning
Sarah, now 50, grew up out of state, but has spent the last 10 years or so in Texas raising her family. She is an intelligent, faithful woman who loves her children, has worked as an educator and has an active role in ministry at her church.
Her relationships with her married partners have been fraught with joy and turmoil. Married to her first husband and high school sweetheart,

with whom she had three children, they were together 20 years when he came home one day and said he was not happy and left her for another woman.
Sarah hoped to have found happiness again only to see her second husband pass away during the night from a massive blood clot just nine months into their marriage. He had battled colon cancer, which led to an addiction to pain pills cutting their time together short during those nine months.
Her “rebound marriage,” as she calls it, turned out to be her aggressor during the seven years of their married life together.
“When I married Tom it as out of fear of being alone. When he started doing certain things, I did not see any red flags, as he isolated me. He would schedule a romantic get-away the same weekend as my grandson’s birthday party. He didn’t want me to be with family,” recalls Sarah.

Read the full story in the Saturday Bowie News.