Aubrey Surovik wears a lot of hats: fitness expert, model and lifestyle coach.
Several years ago, after going through a divorce, the single mother from Houston thought she had met the man of her dreams.
“He was everything I thought I needed,” Surovik said. “We ate the same, drank the same, work out the same. Eighty percent was amazing!"
But she says he had a dark side.
"I think he was Prince Charming on the outside, but his core was completely evil,” Surovik said. "I'm running down a street, and I went up some stairs, and I fell, he got on top of me, and all I could remember is he was choking me.
"I can't remember being hit, like, I don't remember the pain of being hit, I just remember that I just need to survive, I just need to get home."
Extended interview: Houston woman shares her story of domestic violence
But like in so many cases, that wasn't the end of the story -- it was the beginning of a cycle.
“Gifts, calls, beggings, forgiveness, give him a chance, he's broken, ‘I'll never do it again,’” Surovik said.
She stayed, but the peace only lasted three months. When he beat her a third time, it would be the last.
"I jump in my car and don't know where to go, so he jumps on my car, shaking it, saying, ‘Open the door,’” Surovik said. “I say, ‘No, I will run you over,’ and I heard two voices, one saying, ‘Go, I got you, just leave.’ I said, ‘If you don't move, I will run you over,’ and my son's voice saying, ‘Go, Mom,’ so I left."
For resources and more information regarding domestic violence, call the Houston Area Women's Center hotline at (713)-528-2121 or visit the organization's website.
(© 2016 KHOU)