Triad -- Yvonne Freeman is alive today because she got help. She wanted to share her story of survival because she knows there are women right now who feel trapped in abusive relationships.
Her story begins with a terrifying moment.
"He had the gun pointed at me. He pulled the trigger. My daughter was there. She saw it. I had no idea if that gun was loaded or not. It just happened to be that it wasn't," Freeman said.
Even after her ex pulled the trigger, she forgave him.
"He would cry and tell me how sorry he was. I would believe him. So, I would come back. Each time I came back, it got a little worse the next time," Freeman said.
Punches, shoves and kicks bruised her body for three years.
"I remember one time I just sat there singing, 'Jesus loves me.' He kept screaming, 'Shut up. Shut up.' I just kept singing. I just blacked it out...kept singing. He got so mad. It got so bad, I prayed for God to take me because I didn't see any other way out," she said.
She left him and went back seven times, she says, "Because I wanted to believe he was a good man. Because he had me convinced it was my fault. Because my self esteem was so low, I didn't think I could do any better, didn't deserve to be treated like a human being...I even had people say, you must like it. I felt hopeless. He would look at me and say, 'Look at what you made me do. If you would only do what you're supposed to do, I wouldn't have to treat you this way.'''
Then, she says, "The hope died that he'd ever change. That's when I got out."
Today, three angels sit on her shelf -- one for freedom, heart and survival.
Now, Yvonne helps other abused women and offers this advice: "It's not going to be easy. I'm not going to lie. It's a long hard road. But you can get away. You do not deserve this life. It's not living. It's just not living."
10 years have passed since this all happened. But, Yvonne says she's not sure she'll ever get in another relationship. Instead, she finds love in gardening, sewing and helping others.
WFMY News 2