SPRINGFIELD, MO (03/06/18) - Every 9 seconds a woman is a domestic violence victim in America. Here in Springfield that number seems to be on the rise. One woman, whom was brave enough, told Fox 5 her survival story. We have covered her face for her protection. We will be referring to her as "Katie" in the story.
"There were times when he told me that if I tried to take the boys he would kill me," says Katie. Meeting her, then, boyfriend on a Christian dating website she says he didn’t turn out to be the person he said he was.
“He was very charming," explains Katie. "It wasn’t until I was committed and pregnant with our child before he started showing his true colors.”
With Springfield having one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the state, she says she tried to leave her, now, ex-boyfriend multiple times. But it was hard since they had been together for eight years.
“I have two little boys. So as I'm trying to get one in his car seat and buckling him their father is unbuckling the other," she said.
Even though her relationship wasn’t, really, a physical violence one she says it was a form of gaslighting. Meaning, he would manipulate and make her question her own sanity. Having her say she felt like a hostage. “He told me I was remembering things wrong, tell me that I was crazy, he would convince me to do something and then try to tell me it was my idea to begin with.”
And fearing for her life, at times, in November of 2017 she decided to take the leap of faith and move herself and her two young sons out while he was at work.
“Do what you can to safely get out as soon as possible," she says. "You’re not going to fix him. You’re not.”
She says having an escape plan from your aggressor is key. Here's a list from the city of Springfield's website explaining a general escape plan: