Family turns on you, supporting abuser. How to survive.

She left an abusive relationship with no money and just the clothes she could quickly pack in one suitcase.

She sought shelter with her parents presuming she would receive the protection and support needed to sue for divorce.

She was mistaken. They took his side.

“At 22, Steiner met a man and fell head over heels in love. He would wind up strangling her just days before their wedding. Steiner, the first person to ever give a TED Talk about being a domestic violence survivor, takes readers through a brutally honest account of living with an abusive husband and how she narrowly escaped with her life.”

Thank you to Domestic Shelters for this invaluable information.

Q: “When your father came into the court and you saw him and for a moment felt good thinking that he came for you and then realized that he came to pay your abuser’s lawyer—what was that like?”

Steiner: It was many things. I was really hurt and confused and angry in the moment. I have a different perspective now. Many things unfolded between me and my father [since then]—he was a victim of abuse as a child and that made things even more confusing. In some strange way he was trying to deny this was happening to me because it was too painful. 

He felt sorry for Conor and thought it would help me. It sort of made me realize how complicated it is when you leave an abuser—people who stand up for you are caught in the web as well and they can’t necessarily protect you. You need experts in domestic violence. If Conor had gone to a domestic violence advocate and said can you lend me $1,000, she would have just laughed.

The fact that my father was really naïve was illuminating to me. It made me realize that my father didn’t trust me and wasn’t putting my own best interests first. He should have turned to me as the expert. Most people don’t consider victims the expert.

Eventually, it led to my ceasing to have a relationship with [my father]. I couldn’t tolerate the fact that for his own very self-centered interests he couldn’t have a vested interest in me. It’s really so hard. 

But it was also the beginning of the healing of my relationship with my mom. My parents divorced right before I met Conor—it’s part of the reason I was so susceptible, I think. I was trying to recreate my own nuclear family. 

My mother could not have been more supportive in any other way. The moral of the story of that to me is that moms rule. They’re just incredible.

Listen to Ms. Steiner address the audience in her TED talk.


About lazeejjs

Jonathan McCormick holds a Black Belt in Combat Martial Arts. He is a U.S Marine (Inactive), trained with famed CIA operative Rex Applegate and Ultimate Fighter Champion Royce Gracie and was the director of the Institute of Defense Tactics. He is a former member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and worked with members of various law enforcement agencies in the areas of suspect control and officer safety. He has written for law enforcement magazines BlueLine ( and Twenty-Four-Seven and has been a guest writer for the Vancouver Province. “Wyoming Secrets”, “30,000 Secrets”, “Santa Barbara Secrets” and The “J” Team Series are inspirational novels which focus on women who feel overwhelmed by the threat of violence in their lives. View the Series
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2 Responses to Family turns on you, supporting abuser. How to survive.

  1. I can only imagine. I must be similar to families shunning their children resulting in homeless teens.

  2. Domestic Abuse.

    Police remove the responsibility of filing a complaint from survivors.

    “The goal has been to take the onus off the victim to press charges and put it squarely on the shoulders of police and prosecutors. If there’s enough evidence of a domestic assault at the scene, officers have been trained to make an arrest and the wheels of justice start spinning very quickly.”

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