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In the midst of Domestic Violence Awareness Month two Octobers ago, singer James Fortune physically assaulted his wife in their Texas home. He opens up now on the escalating actions of abuse, the signs for women to look for and how therapy with other abusive men saved his life.

As I’m sitting in the back of the cop car, I watch officers bring my children out of our home. My wife is at the hospital, where she reported my assault. We had just gotten back from a trip to South Africa. My wife and I had an argument and I decided to physically remove her from our bedroom. In doing so, I assaulted her. I abused my wife physically. I pleaded guilty. I wasn’t guilty of all that was reported, like hitting her with a bar stool, but I was guilty of assaulting my wife. There’s no excuse. Part of my probation was a group class with other men cited for domestic violence. That class changed my life.

I thought that night when things became physical was the extent of my being an abusive husband. Once I started therapy, I realized I was worse off than I’d thought. In the last few years, I discovered there are many forms of abuse that happen in relationships—and only one of them is physical. As I began to look at myself, I saw so many different forms that I had perpetrated against my wife that affected my kids.

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James Fortune Opens Up About Being an Abuser and Seeking Help After Domestic Assault  was originally published on