Families are all about love and safe environments. Or they should be. Did you know that most cases of violence against women happen within families, perpetrated by their life partners, the last place and person on earth they’d expect?
Here are 3 stories of women that survived domestic violence. They will change your life.
Leslie Morgan Steiner
Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have the perfect life: a dream job, a charming husband, an adorable lab, a house in the heart of Manhattan. But Leslie kept a dark secret: her perfect husband was, in fact, an abuser.
During her inspiring TED Talk, Leslie deconstructs the phases of domestic violence and calls out the signals that are the most ignored because someone is deeply Crazy in Love.
• Seduction: the first step is the victim’s seduction. When Leslie met Conor, her future husband, he seemed to be the perfect man: smart, with a dream job, kind and funny. Conor created a magical atmosphere around him, a total illusion.
• Isolation: the next stage is to isolate the victim. At a point in their relationship, Conor left his dream job on Wall Street without notice – he felt he didn’t need to prove himself to Leslie and that their love for each other was enough. He convinced Leslie to leave Manhattan and her life in New York, and to move to a small town.
• Threat and violence: in this phase, the victim experiences threat and ultimately violence. Shortly after they settled in New England, Conor bought 3 guns. He needed them to make him ‘feel safe’. That was, in fact, a red flag, a message to Leslie. Five days before their wedding, Conor abused Leslie for the first time: he strangled her and pushed her against a wall. Five days later, they got married: Conor was sorry and Leslie loved him; he was just stressed out because of the wedding. It was an isolated episode and they would live happily ever after. On their honeymoon, Conor attacked Leslie twice, and for 2.5 years, the aggressions were as frequent as once or twice a week.
Why did Leslie stay? She was unaware that Conor abused her. She loved him and believed she was the only person that could save him from his demons.
Why didn’t Leslie just leave? What people don’t know is that it is extremely dangerous to leave an abusive relationship. 70% of deaths by domestic violence happen after the victim leaves her aggressor.
Leslie knew that the next step for Conor would be to kill her. So she broke her silence. She told everyone: the police, neighbors, family, friends, strangers. Today Leslie shares her story because abuse only happens in silence.
Watch Leslie’s TED Talk at:
A 26 year-old woman, a mother of two, married to the love of her life. It seems like the beginning of a perfect love story, but it is, in fact, the introduction to an abusive one.
Her husband’s repeated affairs led Emma Murphy to confront him. Emma was beaten as a result, but it wasn’t the first time it happened. During a year, Emma suffered from psychological abuse, a continuous mental torture that made her think she deserved violence.
After the beating, Emma gained strength and spoke up. She shared her story through social media: she posted a video of herself with notorious evidence of abuse. Emma’s story touched millions of people: “if it’s not safe you have to walk away.”
Emma is living proof you can be reborn. See Emma’s appeal at:
Salma Ismail lived in an abusive relationship for years. The psychological manipulation was constant. “No one will ever support you” or “I’m the one responsible for your career” were normal comments made by her partner in order to make Salma feel worthless.
The hardest part for Salma was the moment she decided to walk away. The public humiliations and social media bullying followed by “sorries” became the norm. Salma didn’t go back to her abuser.
During her healing process, Salma recovered her confidence. She was a new and better version of herself and funded GetFitChick, a workout program whose mission is to make women love themselves more than anything.