“Domestic violence is tragic and devastating to family and friends and to all of society,” Assistant Portland Police Chief Vern Malloch said about the recent killing of Sokha Khuon, allegedly by her domestic partner. This death, and the murder-suicide in Temple, are tragedies beyond comprehension and understanding.

As I write this letter to the editor, someone, somewhere is being abused; that person is hoping and praying that it will be the last time and it will never happen again. Domestic violence has no boundaries: not age, not social status, not religion, not gender, not sexual orientation, not intelligence, not nationality. None.

I lived in fear, control and denial for many years. It was easier to believe that my abnormal life was “normal.” I was upset when I read about both of these cases. It could have been me.

It wasn’t easy to leave my abusive marriage at the age of 65. I was depressed and full of fear and uncertainty for the future. I was in serious danger and wasn’t even aware of it. Today, I am a vocal and committed 78-year-old survivor of domestic violence. I have dedicated my life to helping one person I may never meet or know, who leaves an abusive relationship after hearing my story.

I have written numerous letters pleading with victims to leave their abusive relationships. I will speak out until I breathe my last breath.

Please reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. It is never too late to leave.

Call the 24-hour hotline at Family Crisis Services at 1-800-537-6066.

Mary Louise Liucci-Smith