When you are kept in captivity it means that your abuser is able to continually abuse you over and over again with no way out hour after hour and day after day. No way of getting help and no relief from what is happening to you no contact with the outside world at all. I know that for me my body would still be shaking from the last assault when a new physical assault would be happening to me. My abuser would then get angry at my body’s automatic shaking at him being near me. This would send him into a horrible rage where he would yell at me to stop my body from shaking but I couldn’t it was how the abuse affected me. As I was pregnant at the time it was so horrific to be that powerless at how my body responded to the torture I was subject to hour after hour. As when my body would shake that meant that my baby was also shaking inside my womb. It felt soul destroying to have that happen to me and not able to stop it. Not able to keep my baby safe and no way of going for help or being safe, no escape. Your abuser is able to control what you do all day what you eat, if you sleep, being made to stand against a wall for hours, repeating the chant they order where every action is controlled and owned by them. When he would be kind to me which would happen every now and then when he came out of his crazy state and I couldn’t stop crying I would feel so grateful for those small little moments. When police did come to the door from my continually screaming and my neighbour hearing my screams and calling triple 000 most of the time I couldn’t talk as in shock or I was not allowed to get to the door to talk to them. When the detective investigating my case came to see me years later for the eight hour rape case he asked me what the banging was as my next door neighbour reported to him in his statement as hearing continual banging from my house. Before he had even finished talking I replied that “the banging was me and my baby being thrown violently against the walls of our house”. He was very shocked and sad at hearing me and seeing me saying that. But when you are kept in captivity your abuser is able to do the most horrific things to you over and over again. That is when the traumatic bonding happens with your abuser as every human being needs to have contact with another person to live to survive. So you try to find something good about your abuser something that makes them human and like them because you can’t get out and they are your only contact in your world. You need them their to survive as you are co-dependant on them now and don’t believe that you can make it without them. This control started gradually increasing day after day until there was nothing I could do or say or be and I was a nothing. It was like walking into a trap we had moved to a little cottage to start our life together but this cottage had bars on the windows and doors for security as it was a very nice area. I didn’t realise at the time but it meant I was trapped in a house with a madman who was at the time also unknown to me on bail for murder of a policeman in a domestic and a thirty year history of assaults on women and children. As soon as we moved in he changed his behaviour until then he has been so lovely to me. It was very shocking to be trapped pregnant living in hell not knowing what to do or how to get out if I would live or die and if my baby would survive. My advice to anyone reading this if you are in captivity don’t ever give up keep trying to get out and go for help in any way that you can. If you are someone reading this and think that someone that you know is in captivity say something don’t stay quite it is better to call the police and be wrong that to stay quite you could save a life by your actions. I know that my neighbour kept me alive by ringing the police so many times it gave me hope and of a way out. This experience changed my life and I knew that if I ever got out and survived I needed to make it my mission to educate the world on what does happen in cases life this and about domestic violence and what does really happen to you.
Things to look out for of someone in captivity
Sudden disappearance of a person
No answer from your loved one or friend
Not able or allowed to ever talk to them alone
Strange sounds, screaming or banging from a house
Never seeing the person alone but with another person always
A person who never leaves a house alone or is always inside
A person who is not able to make appointments alone ever
I house that has a lot of security on it IE bars and security grills
Here is a section from the trauma and recovery book on captivity written by Judith Herman MD
Coercive methods the same techniques are used to produce psychological trauma. The goal of the perpetrator is to install in his victim not only fear of death but also gratitude for being allowed to live. The perpetrator supervises what the victim eats and when she sleeps, when she goes to the toilet, what she wears. The hope of a meal, a bath, a kind word, or some other ordinary creature comfort can become compelling to a person long enough deprived. It started in such small ways that I didn’t see the pattern until much later. as the victim is isolated she becomes increasingly dependent on the perpetrator not only for survival and basic bodily needs but also for information and even emotional sustenance. The more frightened she is the more she is tempted to cling to the one relationship that is permitted the relationship with the perpetrator. She will try to find the humanity in her captor to minimise or excuse his behaviour.
Moral : The Victim who is kept in captivity should upon her releases overcome these conditioned behaviours so that she or he can heal her life!
For more information on my true story read my bio on the website www.stopalldomesticviolence.com in the section voices from inside available soon