Woman Married Bodyguard She Hired After Leaving Abusive Partner

After escaping an abusive relationship, a woman hired a bodyguard for $100 a night, fell in love, and married him two weeks later. Thirteen years later, the couple has three children and are still happily in love.

"After being in an abusive relationship, it's drilled into you that you will never love again," she said, according to The Sun. "I never expected to have that again."

Elise Stevens, 35, who goes by @bigredswife on TikTok, posted a video of her husband Derek on January 17 and received more than 5.4 million views.

"I hired him 13 years ago as my body guard [sic] for $100 a night and now we have 3 kids, 2 dogs, a mortgage, and I am broke," the on-screen text read.

The Domestic Violence Hotline estimates that more than 1 in 3 women will be experience rape, violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. For many of these women, leaving behind an abusive partner is not possible. This testimony comes at a time when the American Journal of Emergency Medicine says domestic violence cases increased by 25-33 percent globally in 2020.

In various videos on her TikTok account, Stevens explained that before meeting her now-husband 13 years ago, she was "battered" and "abused."

After fleeing her abusive partner with her three-month-old daughter in 2008, friends recommended she hire someone to ensure her and her daughter's safety, according to The Sun. She said she packed up everything they had in a duffle bag and went to the train station.

She explained that although she moved hundreds of miles away, her ex was able to locate her and broke into her home. Afterward, her friends recommended she hire someone, so she asked her old high school friend Derek to move into her new home.

After hiring him on March 1, she said she instantly fell in love. She said he made her feel safe and protected. Just two weeks later, the pair tied the knot.

Stevens said that they agreed on a Monday to get married and had the ceremony on Friday, just two weeks after they started dating.

On average, it takes seven times for a person to escape an abusive relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline estimates. For many, successfully leaving the relationship could put them in even more harm.

Some obstacles domestic violence victims might face when attempting to leave include a past criminal record, financial instability, or the fear of homelessness.

Stevens has personally experienced obstacles when she left in 2008. Now, Stevens and her husband post TikToks on their page and often remind viewers that they support people leaving violent situations.

"Leaving a violent situation is the hardest thing I ever did but the most freeing," she said in one video. "We're here to support you!"

If you or someone you know needs help getting out of a domestic violence situation, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text START to 88788.

There are many free public services specifically for victims of domestic violence, including the Hotline's virtual safety plan.

Couple getting married
After a woman hired a bodyguard to protect her and her daughter from her abusive ex, the two fell in love and got married. Above, a stock image of a bride and groom. EkaterinaPichukova/iStock