Kimmy Foulds tried to leave her abusive husband nine times, and nine times he brought her and their two boys home again. In each instance, the abuse became worse.
Photograph by Jordon Van Zante
When her children began to mimic the abuse, Foulds knew it was only a matter of time before she became a statistic. So, 28 years into the marriage, with her husband and boys upstairs, Foulds hopped into the car of a waiting friend. She flew to Iowa and hunkered down with her aging mother and father.
That first Sunday, Foulds discovered her parents watching In Touch. As she joined them each week, her guilt over leaving was met by the grace of God. In time, Dr. Stanley taught about healthy detachment. She realized, I didn’t abandon; I tried to make it work. It can be OK to walk away from harmful people.
It’s 11 years since Foulds has seen her boys. After her parents died, she returned to Florida and slowly emerged on social media. She felt trapped again last year when Hurricane Ian struck the Tampa area. As sand and water pelted her door, she prayed for her children. What if she never got to explain things to them? Then a message appeared. One son found her on social media and wanted to know if she was safe. He said he’d witnessed the abuse, and everything made sense to him now.
“You’re physically alone, but God finds a way to [lift] you up,” she says. “When my heart aches, His Word is a lighted path for me.” Foulds longs for a reunion with her children. But she knows the timing is in God’s hands. “A lot of people don’t want to know about domestic violence, but then someone ends up dead. It’s out there and it’s real. I’m so thankful that God saved me and gave me sunshine every day. I know He saved me for a reason.”