In this TED talk, Leslie Morgan Steiner tells a harrowing story of the physical, emotional, and financial abuse she suffered for years at the hands of her partner. While it is heartbreaking to hear the details of her ex-husband plotting to isolate her from her friends and family and control every aspect of her life, the details of her story are unfortunately all too common. Steiner lists four steps that many abusers follow: seduce and charm the victim, isolate the victim, introduce the threat of violence and see how she reacts, and then kill her. Luckily, Steiner escaped before her abuser could get to the final step. Similar to Lovern Gordon’s telling of her experiences with domestic abuse detailed in her upcoming memoir The Legacy He Left Me, Steiner details a final attack after which she was able to escape and break her silence about the abuse she had been facing for years. This telling echoes Gordon’s account of finally going to the hospital and seeking help after one final, life-threatening beating. Both stories have happy endings, with the women meeting kind and gentlemen to spend their lives with, but this, unfortunately, does not erase the trauma inflicted by their abusers. Gordon and Steiner both use their experiences and their voices to continue speaking out against domestic violence. This is important because the only way to truly stop domestic violence is to stop it before it starts, speak out against abuse, and take victims seriously when they are finally able to speak out.
Written by Jes Templin