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He Choked Me on Christmas

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Like most survivors, Alyssa Daniels never thought she would be a victim of domestic violence. She was 28 years old when her boyfriend put his hands on her.

After meeting her then-boyfriend on Bumble in 2018, they had dated a little under a year when his true colors came out.

On Christmas Day, Alyssa and her then-boyfriend were coming back from a friend’s party. Having drank a little too much, the boyfriend became increasingly verbal and mentally abusive, until things took a turn for the worst.

“I told him I was just going to go back home to my house because I didn't want to sit around and wait while he went to his next party solo,” Alyssa said. “He ended up choking me up against a wall and pulled a gun out and told me I wasn't allowed to leave. He got scared that I was going to call the police so he called them first. The police showed up and talked to us each separately and even seeing the red marks on my neck, they made me feel like I was the crazy one because of his family's connection with the police and were using my mental health history against me and out of context.”

Alyssa never talked to him again after that day.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, if your partner has strangled you in the past, your risk of being killed by them is 10x higher. Strangulation is a significant predictor for future lethal violence.

Common visible signs of strangulation include red spots in the eyes, swollen lips, scratches and bruising. However, not all signs of strangulation are visible. Victims may suffer intense pain, swollen tongue, vision changes, cuts in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing or voice changes. Long-term health consequences of this type of abuse include PTSD, depression, suicidal ideation, nightmares and anxiety.

Taking the time to heal, and still healing, Alyssa is aware of the signs and red flags to look for in future relationships.

“When I meet someone and almost right off the bat they're love bombing and talking about our future long term together and seeing us getting married. Or when I first meet someone and they talk about how "all their exes are crazy" and they've "never met anyone like me before". Basically seeing a life together or being obsessive before there's been time to even get to know anything about me,” she explained.

Now at 32, Alyssa offers advice to those in similar situations. “The best advice I can give to others is to keep your relationships with your friends/family/whatever your circle looks like strong. This ex isolated me from everyone in my life and I allowed it to happen and also isolated myself.”

Isolation plays a major role in domestic violence cases. Abusers use this tactic to separate their victims from their loved ones. Abusers may humiliate, intimidate, threaten or coerce their victims. Isolation keeps victims reaching out to the others for help and causes them to become dependent on their abusers.

When asked ‘what would you tell your younger self’ after her experience. Alyssa said, “It's not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. There was no way you could have known things would turn out like this and you are worthy of a healthy, mutual love. No one ever taught you what signs to look for or even how to actually love and value yourself as your own person and that got taken advantage of by a bad person. You will heal and grow and learn to love yourself and one day someone will love every part of you for exactly who you are and everything you've gone through will make sense.”

Strong, brave and proud, Alyssa didn’t let this abuse define her. She’s a healing coach who works with others to help close the gap on mental health stigmas. Social media extraordinaire, you can check out Alyssa’s work @yourwellnessbestie or at

For more information on domestic violence and resources, visit

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Mallory Oconnor
Mallory Oconnor
Apr 13, 2023

Its crazy how police so often take the abusers side. I was arrested when I called for help because I refused to let him back around me and my kids.

Apr 20, 2023
Replying to

I agree. Not every police officer understands how to handle these situations. thank you for sharing your story!!! im glad you and your kids were able to get away safely! no one ever deserves that!

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