"You fall in love with your heart first," she says. "What we decipher later with our minds—we're already in over our heads. We're so in love, we make excuses and rationalizations: 'If only I loved him more.' If we as women could understand it's not about us. It's about the manipulation, the control. When you get to that point, it's awesome. It's a power beyond explanation."
Second, you are not alone.
"This was never about Brenda Clubine. It was about making change so no other woman would have to live this nightmare. Even if I could get through to one woman, if she hears me and it touches her spirit, to realize she has more options. Then, this whole nightmare would be worth it.
"Pick out one person you know will listen. Share your heart. In telling one person, it changes everything," Clubine says. "You never know who they will tell. And as long as you're alone, you feel it. It's really important to empower women. To tell them that it matters, that they're worth fighting for. The day we don't listen is the day we fail—the day we keep the silent silenced."
What should a woman watch for if she senses her partner could be an abuser? Here are some signs:
An abuser will isolate you. Klaus observed that many of the women she spoke with felt totally alone, thanks to their marriages. There was a pattern of "giving up friends and family and focusing on this one man."
An abuser will make you feel like you can't leave—you can't make it on your own. Many women don't leave because their abuser tells them they can't survive without their help. Brenda felt she couldn't leave, truly, because she had a son.
The early signs aren't screams, they're whispers. Both Olivia and Brenda talked about a common thread in abusers: manipulation—and it's rarely overt. "These guys know how to manipulate and control ... [The women] often said mental, psychological and verbal abuse was worse than any physical abuse."
Sin by Silence airs on Investigation Discovery at 8 PM ET on Monday, October 17.Domestic Violence Information, Solutions, and Resources