I am twenty‑eight years old and have been married for a year and a half, with no children yet. My husband hits me. I have spoken with him about it and told him that I don’t want him to call me bad names and that I won’t permit him to hit me again (he thinks that doing this is the only way to make me calm down). I have learned to take the physical abuse and stop arguing with him, because when I fought back, it went from bad to worse and we broke a lot of things in the house: it was like war. It made me very angry that he could sleep so peacefully afterward and wake up as if nothing had happened. So I ask myself, why doesn’t he feel badly for what he does to me?

I have professional training. I don’t neglect my duties in the home, I’m not a party girl or an alcoholic, and I don’t feel that I deserve this kind of treatment. What should I do?… He always says that I bring it all on myself and that he doesn’t say or do anything wrong. How can I muster up enough courage to leave? And how can I face society?

Dear Friend,

We are very relieved that you already know that you need to separate from your husband immediately. Your life could be in danger! A man who hits his wife and then says and believes that his actions are justified is a man to run away from as quickly as possible.

How can you muster up the courage to leave him? Why don’t you do a search on the Internet and find the stories of all the women like you who stayed with a violent man and were later killed by him when he flew into a rage? Or find the women with black eyes and broken arms who go back time after time to their attackers. Most of the time the men say that they want to change, and that they won’t do it again, but your husband doesn’t even apologize for hurting you. No wonder it makes you so angry that he sleeps peacefully after hitting you; it should make you very angry! It should make you angry enough to consult with an attorney immediately to find out what rights you have. Follow the attorney’s instructions. In some countries, you can get a restraining order at the police station to keep a violent husband from coming close to you. Please don’t wait another day.

You are very fortunate that you do not have children with this man. Why would any woman want her children to grow up with that kind of father? You should not be ashamed to tell your family and friends that you are separating from him because he hits you. He is the one who should feel shame, not you.

It won’t be easy, but you can do it,

Linda and Charles