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An Interview With A Victim Of Domestic Violence

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Interviewing a Victim of Domestic Violence

(On Her Way to Being a Survivor)

By Melissa Perry

Psych 480

As I sit and look at this small-framed woman, I wonder what kind of threat could she possibly have been to her abuser. She probably weighed about 110 lbs. and was gentle in the way she talked, maybe from low self-esteem, I can only speculate. On her lap sits a 3-year-old golden haired child with a smile that could melt an iceberg. In her eyes I could see a hint of uncertainty, as she looked me over cautiously. I began to ask questions about the woman's family history and continued on with tougher questions towards the end. Here is my interview with her.

Question - How was your family life when growing up?

Answer - My mom raised my sister and me alone. I never really knew my dad. Mom worked all the time. I practically raised my sister.

Question - Did you graduate from high school?

Answer - Yes and a year in college and then I met _____. We moved in together and two months later I got pregnant. I had a son. He drowned when he was 9. _____ blamed me because he had went camping with my sister's family. He said my family was to stupid to take care of anything especially his son.

Question - Did he take his anger out on you?

Answer - Yes.

Question - How?

Answer - He started pushing me and calling me names. Sometimes life was good. We had fun. I even got pregnant again with this one. (She nods to the girl on her lap) I thought this would change everything. I told him I was pregnant and he was very happy. He kept talking to my belly like the baby was boy. When I was a few months along, I found out it was a girl. When I told _____, he hit me in my stomach and left.

Question - Did you have to go to the hospital?

Answer - No. It just hurt a little.

Question - How severe has the abuse been?

Answer - Oh, gosh. He's pushed me down stairs, put my head through a wall, choked me, kicked me, busted my lip, and bruised my legs, arms and face. I can't begin to count everything.

Question - Does ____ use drugs or drink?

Answer - He drinks on occasion.

Question - Is the violence more severe when he drinks?

Answer - He's more severe whenever. He doesn't have to be drunk.

Question - Does he control your coming or going, your access to money, the phone, friends or family?

Answer - My mother doesn't really know what exactly is going on. She thinks he just slaps me every now and then. She says I need to pay more attention to him. I don't work. I don't have friends anymore and I really don't want to go anywhere.

Question - Has he threatened to kill you or your child?

Answer - When I was pregnant, he hit me in my stomach a lot but when she was born, the sun and moon set on her. He loved her so much. He said someday I was going to cause him to snap and kill me and then he would raise our daughter the way she should be raised.

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