Aohrodite Wounded - Support for Women sexually assaulted by male partners and educational resources for professionals
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~ Sol Wachtler~
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Survivor's Story: He was my knight in shining armour. I was 19 trying to escape a family life of voilence and incest. He was from my church and his family were well known and well loved. The emotional abuse started as soon as we started dating. He would make jokes at my expense, criticise me when I was upset or frightened of his bursts of rage. Little by little he destroyed my self-esteem, or what little I had left from my childhood.

I so much wanted to be loved and I allowed him full access to my body, whether I was comfortable about it or not. Now I am not no nieve, he must have had issues, because most times sex lasted 1,1/2 hours or more and the pain afterwards was underbearable. After my childhood experiences, I just didn't know any better. We married and I soon found I was pregnant with my first child. I was 22 years old. He became more and more irrational, and he was more and more angry. I felt like I was walking on egg-shells and tried to make him happy all the time. I was so afraid of him that I never said no to sex, I never said no to anything. His behaviour would go from him ignoring me during the day, to him trying to have sex me me while i was sleeping. I dreaded feeling the wandering hand during the night. I would feel like I wanted to throw up. Then I was not well and was not taking my birthcontrol and he was aware of it but forced himself on me and I became pregnant with my second child. I was 24 years old.

Things then became unbearable. He pressured me until I finally gave in and he brought another couple into our bedroom. For weeks on end, I felt humiliated and degraded, with him having sex with the other woman in front of me and at times both men at me. Even though I lay there crying they just wouldn't stop. There was no point fighting, He was bigger than me, heavier than me and I was just plain scared. When we were alone, he would use all sorts of things during sex, from hairbrushes to the most frightening of all, the handle of a knife. He forced oral sex on him and me and constantly wanted anal sex. He would use words that make me physically sick now, but he did a great job of making me feel small and hating myself and my body. At one point, while I was in the shower, crying, trying to wash him off me, he tried to break down the bathroom door because he wasn't satisfied. One night he drove me out in the middle of the bush and raped me. I really thought he was going to kill me and then yelled at me all the way home because I didn't enjoy it and was crying. Then quite misguidedly, I started to sleep with a steak knife in my bedside chest drawer just in case he tried to kill me during sex. Sometimes I would slip it in my pillowcase, for easy access. When I look back today, it was a stupid thing to do because he could have used it against me.

After five years, things came to a head, when I decided to open a briefcase that had followed us throughout our marriage. In the breifcase were childrens underpants and pictures of naked children. I walked back and forth for three days. This was different, my children were at risk. Finally with the help of a friend, I took that briefcase to my church ministers who inturn took it to the police.We went to hide at a friends house in the country. He was charged with possession of child pornography and was released on bail. Within 24 hours of this, he successfully committed suicide. I later found out he was using drugs and had another woman on the side as well. The betrayal was profound.

At the time he died, 2001, my children were 2,1/2years and 14 months old. They are now 10 and 8 years old. They are healthy and happy and safe. After 7 years I am now in my first relationship since and he is very supportive and caring. I still have bad days but the good days definitely outweigh them. My main struggle is finding my voice and I'm working on that right at this moment.
Submitted November 20 , 2010 8 : 13 am

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