Lived Experience: Peggy Carlson


Read Peggy's Story

I’m Peggy, and I’m a 32-year-old woman with an 8-year-old boy named Brian and a 12-year-old girl named Amanda. My husband and I have been married for 14 years. I work as a medical assistant. We live in a small, rural town, where everybody is into everyone else’s business.

Bruce has been pounding on me for 12 years, starting right after our daughter Amanda was born. Most of our fights are about sex, but sometimes they’re about work, or the kids, or whatever. When does “no” really means “no”? I know he’s had a hard time controlling himself, but that doesn’t mean he gets to hit me over and over. The problem is that I really do love him and I know the kids love him – even Amanda – even though she’s so mad at him right now. So it’s hard to break up the family. But when I was in the hospital overnight this last time, when he broke my ribs, I really got to think about what I really need to do. I need to leave him, because worse things could come of this then my just getting hit sometimes. But then, sometimes, I just think it’s easier to stay with him. If I actually leave him, he’ll get even angrier, and plus, I really do love him. Family is important.