Domestic violence victim: "I was a prisoner in my own home"

(CBS News) - Almost one out of four women has experienced "severe physical violence" by an intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

CBS News spoke with a victim of domestic violence. Her name has been changed in order to protect her identity.

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Jessica: I was a prisoner in my own home. I couldn't look out the window. My mom was in the hospital for surgery. I couldn't go to the hospital to see my mother unless he was with me.

Jim Axelrod: What do you mean you couldn't go?

Jessica: I wasn't allowed to. There was cameras inside my house so he could watch my every move. My phone was tapped.

Jim Axelrod: People will ask why didn't you take your cell phone out and call the police?

Jessica: I wasn't allowed to have a cell phone.

Jim Axelrod: Why not just open door and walk out?

A victim of domestic violence speaks to CBS' Jim Axelrod.
A victim of domestic violence speaks to CBS' Jim Axelrod.
CBS

Jessica: My door was locked from outside. I could not leave the house. I was not allowed to shower unless he was in the house. I was not allowed to eat if he was not in the house.

Jim Axelrod: And if you violated the terms of how you were supposed to be living?

Jessica: It would get very, very aggressive and physical.

Approximately six months into the relationship, "Jessica" got pregnant. She says this is when the abuse became worse, "That's when he really got control of me."

Jim Axelrod: Is this when he started to hit you?

Jessica: Yes. This is when not just the physical abuse, the verbal abuse, the sexual abuse, it was just everything just at once, that's when everything started.

Jim Axelrod: Would he ever explain to you why he was so abusive?

Jessica: His excuse was he was afraid to lose me cause he loved me so much and that was his way of showing me that he loved me.

"Jessica" says neighbors can help domestic violence situations by keeping an eye-on-one-another.

"Many neighbors, they tend to turn a blind eye to situations, hear arguing, screaming and see and they're afraid to speak up. They should speak up. They might be saving somebody's live. I wish somebody would have done that for me. I wish they would have spoken up," she said.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" and a national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" and other CBS News broadcasts.

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