Posted on January 11 2022
Most cases of domestic violence don't begin as horror stories.
Often, they start as fairy tales. Love stories that twist themselves into horror. Maybe that is what makes these cases hard for people to swallow. A fairy tale without the fairy tale ending is not a tale worth much.
Our love story takes place in Hollywood, California: a place of dreams, creativity, and dazzling performances.
Two people have made an online connection that's showing signs of becoming something more.
They were talking all the time, and they always were looking forward to that time.
Both are creative, passionate, and involved in the fashion industry. So why not go on a date and see what comes of it? They would meet in public on Hollywood Boulevard.
Neither Robin nor Victor needed to worry. The date was a hit; love came fast and naturally. It was a whirlwind romance worthy of its Hollywood setting.
They met in February and found themselves having a beachside wedding by that June.
Their first child was due in the spring of the following year.
They were happy, healthy, and living a creatively and love-enriched life together.
Until the day Robin came home to find Victor shaking in a closet.
"In men, schizophrenia symptoms typically start in the early to mid-20s."-The Mayo Clinic
At the age of twenty-nine, Victor was experiencing a complete mental and emotional breakdown.
He didn't understand what was happening to him; he began to see and hear things that weren't there. Victor was suffering almost constant auditory and visual hallucinations.
During these episodes, he would hallucinate people were coming after him; they threatened to kill him and his family. They were spying on and plotting against him.
He'd twitch and his eyes would become dark and unfamiliar.
He came to believe Robin was the evil he was seeing and hearing. She was the one threatening their lives.
That was when the beatings began. Robin would wake up and find him punching her face in the darkness of their bedroom.
As his mental health deteriorated, the violence of his attacks increased. By the time their son was born, the abuse had escalated tenfold.
One month after his birth, they found themselves expecting their second child. But unfortunately, the abuse raged on throughout the entire second pregnancy as well.
Victor's visions of being attacked ramped up, as they did, so did his violent reactions to them and furious attacks on Robin.
He was biting, punching, and shoving her as well as threatening to kill their pets or himself. He was in a continual state of psychosis.
"Social isolation abuse is behavior that aims to cut you off from your family, friends, or community. It can also involve a person or people trying to damage your relationships with others."-DVconnect
Word of Victor's instability had come down the line. The verdict was Robin's friends and family members were much too frightened to be in his presence.
They soon became parents to a newborn baby girl. Things became worse.
There were times when Robin and the kids would be forced to drive somewhere and sleep in the car for the night. On other occasions, they'd hide out in hotels.
When Robin turned to her best friend of several years for help, she was turned away.
Victor would tell her he was going to kill her daily.
He was a ticking time bomb in a never-ending cycle of detonation.I
Finally, on the last day of them sharing a home, Robin was laying down cradling their firstborn, and touched by the scene, Víctor decided to snap a picture of them.
He tried to get her to smile, but she was lost in her own mind. As Victor took photo after photo, all Robin could do was clutch her baby, staring into nothing, and think, how will I get away from him before he kills me?
After Victor left that day, Robin packed her and the babies’ things. After some pleading, a relative of Robin's agreed to let her and the kids stay with them for the next few months.
From then on, Victor, Robin, and the kids never met each other outside of a police station or sheriff's office.
Victor fell into homelessness.
He couldn't feed or care for himself in any way. He was lost in another world—a world where the people closest to him were the most significant danger and had to be eliminated. His official diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia.
Robin decided to move herself and the kids back home. She missed the three of them having their own space, was done with being chased from her own space.
But now that she was alone and back in the area, it wasn't long before Victor began to stalk her. He'd send her disturbing texts and leave unsettling notes.
She shouldn't bother with running; he'd cut the cables on her car.
He carved the word FAT into the front door.
He was on his way to kill her at this very moment.
Still, Robin attempted to help him with his mental health from afar.
When Victor ran out of steam, he'd often end up laying in the rain or sleeping on top of piles of garbage. She'd sign him into a shelter or drive him to a mental health facility, but no one could or would keep him for long.
It all came to ahead one afternoon outside of Robin's apartment building.
As she exited the building, pushing her babies' carriage, Victor rushed up to them and made a move to grab their son.
Robin managed to dodge him and get into the building's elevator in time. When she made it back into the apartment, he started banging on the door and screaming for her to open it. Lost to anxiety and blind panic, Robin passed out cold.
When she woke up, she found out Victor had crossed over the border into Mexico.
He wouldn't be allowed back into the country again.
Robin believed the part of him that was still Victor; perhaps his unconscious mind was responsible for his removing himself from the country.
Deep down, he knew he was approaching the point of killing her, and he got out of the country before it was too late.
Robin began therapy to work through the trauma of surviving intimate partner violence.
Became a survivor.
But she would find herself thinking back to all the times she asked for help with leaving Victor and was turned away.
She remembered the friends and family members who abandoned her outright. She was determined to do anything she could for people who found themselves in similar situations.
That's when she decided Army Pink would establish a mission of support and empowerment.
Robin would help others with the process of leaving an abusive relationship as she had.
She would help them become survivors.
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A dollar from every Peace Pendant goes to fund transportation to help someone escape an abusive relationship.