Survivor says others can overcome abuse too - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Survivor says others can overcome abuse too

October 26, 2006

Albany -- Events like that vigil are being held all over the country this month. October is domestic violence awareness month.

Albany woman Nancy Reimer is a domestic violence survivor, and she isn't ashamed of her experience of abuse from her former husband. The man she married would hit her, throw things at her, threaten her, and make her feel like she did something wrong.

Now she uses that experience to help others overcome their own problems.

Life is good for Nancy Reimer these days. She volunteers with her church, and she's excited about an upcoming cruise in Alaska. Her life now is very different than 12 years ago.

"There are many types of abuse. I was a victim of domestic violence. This went on for ten months. In the interim, I kept very quiet," said Nancy Reimer.

Reimer was quiet about the man she married who physically, mentally, and financially abused her.

"There were weapons out at times, many nights I would wonder if I'd make it through the night," said Reimer.

They were only together ten months and during that time she always wondered.

"I honestly was thinking I was doing something wrong and couldn't figure out what it was. I would spend my time thinking okay, what do I need to do to stop this situation. It was things that never made sense," said Reimer.

Reimer's family made sense of the situation for her and planned her escape from the relationship. She left town for a while, then moved back to her hometown and divorced from her abusive husband.

Now she uses the experience to volunteer with the Liberty House, at events like a recent Candlelight Vigil, to help other women who are going through what she went through.

"I just look back and think I'm the lucky one, and so many women are not and I feel like working with victims with a similar history to me is very beneficial," said Reimer.

Reimer is thankful for her life today, and hopes others in the situation can emerge from bad relationships to live free from abuse, before it ends in tragedy.

Warning signs include a partner trying to keep you away from your family and friends and taking control of your money. Victims often question whether they are somehow to blame.

Domestic abuse can be sexual, emotional, physical, and financial. It has to do with one partner needing to have all control.

If you think you may be in one of these situations, you should seek help immediately.

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