Smith recalls the abuse beginning about two years into the relationship after she moved in with her partner. There were signs of anger. But like most people who have experienced intimate partner violence, she never could have predicted the nightmare that was to follow.

As her boyfriend at the time became more controlling, Smith became more isolated from her friends and family. Over the course of their relationship she can recall being beaten up to ten times and even brutally raped by the man who claimed to love her.

Seven years after starting that painful partnership Smith is now the founder of Purple R.E.I.G.N., an outreach organization for battered women. She is also one of the roughly 33 percent of African-American women who will experience dating or domestic violence — the type of violence that led to the death of Kasandra Perkins at the hands of her boyfriend, NFL player Jovan Belcher, who in turn committed suicide.

You can read the entire article and learn more about partner violence by visiting this link.