Disclaimer: This is a serious story of domestic violence and does not end well. To prevent the identity of “Evia” or her family being exposed, many of the details and the characters in this story have been changed. None of the names are real and the circumstances have been adjusted to maintain discretion. At its core, this story is, sadly, very real; however, none of the recognizable aspects have been uncovered in this writing.
Any time Evia came over, her happiness affected everyone. Her laugh could be heard throughout the house, and she lit up every room she walked into. She was a beautiful soul who exuded what love and loyalty are all about. It was a shock to everyone that her life was snuffed out before her 25th birthday. Her dreadful plight could have been prevented had those around her been trained to recognize the signs of abuse. I don’t tell this story lightly, but with a heavy heart because I loved her dearly. But her story is important because there are so many women who are in her exact situation right now; and that situation may be graver than they or anyone may realize. This is Evia’s tragic story.
Evia was the seventh of seven children and grew up in a home where her father ruled the house with an iron fist. His voice and opinion were supreme and no one in the family was ever allowed to challenge him. If they did, they felt the violent consequences. Evia only ever knew animosity, chaos, and retribution in the most extreme of ways. It is no surprise that, to get away from her abusive father, she ran right into the arms of an abusive husband. Cain played his prince charming role to perfection and drew her into his trap with ridiculous speed. Within a month he had caused division in the family and convinced her to elope with him. Their relationship was like an unstoppable freight train and the family was reeling from the fact that Evia was only twenty years old and now married to a thirty-five-year-old con man. Both her family and her friends could all see that he was a swindler, but he swept her off her feet and there was hardly any time to voice their concerns.
When they returned from their honeymoon in Las Vegas (of course), she moved into the apartment he had been living in. It was a dump, but she went about doing her best to brighten it up. On the first Monday after returning, she got up and began to get ready for work when Cain asked her what she was doing. She wasn’t sure what was wrong but told him she was about to leave. He told her that she was his wife now and he was her only job. She called in and quit her job without telling her family, friends, or co-workers. She literally dropped all communication with everyone.
As I explained in Silent Prison, isolation is a common method that Narcissists use to gain full control over their victims. Cain wasted no time in tearing Evia away from everyone she loved. The quickness of the marriage and isolation is a warning sign that a person is most likely trapped in a very dangerous situation. There is no time to talk to anyone; no time to ask questions; no time to even think about self-protection. Cain took Evia on such a wild ride that she didn’t even realize that she needed protection. Sadly, the prince charming act only lasted as long as it took to reel her in.
It was three years before the family (and only one friend…me) made headway in reestablishing a connection with her. When we were finally able to see her, we were shocked at the disturbing transformation we encountered. Evia, who was a beautiful young lady, now had disheveled hair, no make-up, was extremely thin and, despite the long sleeves she wore to try and hide them, she had obvious bruising on her body. The joyful person that we had all known was gone and Evia was only a shadow of herself. The most shocking part of it all was that she had a baby girl who was two years old! At first, Cain was always around whenever we went to see her. However, there comes a time when a narcissistic abuser is so confident of their ultimate control over their victim, that they get overconfident and start to allow them more time with people outside of their presence. This is the window of opportunity to try and discern exactly what the situation is.
Over a period of about six months, myself and a family member were able to extract the truth of what was really going on. We all knew it was nothing good, but we couldn’t imagine how bad it actually was. Slowly, Evia started to trust that we would not betray her confidence and voiced that she was tired, scared, and very worried about the safety of herself and her daughter. She wanted out very desperately and we were able to start talking about an escape plan.
The execution of any escape plan is the most dangerous time for victims; especially if children are involved. Depending on the abuser’s response, they will either accept that the gig is up or respond in unpredictable behavior. Cain chose the latter. At that time, domestic violence wasn’t recognized as a serious concern by law enforcement, or the courts and her situation became fearfully precarious. Cain continually threatened her life and stalked her, causing Evia to live in utter fear. She had escaped from him physically but was not able to live her life without the constant threat of harm for her or her child. Counseling was also not a prevalent practice during that period; therefore, she wasn’t getting any professional help throughout her ordeal.
Every victim eventually reaches the point where they are ready to move on with their lives, however, there needs to be accountability and wisdom applied to their forward process. Evia was now 24 and she decided that she was going to start dating again. She was less than a year out from her escape, however, she had grown tired of feeling scared. Unfortunately, If victims don’t learn from their mistakes, they will repeat them again and again, as we witnessed in Ebony’s journey (Ebony: Part 1 ). Evia felt like she was ready to date again, but it wasn’t safe because she was still dealing with a very jealous and volatile ex-husband. But she stepped out into the dating world once again, hoping to find true love.
Although Evia wasn’t quite back to her bubbly self, but she was well on her way. She was feeling more confident and was making efforts in regard to self-care. She went on a few dates, but they weren’t anything serious. Then she met an older man whom she had a few dinners with before he convinced her to meet up with him at a motel. Unfortunately, Evia trusted men far too easily and hadn’t told anyone where she was going or who she was meeting. When Evia arrived, her date answered the door and she stepped into a trap that had been orchestrated by Cain.
The details of what happened in that room are not clear and there are only certain things we can be sure of. Several of the motel guests had called the front desk concerned about what sounded like a woman’s muffled screams. Not one single employee responded to these complaints, went to investigate them or, at the very least, called the police. Late the following morning, the cleaning staff were the ones who found her, but it was too late. During her autopsy it was revealed she had Ethylene Glycol in her system and needle marks in her thigh. Despite evidence that Cain was at the motel, that he and ‘another man’ were seen speeding out of the parking lot; that Evia told several people she was meeting someone, her death was still ruled as a suicide. After that ruling, Cain was known to brag around town that he literally got away with murder.
There were so many things that could have prevented Evia’s tragic death, but I say this knowing it is not easy to stop a violent abuser like Cain. They are sly and know how to skirt around the law to avoid getting caught. In today’s world, it is not as easy to get away with a serious crime such as murder, however, it still happens. In fact, the The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence1 found that both victims, and persons who intervene, are in danger of retribution:
- A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.2
- 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.3
Evia paid the ultimate price for her escape because her narcissistic abuser could not handle the fact that he had lost control of his victim. We all saw what she was going through and felt powerless to help her because, at the time, there was no protection by law enforcement. Even so, it would have taken the implementation of many safeguards to prevent his access to her. I know of women who did everything they could to protect themselves, had the law on their side, and still couldn’t escape their abusers.
We cannot give up on being watchful over our loved ones or stepping in to speak regardless of the risk. I have lost friendships over my honesty, and I don’t regret it. I would rather try to warn someone of a potentially dangerous relationship and lose ours, than to be silent and stand by while they walk into a harmful situation. I care about my people and will always be vigilant about having their backs. But the biggest thing we can do is to keep raising awareness to the problem of domestic violence and pushing to better the laws that will protect victims even more than they do now.
If you are in an abusive relationship this message is for YOU. There is hope for escaping but you cannot do it alone and there needs to be a safe plan in place before doing so. There are resources available to help you do so (two are listed below)
If you have recently escaped from an abuser, please do not rush into another relationship until you have sought help and healing. The same resources below are available to help and there is hope for finding your freedom. Look to those who love you and allow them to help you! And if there is no one physically nearby, reach out to the local organizations. They are there FOR YOU!
Until next time, stay safe.