This post deals with domestic violence and suicide, and might be triggering for some readers.
May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month and, at Mamamia, we're sharing women's stories of bravery and courage. If you have the means, please donate to RizeUp to help women and families move on after the devastation of domestic violence.
I remember when a woman jumped to her death from a third-floor window in the next city over.
My partner Azan* said that she was a dog for humiliating her husband. An ungrateful wife. My sister-in-law and I exchanged a knowing glance.
I’d never seriously thought about suicide. Not until I heard about the female jumper, that poor soul whose coercive relationship caused her to think that the only way to feel free was to be dead.
Watch: Women and Violence, the hidden numbers. Post continues below.
Suddenly I started to consider windowsills. Where they were, and how wide they were, and how far it was to the dull grey concrete below.
I began to wonder if there would come a day when the control felt like too much.
A day when I too would be swan-diving into the concrete in a desperate bid to erase the pain of being in a coercive relationship.
It didn’t begin with being locked in a house, with my phone and money taken from me, along with my dignity.
When I met Azan, he was exuberant and cheerful, professing to have a love of travel, literature, and animals.
These were my interests mirrored back to me, and when I heard them coming from the mouth of one of the most stunning men I had ever seen, I was immediately spellbound.
His apartment was faultlessly neat, decorated with red silk wall hangings and ornate Turkish rugs.
He boasted about his kitchen, and his love for cooking. For several consecutive dates, he cooked us elaborate meals in his kitchen, and we would eat as we looked out over the city skyline.