Domestic violence in my opinion is the most silent killer lurking in our society. The killers are usually in plain sight of their victims and families. It’s a monster that feeds where it’s most comfortable: at home. A domestic violence offender earns their partner’s trust and protection then turns it into intimidation and imprisonment. For years, in my former marriage, my ex-husband repeatedly said he didn’t believe in violence against women, but years passed, and I became the recipient of his outrage, usually after drug and alcohol binges. Broken promises of rehabilitation were a norm whenever I threatened to leave. Once deciding to leave, stalking with unwanted gifts and more broken promises became the next intimidating tactics. He became the best father on the planet to our two daughters whenever we’d broken up. As I grew mature, I realized these actions were a form of intimidation, not love. My advice to any person in a relationship being treated this way is to get immediate assistance through family support or a local family crisis center. Domestic violence wants you to think you suffer alone, and there is no help beyond the abuser. Silence keeps the abuser in power. Breaking the pattern of abuse first comes with breaking the silence. Seek counseling services, and accept whatever the end result will be, even if it means breaking up the family. I broke up my family years ago, and it behooved my daughters greatly. They are both thriving young adults today. I thought the biggest hypocritical thing I could do as their parent is tell them they can be empowered to do anything they want, yet we live captive to abuse day after day. Break free from mental, physical, drug, alcohol, domestic violence abuse by breaking the silence. Because by the time you have to dial 9-1-1, it may already be too late.