92 Bowery St., NY 10013

+1 800 123 456 789


The Aftermath of Domestic Violence

“I don’t give a shit about your stupid little teen soap opera.”

A seemingly simple statement, albeit a bit nasty. But it was said with such vitriol that it stopped me in my tracks for a second. It was the first time he had ever spoken to me like that, and I was caught off guard by the gruff in his voice. All I wanted to do was watch a show that comforted me, and I was super confused as to why he was reacting this way. I ultimately shrugged it off. It was only years later as I was reflecting on my life with this man that I thought, “Wow, that was a red flag that I so easily dismissed.” It was my first peek into the guy I’d wind up calling “Mr. Hyde.”

Cue to six years later and I’m sitting in Planned Parenthood waiting for the doctor to come in and scrape out the cluster of cells that could have one day been our baby. Only I found out I was pregnant shortly after discovering he was cheating on me. The days (and very long nights) leading up to that moment were filled with insomnia, tears, screaming, tremor inducing anxiety, intimidation, other women, deep depression, questioning my sanity, 911 calls, and what very closely resembled a drinking problem on my part. The days after that moment were, and still are, loaded with PTSD and night terrors.


Whenever I displeased him, I was met with an array of consequences. One night, my belongings and I were (literally) thrown out of the house into an ice storm at 2 a.m. We had been drinking, and I had no choice but to sleep it off a bit in my car, being that I was an hour away from my home. I then proceeded to drive home at four in the morning, still not sober, in an ice storm. Could he see my car was there for a few hours? Yup. Did he attempt to see if I was OK or ask me to come back inside? Nope. I was serving my sentence and he’d be damned if he didn’t teach me a lesson.

Another time, after bringing up yet another one of his indiscretions, I was backed into the corner of the kitchen, scared stiff as he punched the table in front of me. Fearful that the next object might be my head, I attempted to call 911 while not making it obvious that I was trying to do something on my phone. My acting skills went out the window, and my phone went across the kitchen.

I left a million times. The sick cycle of abuse got me, though, and I continued to go back. Abusers are extremely skilled at “love bombing” and discarding. It was like being on a see-saw, only by myself. The back-and-forth became an unsteady way of life that I thought I deserved. I was always made to feel it was my fault, so I kept returning to the relationship. I didn’t realize until years into it that what I was experiencing was abuse, and it was only at the hands of a few close friends that I was able to come to this conclusion — I was blind to it.

I discovered what gaslighting was, though I wasn’t self-aware until the tactic had long been used on me. He systematically assaulted my reality and twisted it until it became unrecognizable, even to me. In short, he had convinced me I was losing my mind. I started to belive that I didn’t, in fact, properly recall certain events or conversations. Or perhaps I misheard. Or my favorite, he “misspoke”, and therefore I should only take heed of what he was saying NOW.


Signs of PTSD still linger. I have very negative reactions to loud voices/yelling or if someone hits or slams something around me. It feels as if my insides start eating themselves, in the hopes that I can inevitably decrease into nothing and I don’t have to endure what’s happening around me any longer. That’s one of the sensations I recall being constant in my time with him: Trying to shrink. Wanting to become as physically small as possible. Willing myself to be invisible.


The aftermath of an abusive partner is not pretty. Being purposely kept off-balance for six years while being mentally terrorized has long-lasting negative effects. I am still learning how to process and deal with it all, years after that pivotal moment in PP. That moment when I decided that I would not allow a child to grow up with such a man as it’s father. When I realized having a baby would mean I would be tied to him for the rest of my life. That moment when I finally said, “Nope.”

It’s been four years and four months since sitting in that operating room. I left him for the last time after my abortion. I moved out of my home state. I’m hyper-vigilant when it comes to anything that might relate to him. For example, the thought of visiting home/friends is a daunting one. I wonder how to plan/who to tell so as not to have word spread that I’m in town. I have given very few people my address or any details about where I live for fear of a surprise guest. Little things like this, that most people wouldn’t stress about, have become a mandatory way of thinking for me. Another thing I’m still trying to work out.

These days I tell myself it can only get better. It doesn’t have to haunt me forever, though I understand that it still might mess with me a bit in the coming months and maybe even years. But at the end of the day I think of it this way: It’s a lesson, not a life sentence. I am the strongest person I know.

Kat Masley is a New Jersey-born artist & writer. After considering publishing this blog anonymously, she decided that is was HER story to tell, any way she wanted to. She hopes it allows others who may be in her situation to see that there is hope, light at the end of the tunnel, and within you, a strength you never knew you had. Kat currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, and is beyond grateful she has her life back.


Joing our fight against domestic violence & abuse

At Virtuous Hearts our mission unfolds every day as we tirelessly work towards alleviating the scourge of domestic violence and abuse targeting women. Our journey is fueled by the relentless hope and collective action of supporters, volunteers, and survivors. As we extend our hands asking for your support, we invite you to be a part of a movement that aspires to transform lives and create a safer, nurturing community for all.

The Need

Domestic violence and abuse are grim realities that too many women face daily. The harrowing statistics are not just numbers but represent real individuals whose lives are entangled in a web of fear and despair. By contributing to Virtuous Hearts. you’re helping to address this dire issue, providing hope and tangible aid to those desperately in need.

Our Impact

With the support of our donors, Virtuous Hearts. has been able to provide a haven for numerous women, offering counseling, legal assistance, and a safe escape from the clutches of abuse. We’ve witnessed the transformative power of collective action as we’ve helped women regain control of their lives, embracing a future filled with hope and devoid of fear.

How Your Donation Helps

Every donation we receive propels our mission forward:

  • Immediate Relief: Providing safe shelter, food, and clothing to those escaping abusive situations.
  • Counseling Services: Offering professional psychological support to help survivors process their trauma and rebuild their self-esteem.
  • Legal Assistance: Guiding survivors through the legal maze that accompanies domestic violence cases.
  • Education and Job Training: Enabling survivors to gain new skills, fostering financial independence and a fresh start.
  • Awareness Campaigns: Spreading the word about domestic violence, its signs, and how to help, creating a more informed and proactive community.

The Journey Ahead

The road towards eradicating domestic violence is long and fraught with challenges, but with your support, the journey becomes a shared endeavor. Your donation is not merely a financial contribution, but a statement of solidarity, a beacon of hope illuminating the path towards a violence-free society.

Join Us

By donating to Virtuous Hearts, you are joining a compassionate community committed to making a lasting impact. Your generosity is a cornerstone that enables us to continue our work, bringing solace and empowerment to countless women.

The fight against domestic violence and abuse on women is a collective responsibility. Your support to Virtuous Hearts. is an invaluable part of this fight, a testament to the transformative power of compassion and action. Reach out, contribute, and let’s create a ripple of change that will resonate through our communities, making the world a safer place for all.

A Note of Gratitude ❤️

To each person who believes in our mission, who supports our actions against homelessness, and who dreams of a vibrant, interconnected community: Thank you. Your trust means the world to us. Together, we can transform dreams into tangible, community-enhancing realities.