For most expectant parents, pregnancy brings with it the anticipation and excitement of the pending birth of their child as a culmination of the union of their love for one another. In an abusive relationship, pregnancy is a direct competitor for a woman’s attention and violence can escalate as the pregnancy progresses.
Pregnancy and leaving an abusive relationship present the greatest risks to the safety of a woman and both are primary causes of intimate partner homicide. Yet many of these same abusers who attempt to kill their partners are granted visitation rights through the legal system.
Charlotte’s story is a frightening reminder that until the legal system protects mothers, it cannot protect children.
My name is Charlotte. I survived an attack in January of 2009 when I was 15-18 weeks pregnant with our child (now age 5). My then boyfriend was in a jealous rage accusing me that the child was not his. He tormented me on the couch, taunting me not to even bother to call the cops because his cousin is a police officer here and on patrol and he wouldn’t do anything about this or help me.
He bit me, choked, slammed my head against a wall for over five minutes till I had no fight left. This wasn’t the first act of physical violence I experienced with him. But it was close to the worse, especially since I was pregnant. I went to the hospital 2 days later because I experienced vaginal bleeding from some sort of detachment.
My 5 year old is truly a gift from God.
In a 2 year period 2009-2011
I had 6 (NO CONTACT ORDERS, DANCO, HRO) MY abuser violated the order’s 5 times. One day he called me from JAIL 26 times. He was in jail for violation of the no contact order. From 2009-2014 I have had a total of 7 restraining/no contact orders. My existing order is valid until the year 2031.
My abuser filed for visitation back in July 2014. The order would have to be amended by a judge for him obtain any form of visitation or legal custody of any sort.
I am so honored to have been chosen to recite the details of what I lived through. The documentary is named “Finding Jenns Voice” To bring awareness of the risks of intimate partner homicide during pregnancy and domestic violence.
The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she attempts to leave. Have a safety plan!
Everyone deserves happy & healthy relationships!
Wow Lisette, thanks for posting this. And thank you Charley for telling this story. Your child is indeed a gift from God! I am thankful your abuser currently has no contact with your child. Sadly, abusers often DO get custody, sometimes FULL custody of their children, which is shocking. Blessings to you! Caroline