When an abuser feels like they need to regain control, their natural reaction is to find someone weaker than them and victimize them. By inflicting pain on others, the abuser temporarily gains a false sense of power. These abusers target people who are smaller than them or less likely to retaliate (women and children), which means that victims often find themselves in dire situations, struggling to escape their attackers.

In a blog post on Café Mom, Kayla Hayes discusses her personal experience with an abusive partner. It was a horror having to sit “in a puddle of my own blood with the majority of my lip laying on my leg, my whole mouth on fire” after her ex-boyfriend bit her lip so hard that it came off. It was his sad way of leaving a mark on the woman he “loved.”

She said, “I didn’t know how I could ever show my face again. At that point, honestly wishing that those very seconds would just be my last — I wanted to give up for good.”

The attack happened after the woman ended her relationship with her boyfriend. Although she clearly cared for him, she told him that they weren’t getting back together. She offered to help him sort out his issues, though. When she denied him a kiss, he became infuriated.

“I couldn’t figure out how he was so mad from putting the items in the passenger seat, leading to him trying to kiss me. Of course, as I said before, I wasn’t there to get back together with him. I refused and backed up only to feel him latch on to me. Feeling it tear about halfway. I then just started screaming at the top of my lungs for help and out of fear for my life.”

After he kicked her out of the car and she bled over the sidewalk, he fled the scene. His violence caused her great harm. Seth was loath to admit he had grievously hurt the woman he supposedly loved; in truth, it made him feel like less of a man.

Thankfully, people came to her rescue. A man who looked horror-struck and an elderly woman. An officer whom she referred to as “Officer R.”

“I remember Officer R pulling his walkie-talkie… (and) … saying something along the lines of it being more serious than what he was expecting, my lip being completely severed off and for the EMS to come quick.”

Fortunately, she received medical help and was able to have her lip repaired. However, the damage done by her ex-boyfriend would forever be evident in the form of a scar.

“I felt like a monster. I couldn’t even walk out of the house without smothering myself in makeup or fearing that I would see him.”

Now, she sees the world in an entirely different way.

“I no longer want kids because I feel like bringing them into the world would be putting them into danger. If Seth could flip like a switch because I refused a kiss, then imagine what he would do if he ran into me or my family again.”

If you or someone close to you has experienced abuse, please don’t stay silent. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7: 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224 or (206) 518-9361 (Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers).