On the morning of March 4th, 2015 I sat on the floor, with my back resting against the bed. As I prayed I asked God to take this away. To either have the next time I was hit or thrown around a room to be my last.

I would rather be dead than live another day in fear. That night God answered that prayer, and I was beaten to the point of no return. There wasn't any more covering up for a man who loved me with brutality. I didn't have to worry about my phone getting thrown into the woods, producing receipts showing my every move.

No more staying away from friends and missed work because my bruises were too obvious. I fell in love with a man who could and should have returned that love in a healthy way. It started out in a seemingly normal way. I thought it was sweet that he wanted to be with me all the time. I didn't see the stripping away of my self-esteem, my independence, myself as a person until I was in too deep. A night out for a date night at dinner would wind up with him trying to throw me out of a moving car because the waiter flirted with me.

Everything in my world was confusing and painful. If it wasn't physical it was verbal. My abuser was a police officer in our town. Towards the end he would tell me how easy it would be to kill me and no one would know. I was trapped. He warned me that if I ever went to the police he would know. That whatever he did to me to get me to that point would be nothing as to what was waiting.

Fear was part of my daily life. Black eyes, fat lips, ripped clothes and shame were a new norm. March 4th of that year was the turning point. After my assault which caused me to have trauma surgery to repair my facial fractures, he was arrested. My life is still a work in progress. Some days it is a distant memory. Other days, it seems fresh.

My physical scars and nerve damage are reminders of my past. It is up to me now to rewrite the rest of my story. I loved a man who hurt me. That is a hard thing to say. It's a hard thing to get others to understand. I used to be that woman who would say, I will never let a man put his hands on me. Until one day, the man that I loved, who said he loved me shoved me against a wall.

I rationalized it. He hasn't hit me so I didn't have to leave. He was sorry. We were good again. Until the next time when it was a back hand. We went through that cycle over and over. I still have sadness over what had happened. I've been blessed with amazing friends and family who helped me when I couldn't help myself.

Stayed with me through court, trials, police and life. I now advocate for others in the hopes that if it does happen to them they will know they are not alone.

C. Gopen