‘Nobody cares until something happens’

  • In fear: 揕isa?a local woman struggling with an abusive husband (Stock photograph)

    In fear: 揕isa?a local woman struggling with an abusive husband (Stock photograph)


Lisa relies on her mobile phone to keep a record of the beatings but the verbal abuse ... that抯 on a constant loop inside her head. Like the past seven years of her life, shelter in place was a nightmare.

In her late thirties, unemployed and with those closest to her living in the US, her thoughts wavered between suicide and 揼rabbing a kitchen knife and shoving it into?her husband.

揟here抯 only so much a woman can take before they react,?she said. 揑抳e been very patient, very tolerant but he抯 an alcoholic and his alcohol, it抯 like a bomb sets off when he gets to a certain point.

揑 always press my recorder. For the last year and a half, everything he does I try to record and take pictures, so that if something was to majorly happen, the police have a track record of the abuse that抯 been going on in the household.?

With nowhere else to go, she got through shelter in place by 損laying smart? avoiding her husband to the degree that she could, locking herself in another room when his drinking got out of hand and, on a couple of occasions, getting a friend to break curfew to give her support.

Apart from her two children ?who are in school abroad ?and her best friend she kept the abuse to herself, confiding in her parents only last year.

Locally, she receives help from a women抯 group, a police liaison officer and Tina Laws, a domestic violence counsellor who arranged for her to talk with The Royal Gazette.

Lisa agreed, only because she wanted anyone who was being abused to know that they were not alone. She抯 aware that readers will judge her, that many will not understand why she doesn抰 just pack her bags and walk away.

揕ike I tell people, it抯 so easy for people to say that. Walk away and go where?

揑抳e been to the Centre Against Abuse, about two years ago, about the situation I was in and the only advice they gave me was to register myself for financial assistance and try to help to pay for a place.

揗y whole family lives in the US. If I put myself on financial assistance, I抦 not able to travel to see my children. They just told me that and left me.

揟hat抯 all I heard from them and that抯 why I don抰 like to tell my story out to this island, because nobody really cares until something happens. Either a woman commits suicide or vice versa in respect to people being murdered. I feel if you open your mouth and speak about it you can only get so far.?

The end of shelter in place gave her the ability to leave home at the first sign of trouble. She knows what lies ahead whenever the drinks start flowing first thing.

揘ow I can get in my car and just drive when he starts drinking. I can leave and come back when he falls asleep, normally by 9 or 10 o抍lock.?/p>

Lisa, who asked that we not use her real name, met her husband through mutual friends seven years ago.

They hit it off immediately but she was worried by several 搑ed flags? one of which was his heavy drinking.

A stint in rehab seemed to fix most of those issues and so she agreed to marry him. The verbal abuse started two months after their wedding and gradually moved on to 揳ny abuse you can think of?

On a good day they pass the time like any other couple. She becomes fearful when he drinks.

揌e抣l look right through me; he抣l say stuff and I don抰 think he even understands what he抯 doing. It抯 almost like a demonic [spirit] has come over him. And it抯 those times when people do the most damage.

揥hen he acts up at all hours in the night I don抰 sleep. I抦 too afraid. He goes mental. Crazy.?/p>

The verbal abuse has had a tremendous impact on her self-esteem and led to thoughts of suicide.

揌e earns a decent wage,?Lisa said. 揂nd he has the attitude, you do what I say because I give you money.?/p>

Although 搊ne or two?friends in Bermuda will pick up the phone to see how she抯 doing most people seem happy to just ignore the situation.

揊or me, more than the physical side it抯 the mental side of what he抯 doing. I know everybody抯 got their lives, but I figure you should be checking up on people.

揟hat抯 how it goes on this island. Funny how everybody hears, but I抳e yet to have one of my neighbours call the police because they抳e heard fighting and stuff going on. I抳e never had them call and say, 慡omething抯 going on in that household. Maybe you should come and make sure everything抯 OK.?I抳e never had that happen. This is where I come to the conclusion sometimes that I should just kill myself. This can抰 be right. I wasn抰 supposed to end up in a life like this.?

Her plan is to get a job and 搒eparate myself from the marriage?

揑 want to know what my future holds for me going forward.

揊or a long time I kept thinking it would change, it would change, it would change, he just needs to seek help. I抳e come to the conclusion that even if he did change, even if he did clean up, the things you have done to me as a woman they抮e so detrimental I just can抰 see myself trusting him again ever ?with anything.?/p>

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Published May 6, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 6, 2020 at 5:16 pm)

‘Nobody cares until something happens’

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