Although I was always aware of his volatile temper, I hoped and prayed that with the security of married life he would calm down. How wrong I was!

His insecurities ran deep. He was an only child with sick parents; his insecurities were compounded by the fact that as a Registered Nurse (RN), I was able to financially support the family while he drifted from one job to another.

Even my closest friends had no idea just how much I was suffering My work, although hard, was also my salvation, because once in uniform, I could escape for at least a few hours to a world where people really needed me, a world of peace where I could make a difference!

The violence was initially physical, but being an ex anti-terrorist soldier, he was careful not to let anything show.

In time it became psychological, calculating... with threats of having me locked up because I was mad, and I would never be allowed to see my kids again. Yet the psychological was far harder, both to deal with and to prove.

Like all good moms, I refused to wash my dirty linen in public, and even my closest friends had no idea just how much I was suffering, until one day it became critical.

In retrospect, it is apparent that I was also suffering from a mild degree of Stockholm syndrome, a syndrome where the victim ends up defending their abuser, and even feeling sorry for them;

You may ask why I stayed for so long. Mainly because as a new immigrant with no family or friends to support me, the option of staying where I at least had a home, my children and my nursing, appeared far better than moving into a women's shelter. I also still had faith that somehow, he would change.

Finally, in 2007, I hurt my back badly and was no longer able to provide an income for my husband.

One year later, he left me. I was past my "use by" date. It was the best thing he could have ever done; I was finally free!

Violence must never be tolerated Today I am rebuilding my life, and am happier than I've ever been, actively involved in my local synagogue with a great supportive network. Although my back is still bad and I am still unable to work as an RN, I keep busy enjoying my freedom with my children and with friends. I have recently started publishing my poetry and stories, and I am determined to spread that word that violence must never be tolerated. Both this and my children give me the motivation to carry on. My one regret? That I didn't have the courage to escape years earlier.

This poem is dedicated to all those who have ever suffered abuse. If you know someone who has, or is still suffering, I urge you to do something—sitting on the fence is not an option!


He kept me in captivity
He threw away the key
He closed down all the windows
So no one else could see

He unplugged all the telephones
And internet as well
He thought his name was Satan
Condemning me to hell!

But he didn't estimate my strength
Or the distance I could go
He knew not of the secrets
That only women know!

He thought that I was done for
And never would survive
Or that in his wildest dreams,
That G‑d would be my guide!

That the power of prayer is infinite
That no one can supersede
That inner strength builds up inside
To those that are in need

So was it fate, or just beshert
Or was it just meant to be?
That the bully didn't win that night
As the winner was... well, me!