About me and Domestic Violence

By AnnMichelle G. Hart, Esq.
December 8, 2021 

A theme popped up three times in the last week to 10 days…   I’m a firm believer that God, or the Universe – which ever you believe in – sends you opportunities if only we are aware enough to see them. This is one of those opportunities. 

Hi, I’m Ann Hart, HartLaw PLLC, I’m an estate planning attorney in Washington State. 

This theme was so strong that I “got” the message and I felt I needed to share it with you. The first time it showed up was in a discussion with a potential client, the other two times were in the meetings with colleagues. 

We are all a product of our walk through this life. Either you use your experiences for good, or it crushes you. It is your choice. 

Thirty years ago I got married. The man had great potential. He also had a dark side I didn’t fully see until after we were married.  The change was subtle; bit by bit. I became a domestic violence victim. For 10.5 years it slowly escalated. Three marriage counselors couldn’t fix the problem because my spouse didn’t want things to be equal between us. 

I had a revelation during an individual therapy session with the last counselor. He asked a question I didn’t have an answer for. That question began my journey. For me, marriage is “till death do us part.” I did not want to fail. Divorce was failure. I realized that my spouse also believed that Marriage is “till death do us part” but his solution was scary. 
Six months later, my spouse inadvertently gave me an opportunity, and in just 18 hours I arranged what help I could… and I left. 

The next 2-3 years were rough. I was stalked everywhere. My family was stalked. I lost my job. I lost my pets. I had to move out of a condo I had just bought. He took my only vehicle with help from my local police department.  

I could have folded.  It could have crushed me. I’m just too stubborn to give in. I took stock – not for where I HAD been, but for where I was now free to go… I took some classes at the community college. I made a deliberate effort to rediscover me – Who I am and what I want.  

I wanted to be a lawyer. In the Spring of 2011 – just 10.5 years after I lost everything – I earned my Law Degree.  Everything I have now is because I FOUGHT for it. 

Why am I telling you this? Just like I told my potential client: If you are a victim of domestic violence, there is hope, but you have to fight for it. Find people and agencies willing to help you – they will give you the tools you need. They can’t fight your fight, but they can arm you to become a fighter.  You choose who you want to become. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Some things in life are more important than business. This is one of them.  If you need advice on escaping domestic violence or need advice on how to help someone you know, you can reach out to me, Ann Hart HartLaw PLLC. You are not alone. I care about you.