After 13 years in abusive relationship, San Antonio woman begins using her voice for good

Anju K will speak at a violence awareness event in July to share story, encourage other survivors

SAN ANTONIO - – She went from victim, to victorious.

After 13 years of domestic violence, a San Antonio woman is free.

Just months into her recovery, she’s finding her voice and using it for good. In July, she will be the keynote speaker for a violence awareness event.

She hopes it will be the start of a lifelong journey to healing by helping others.

“From the first day, he was abusive,” Anju K said.

She said the day she got married at 18 years old in India, she lost her freedom.

Anju said it got worse when her ex-husband brought her and their two children to live in San Antonio.

“He became a monster to me. He became a numb person. The way he was hurting me, the way he raped me,” she said.

Anju said the violence landed her family in the hospital.

“I open up in front of doctors. They called the CPS and we were told not to go back to home. Then I made a decision to go to the shelter,” she said.

The doors of the Bexar County Battered Women and Children’s Shelter opened with kindness.

“I started my life one year back in the Battered Women’s Shelter. I was there for nine months. I was born there,” Anju said.

Part of her healing is helping. In January, she started a blog and website that reached other survivors.

“People from Australia, UK, Canada, Pakistan, India,” she said.

Anju said being a survivor is a feeling of pride and she hopes those suffering from abuse will take the brave steps to get there.

“Help is available, but you have to reach out. And reaching out doesn’t mean just reach out. Call a number. No response? Don’t give up. Keep knocking. Then someone listen to you,” she said.

Anju is set to be the keynote speaker at a July 1 violence awareness event hosted by the San Antonio Indian Nurses Association. The in-person event at University Hospital is for medical professionals, but the public can sign up to join virtually.

About the Authors:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.