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I'm In Love With My Abuser — With Esta Soler

“I fell madly in love with a young man,” begins a voice mail message addressed to the Sugars. It’s how many of the letters to the Sugars begin, but this message takes an alarming turn: “Our arguments had reached a point where they were just straight up nasty. And they’ve gotten to the point where he struck me in my face three times.”

For the first time on the podcast, the Sugars answer a voice mail message from the Dear Sugars hotline. The message comes from a woman who reunited with her ex-boyfriend, who once assaulted her. Wracked with shame, she wonders if reconciling with him is acceptable and if it’s possible he’ll change. Esta Soler, president and founder of Futures Without Violence, joins the Sugars to help answer the question: Is it O.K. to love someone who abused you?

Futures Without Violence is an advocacy organization designed to end violence against women and children. It was the driving force behind the passage of the original Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

Resources

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” by Raymond Carver


New episodes of Dear Sugars are released weekly. Do you have a question for the Sugars? Email dearsugars@nytimes.com.

Amory Sivertson Twitter Producer for New Programming
Amory Sivertson is an associate producer for new programming at WBUR. She's one of the producers of Modern Love: The Podcast.

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