Sexual Assault Story GraphicShe never thought she would be locked up by someone who was supposed to love her. He had a messed up way of loving, she thought. Hope Jones* wished she would have never gotten mixed up with a man like Carl*, but it was too late.

He was a meth dealer and they met on a binge. With his abusive tendencies disguised as intense love, Hope fell quickly in love and soon after, they exchanged vows. Then she began to notice his outbursts. Often it was when he needed a fix. He couldn’t be sober. To support his habit, Carl would often break into houses. He took whatever he could sell for a quick score. He was sent to prison for a few years once. Hope’s rage towards him heightened when her 17-year-old daughter told her that he had raped her when she was 12. Hope filed for divorce and finally felt as though she had taken a step toward safety.  He was in prison after all.

As Carl’s release date approached, Hope convinced herself that everything would be okay. She thought that since he would have an entire year to get over the divorce, that her drama with him was finally over. As she was walking home from work one day, a van pulled up beside her and Carl jumped out brandishing a machete. Hope knew better than to fight him. She got in the van and he drove her hours away to his new home. Hope’s family figured she must have gotten back together with him, as had happened so many times before.

Carl acted as if he and Hope were still together. He began a jealous psychotic path. When he accused her of cheating for the first time, he tied her up and held her mouth shut with his hands and threatened to hit her if she screamed.  That time, he choked her, pulled her hair, called her names, and raped her. She tried to tell someone, but anytime she tried to get away – he would always force her back and throw away her phone. She began to feel low and worthless and all of the other things Carl constantly told her she was. He must be right, she thought. All she wanted to do was run away, back to her children.

She’ll remember the day she got to run away forever. As much as it was a miracle to her, the day was also a nightmare. She woke up, her hair still with bits of blood and sweat from the night before, and decided to take a hot shower. As the door burst open, chills swept through her. Here it comes, she thought. Carl was shouting at her, asking her why she was cheating on him with the men pumping gas at the station across the street. She was terrified – why was he holding a drill? Carl began securing the room with screws. He dragged her out of the shower and started hitting her over and over. He covered her mouth with his hands and began raping her. She was paralyzed with fear and stayed awake all night.   When Carl woke, he told her not to go crazy and he unscrewed the doors.  Knowing this was her chance, she ran out of the house.

With nowhere else to go, Hope went to a local shelter for battered women. She began to piece her life back together. Knowing that she couldn’t stay there forever, she contacted LSLA and was put in contact with an attorney who specializes in legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault. LSLA attorney Victoria Smith filed a petition for a protective order. The judge granted a lifetime protective order to Hope Jones and her children, with whom she is now reunited. They are now safe from their abuser and he is facing charges for his crimes against Hope and her family.

*Names were changed to protect the client’s identity.