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JENNY'S STORY
Breaking Free From Domestic Violence

Since I got married in 1996 when I was 26 years old, the first year was not that bad but after that second year, it got worse while I was pregnant with my son, then continually kept getting worse and worse. I was domestic violence abused for two years by my ex-husband who is also deaf. It was hell being married two years to him. I left him four times but the third time I left him, he wanted me back a few times and he said he was sorry about everything he did so I thought that he would change for that reason. It was not true...I left four times and never went back with him. He begged me for one year to get back with him while we were separated, but I said I never will go back with you anymore and (it is over) because I couldn't stand him beating me up and verbally abusing me.

I was born deaf but my hearing loss was 90 percent in both my ears. After two years, my ex-husband abused me and hit both my ears damaging my right ear and causing totally deafness. My hearing loss is 110 percent now but my left ear is gone totally deep deaf. My options I have learned from what he did to my ears, he has damaged and ruined my life. I will never forgive him what he did. He said past is past but I will never forget what he did, you can't let go of your past, of what happened to your life ... it is hard for me to deal with it.

When I left the fourth time I finalized the divorce and hid somewhere he couldn't find me. I was pregnant with my son who is now 3 years old and hearing. I went through terrible abuse while I was pregnant, it got worse by that time. When I left him that fourth time, my life was so peaceful and quiet when I was hiding. I went to get help from my family and domestic violence counseling helped me with what to do and how to do it. I went though that program for 12 weeks and it felt so much better to get it out of my system.

It was hell going though the divorce for 1 year and a half since it was finalized in November 2000 because he wanted joint and full custody, but he lost everything. I won the case. I got full custody, but he can see our son every second weekend only, and holidays mostly. I have been working very hard to fight for my son's custody and am so proud of what I did to get us out of the violence.

Ever since then we have been so peaceful and happy in our life. I have been back to college to get my degree and my whole life is completely changed. I got a new home for us to live in. I have learned from my past to let it go and be stronger. I am in my third year of college to study Graphic Design and love it so much. I can't wait to get a better job after I get my degree.

Now, I have met someone who is deaf also. We have been dating for four months so far. He is so wonderful to me and my son. He has full custody of his son who is now 5 years old and hearing too. I have known him since I was little but we lost contact after we both moved to another school. Then we saw each other again at the deaf group like party and we started to date after that. He is divorced and has one son. We are doing so great. He treats me so good and my son too.

That is what I need and deserve, to be treated well. I have dated a few guys before him, some that were controlling me. That was why I had to break up with them, because I learned from what happened in my first marriage, so I don't want to go though that again. I have been so strong lately after I broke up with them and feel so good about myself which is very important to me and my son too.