Eds. note -This is the second in a series of columns by Johnnerlyn Johnson as told by a survivor of domestic violence. The columns will share one domestic violence survivor’s “last night in hell.” We should also mention that there is now an app for victims of domestic violence.
The R3 app allows those at risk of domestic violence, their families, and friends to “recognize the signs of abuse, respond to it correctly and effectively, and refer survivors to appropriate assistance.
A demo can be viewed on an iPhone by: using MobileSafari on your iPhone or iPod touch to browse http://ptyp.es; following installation instructions; and entering PIN 8018 4892.”
Non-iPhone users may visit the following website for more information http://www.harborhousefl.com/2012/01/r3-app-2/.
Whether or not you download the app, there are an abundance of resources available to assist and support victims of domestic violence.
If you suspect domestic violence issues, contact the Scotland County Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center. The shelter manager is Beth Taylor, and she may be reached at the office phone 276-5505 or email@example.com. The 24-hour crisis line is 276-6268.
“I somehow managed to struggle from beneath him thanks to the soft surface of the couch, and fell with a thud to the living room floor. Not being fully awake, I know now that my “fight or flight” switch had been pushed, and I frantically crawled for the door as he grabbed me by my ankles and flipped me over onto my back, trying to pin my arms again, he grabbed for my wrists as I instinctively protected my face. As he pulled my hands away from my face, he spit in my face, as he continued to cuss me out, bringing me back to this too familiar place where I knew I meant nothing at all to him. It was a violent struggle, but it plays out in slow motion in my mind’s eye when I see it in the recesses of my memory. As I buck him off me, I again try to crawl for the door. If I can just get out, I know I can outrun him—I’ve done it before. I am no match for him in a physical struggle, I learned a long time ago… I’m reaching for the door knob when he grabs my ankle again and drags me back across the kitchen floor, laughing at me…this is his game tonight, playing at letting me escape, and dragging me back to his rage just as I’m reaching for the door.
Again, he violently flips me back over and lets me slam into the linoleum floor…I gasp for breath as my lungs empty upon impact with the unyielding surface beneath me. I choke on my screams for help, as precious oxygen refills my chest. I beg him to stop as he grabs me by the wrists and slams them into the floor. The pain is erupting all about my head and shoulders, and I’m convinced that he has broken at least one of my wrists. There is no escape, nor does it seem that he will run out of steam anytime soon, as he continues to smile and laugh, playing his evil game, as I plead for him to stop and let me go.
The flash of brilliant blue-green light was sudden and painful, and blinding as he landed a blow to my right temple, once…twice…three times. When I saw that I light, I blinked hard in an effort to maintain consciousness…something told me that if I closed my eyes, it would be for the last time, because he WAS NOT GOING TO STOP THIS TIME!!! …and suddenly, he is scrambling to his feet, and yelling at me, “Get your stupid ass up off the floor!”
I didn’t know why at first, but all I could think was, “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!” as I struggled against the pain of my swelling temple, and willing my legs to support me as I peeled myself off the floor … just as the back/kitchen door opened and in walked his step-dad. We lived with Terry, you see. I had never been so glad to see his face than I was at that moment in time.
I haltingly composed myself as best I could, but realized that the only reason I wasn’t standing before Jesus right about now is because my abuser had heard what I didn’t, he heard Terry’s truck coming down the driveway.
Naturally, the three of us acted like there hadn’t been a murder in progress just a few moments before. Terry cast a sympathetic glance at me as he entered the house. I really just think he didn’t know what to do either. There’s no way he didn’t notice that my face looked like it had been exfoliated with a meat tenderizer, and my temple continued to swell to the point of throbbing, and I was unable to see out of my right eye. But no one said a word; no one called the police. I lovingly treated myself to an ice pack for the side of my head, because there was no chance anyone would offer to take me to be seen by a doctor.”