By Kathi Wolfe
(Updated April 2011)

For Linda Miller, the support of family and friends was crucial in escaping her abusive first marriage. "I was lucky. My parents had a wheelchair-accessible home."

For Linda Miller, the support of family and friends was crucial in escaping her abusive first marriage. “I was lucky. My parents had a wheelchair-accessible home.”

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Linda Miller never expected she would be one of them.

In 1974, when Miller got married before graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, she thought her marriage would be a happy one. “I grew up in a good environment,” she says. “My mother and father had always been loving with each other, I never heard a cross word.” She had no idea that her life would soon become a living hell.

“He was the only one working. I had my degree — my majo