The Window

First, he just wanted me to stop working. He was making plenty of money, and if I wasn’t working, we could travel. This way, we wouldn’t have to pay for two separate bank accounts either. He’d just give me any money I needed.

Photo Construction 40"w x 36"h x 2"d ©2004 Kate Sartor Hilburn

Then, he just wished I’d stop inviting my mother over. She always ended up criticizing me and getting me upset. Besides, she never really liked him, and he knew it.

Then, he didn’t really approve of my best friend. After all, she’s divorced and kind of wild. Every time she visits, he says I have a bad attitude for a few days.

Then, he decided we should sell my car. After all, I wasn’t working or anything, so where would I be going that he couldn’t go with me?

Then he began to unplug the phone and take it with him every day. I don’t know why he didn’t trust me enough to leave me with a phone. What if something happened to me? But he said I was just being paranoid.

Finally it got to where I never saw or spoke to anyone anymore. But I could look out the window and see the house across the pasture. The kids there wave at me sometimes. But today he took a hammer and nails and boarded up the window. He said I was spending all my time just looking out that window.

BEATING HEARTS: Stories of Domestic Violence is a photographic project inspired by true stories of domestic violence, documented by Kate Sartor Hilburn and Terrie Queen Autrey of Louisiana. Visit to view more posters and photographs from the collection.


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