Dr. Zora Dees-Brown
I was thirteen when I met the man of my dreams, or so I thought as a thirteen year old. I was pregnant by fourteen, I gave birth at fifteen, married him at sixteen, had a second child at seventeen and was beaten for eight long years. I left him on several occassions, only to have him look for, find me and take me back home. It was always him crying, on his knees and promising to never hit me again. In 1978, I left my home, the only home I knew, my mom and my only sister, running for my life. That night he had come in drunk and ordered me to bed. I eased into the girls room and told them not to take their clothes off, that we would be leaving the night. My then eight year old said "you always say that." Oh that was it for me. After he tried having sex and went to sleep, I got up and sent the kids to the corner to call a cab. I didnt want him to wake up and catch me on the phone and believe I would get in less trouble If I could say they went on the window on their own. I had packed suitcases months before, however was afraid to leave and really did not to leave my mom.

But after eight years of mental, physical and emotional abuse it was time to go. When I knew this was it, I had considered killing him, but thought it woould do him more harm to miss me, and what would become of my kids. The cab arrived and took us the Buffalo International Airport Hotel where we stayed the night. I called the airport in the morning and asked what was the first thing they had leaving and they said a flight to  Phila, Pa. I said I'll take it, one adult and 2 children. I hid out for about a month in the Best Western in Pa. because I did not want to be found. I called my mom and told her I was ok and that I would contact her when I get settled. She told me my husband had been looking for me which scared the death out of me. Afte about a month I called my aunt and told her where I was, she insisted I come to her house. Yet still afraid, I stayed in the Oasis Hotel for a week, finally arriving on aunt Billies door step.

So begans my story, uneducated with two kids and broke, I got on Welfare and horrified when they told me I would receive 360 dollars in money and 48 dollars in food stamps. After enrolling the kids in school and attending every meeting in the school for two years, I finally went to school and recived my GED in 1980. I began working for the CBOE in 1981 and worked as a Community School Coordinator for 15 years, going on to receive an Associates, BA, MA and Doctorate.

He found out where I was in 1985 and that is the year I divorced him. We visited and talked on the phone, but is as far as it would go becuase he would never admit to any of the things he had done to me. In 1995 He, his son and his family and my two and their families all piled in my house for the Christmas holidays. Afte everyone had settled down, I heard movement downstairs and went to check it out. HE was sitting in the kitchen. I went and sat across from him, saying nothing. He finally, I regret the first time putting my hands on you and I am sorry. I cried like a baby because that is all I every wanted; him to apologize and man up to what he had done. In February of 1996 HE suffered a massive heart attack on his job and died instantly.

Today, I am remarried to a kind person, however he catches it because of the beatings I took. I swore that would never happen to me again, nor would I tolerate ANY man putting their hands on my two girls and have made that clear to both their better halves. I will go to jail without a doubt. IN closing I would like to say that both girls are college educated, and the oldest is just about ready to receive her doctorate, however my girls suffered from witnessing their mother being beaten and never received counseling. Although is married with two wonderful children, she is mean as heck. The other one has a 17 year daughter and is not married. She has had several relationships, however her trust factor is null and void. If she thinks something is not right, she to can become abusive.
With God's will we made it..................through allllll this!!! BUT the pain never goes away!!!!
Dr. Zora Dees-Brown
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