Day 2 of #31Survivors Domestic Violence Series, "Protected for Prevention" - Katrina Fordham

Katrina Fordham’s story began when she was a child. Subjected to horrible abuse, including physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her mother.

I can remember yelling and hearing my muffled screams as I squirmed trying to free myself from the crochet blanket covering my face. The blanket which was used to bring me home from the hospital as an infant now served another nearly fatal purpose. My mother - under the control of one of her many drunken personalities, was trying to suffocate me. I was only 5 years old. This wouldn’t be her last attempt.

This wasn’t the first and it certainly wouldn’t be the last time Katrina would have to suffer abuse.

Sixteen years after this incident, Katrina lost her first child. Some months later, she left college and joined the military due to financial hardships that almost left her homeless.

It was in the military that she fell in love with the man of her dreams. He was everything Katrina dreamed of and when he asked her to marry him, she said yes. Soon after dating, he became emotionally and verbally abusive, jump starting a cycle that wouldn’t come to an end until six years later. During one of his explosive episodes, he pointed a gun in her face but her best friend saved her life.

The abuse only worsened with her next boyfriend, who had a bad temper and was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive. When she became pregnant with his child, she wasn’t able to keep the baby.

My child’s father, who was abusive asked me to abort the pregnancy. I did. Despite the cycle of abuse and the difficulty I endured getting pregnant, I conceived a third child. As a result of the abuse, I decided not to carry out the pregnancy. I had second thoughts and tried to save the baby but it was too late.

Katrina turned to writing as a means of coping. She kept a journal.

Joe’s grandfather died today. Amidst the sadness I find myself numb. Last night Joe* put his hands on me again...Not to mention that earlier yesterday, he cursed me out in the store for glancing over at the worker washing the windows. It all just seems like too much for me to handle. Joe makes me cry more than he makes me smile. (August 8, 2010)

Several documented police reports, an incident that left her on the side of a highway, and six stitches later, she made the decision to end the relationship.

Her next boyfriend continued the cycle of emotional abuse.

When Katrina became pregnant again, she decided to keep her baby. The stress of her emotionally tumultuous relationship with her daughter’s father caused her water to break at just 17 weeks.

My baby still has a heartbeat...Everyday I continue to pray despite everything that is going on...Praying that God spares my child. With help from the Lord...I know that I will make it through this. I really want my child to survive. God is trying to get my attention in ways He has never done before. (April 4, 2012)

My daughter was pronounced dead within my womb after being strangled by her own lifeline. (April 6, 2012)

On April 12, 2012, fed up with the pain, abuse and trauma she had endured all of her life, Katrina attempted suicide. Two Ativans, one ambien, one Vicodin, and one amoxicillin later, she held onto her daughter’s blanket while imagining that her baby girl were laying inside of it. As she felt her body go limp, Katrina whispered for God to forgive her. God spared Katrina's life. 

Still depressed and fed up, Katrina attempted suicide everyday from April 24th to the 26th. Each time, she failed.

Katrina continued to suffer many hardships but everything changed when she conceived again.

In 2014, God blessed Katrina with a beautiful baby boy who became the reason she separated from her abusers.

He brought me into another level of awareness that I never had before. I recall being a little girl, growing up in abusive situations... I wanted something different for him.

Today, Katrina uses her story to encourage others with similar narratives. In December of 2015, she gave her first keynote speech at a Domestic Violence Prevention Conference. Her message - Protected for Prevention. She recently launched her laboratory consulting business, VirtuLabs LLC. She is working on her first book, dedicated to her journey from pain to triumph.

To learn more about Katrina’s story, email her at katrina.fordham@gmail.com.


In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 10 Blessings Founder Natasha T. Brown introduces the 31 Survivors Storytelling Series. Watch the welcome video above, and read the stories each day of survivors who work daily to empower victims of domestic violence.