Survivors share their story of domestic violence in Youngstown


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Domestic violence does not discriminate against anyone, and it’s certainly not a secret in Youngstown.

Fifth Baptist Church held an event Saturday to help people who know or are someone dealing with the situation. Two survivors shared their stories and offered tips for others who may be going through the same thing.

Clara Lambert stood nervously but boldly and told her story to people at Fifth Avenue Church of how she left her abuser.

“It was verbal and emotional abuse, but it started getting physical in the last month,” said Lambert.

This the second time she has shared her story, but she hopes it will get through to one person in the room.

“I’m just trying to show women that there’s hope. And if you want to get out there are ways to get out like I did,” said Lambert.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 percent of women in the U.S.A. have been a victim of violence from a partner. For men, it’s 13 percent. Experts say you must watch closely for the signs of an abuser.

“They want to control where you are at, what you are doing and where you are going,” Lambert said.

Brenda Gray-Morgan has seen over 200 domestic violence cases get dismissed so far this year. Often, it’s because the victim isn’t ready to leave.

“Because of kids, they don’t want to split the family up, they are afraid of being alone,” said Gray-Morgan.

Gray-Morgan is not only an advocate but she is a survivor as well.

“I was not going to live like that and when I was pregnant with my last child and I knew that was it, it was just time to go,” said Gray-Morgan.

For both Lambert and Gray-Morgan, they hope to make sure at least one more person can help or has the courage to get out of a dangerous situation.

Signs domestic abuse:

Using economic abuse:

  • Preventing her from keeping a job
  • Making her ask for money
  • Giving her an allowance
  • Taking her money
  • Not letting her know about or have access to family income.

Using coercion and threat:

  • Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
  • Threatening to leave her
  • Threatening to commit suicide
  • Threatening to report her to welfare
  • Making her drop charges
  • Making her do illegal things

Using intimidation:

  • Making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures
  • Smashing things
  • Destroying property
  • displaying a weapon

Using emotional abuse:

  • Putting her down
  • Making her think she is crazy
  • Playing mind games
  • Humiliating her
  • Making her feel guilty

Using isolation:

  • Controlling what she does, who she talks to
  • Limiting her outside involvement
  • Using jealously to justify actions

Minimizing, denying, blaming:

  • Making light of abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
  • Saying the abuse didn’t happen
  • Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
  • Saying she caused it

Using Children:

  • Making her feel guilty about the children
  • Using the children to relay messages
  • Threatening to take the children away

Using male privilege:

  • Treating her like a servant
  • Making all the big decisions
  • Acting like the master of the castle
  • Being the one define male and female roles

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