Domestic Violence Events: updated as of 05/04/2012
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Hi, my name is Angel Hart *. I am a 25 year old Mother of five children, ages 8, 5, 2, 1, and 6 months. I would like to tell you a little bit about my past before I explain my present.

During 1990, when I was thirteen years old. I was attending Thomas Jefferson High School. I was living with my mother at the time, in Brooklyn. Younger people like myself considered my block to be the hottest block in the world because everything would take place in that particular area like drug dealers, hustling, bike shows. During that time, all the popular motorcycles and the riders came to perform bike shows. That Spring I met a person who I considered to be a young gentlemen at the time but little did I know he would turn out to be my worst nightmare. I know I had no business dating at thirteen but I did not listen to my mother. My mother told me to wait until I finished school so that I could take advantage of all the opportunities an education has to offer. Instead of listening to my mother I started a relationship with my nightmare.

The fights first started when I was almost 15 years old. They continued until one life threatening fight changed everything. I was 17 at the time and I was about 5 months pregnant. I was living with my nightmare not far from where my mother lived. I had all about I could take with the constant arguing, fights, and put-downs. I wanted more for myself. I started packing a few items so I could go and stay with my grandmother until I found my own apartment. My nightmare became very upset when he discovered I was planning to leave him. He wanted to know what I was doing and suggested that I unpack, sit down and talk to him about it. I did not want to talk. He got very angry and kicked me in my face so hard that it left a sneaker print on my face. He was cursing me out and knocking me down to the point that I was bleeding. I was afraid for the safety of my child and myself. I had enough. I pressed charges against him. He served a Jail sentence of 3 years.

Later I took him back. When I got pregnant again with my 5 year old child the fights started again. This time around it was even more dangerous. He kidnapped my son. That was a brutal wake up call for me. After that I woke up and never looked back. I went on with my life, got a job and my own apartment. I met someone special whom I've had three more children with. I was building up my self-esteem. One day however my new life fell apart. Four years later, I received a strange knock at the door. On October 8, 2001 to be exact, my nightmare had begun all over again. This fight occurred in front of all my children except my 6-month baby. One of my family members told him where I was located. He had every intent to send me to the morgue. My heart dropped when I saw him. The look in his eyes was deadly. I was suddenly very afraid for my life. I knew I had to do something quickly. His hands quickly became wrapped around my neck. I was struggling to get away from him. My kids were screaming for help. My previous partner separated us and threw him out of the apartment. We were safe for the moment. Little did we know the nightmare was on his way downstairs to get a gun. Luckily the police apprehended him in the hallway at gunpoint.
I knew that I had to relocate for the safety of my family and me. I spoke with the police officer who previously handled my case. She gave me two telephone numbers. One of the numbers she gave me was the Safe Horizon National Hotline for Domestic Violence. I called the hotline and spoke to an operator who guided me to this safe haven. She immediately made me feel safe. She made arrangement for car service to pick my children and me up and take us to Urban Women's Retreat. When I arrived at UWR, they welcomed me warmly and my children were immediately relieved. This has been a really positive place for my children and me. My children have really grown in this environment. At first I became very depressed. I had to stop working due to my D.V. situation. I became overburdened by life troubles. I had no motivation to continue living positively.

Thankfully, all that has changed. I have been living here for 10 months. UWR has provided me a safe place for my children and my self, with counseling services that has helped me to deal with my issues. Also it has taught me how to avoid getting into dangerous situations such as my previous domestic violence relationship. I have used my time here wisely. I am working hard to provide a fresh new start for my family and me. I found an apartment for me and my children to live in. We will be moving shortly and I am excited. It's been a pleasure staying here. I now see life for what it's truly worth. I plan to start school in September. I'm currently looking for a part time job. I feel like I have a second chance at life. My short-term goals are to finish school so I can better my education. My long-term goals are to get and keep a good paying job so that I can provide for my family. I also want to send my children to college so they can get an education and become something special.