A COUNTRY violence survivor has come out of her abusive relationship to go on to marry a man who murdered his wife who claims she was manipulated in the marriage.
Stephanie Garcia met ex-husband Gerardo Castaneda just a month after he was released from prison, after 20 years in prison for the murder of his first wife in 1996.
Having experienced domestic violence in previous relationships, the 49-year-old woman says she is used to violent men and so she did not initially see his past as a reason to did not date him, as he showed ‘regret’ for his crime.
But when claiming husband Gerardo dumped her without any explanation after being together for a year, she said she realized she had allowed the offender to ‘manipulate’ her by Treat her too kindly.
The mother-of-two claimed that her ex-husband had “taken advantage of” her past as a victim of domestic violence, by “washing her feet” by acting seductively unlike the treatment she was used to.
Stephanie, now a pardoned case manager, hopes to raise awareness about domestic violence and encourage people to better understand the impact of violence on survivors.
Stephanie, from Santa Rosa, Texas, said: “I met this man and he was really kind and attentive to my needs and everything any woman could want.
“He spent 20 years in prison thinking about how he would treat a woman when he was out and so he was very nice to me.
“He completely kicked me off my feet and within seven months we were married.
“He confessed that he went to prison for killing his wife and it seemed at the time that he deeply regretted it.
“Because I’m used to being with a violent man – I can’t believe I’m saying this – but at the time it didn’t seem that bad.
“But now I look back and think ‘oh my god what am I thinking, I married a man who killed his wife’.
“Any other woman would run the other way but because of my life experience I allowed him to manipulate me.
“I felt like he really took advantage of my previous life experiences, which were relationships that I had been through that were very violent and he hunted that down.
“These guys are in prison for a long time and what I’ve learned now is that they learn to manipulate women.”
The mother was previously a victim of domestic violence in two long-term relationships, which she claims have desensitized to abusive and abusive men in relationships.
Stephanie says she was happily single for 8 years before she met Gerardo.
At the time, she was working in a school for troubled youth and said one of her students said a family member had just been released from prison.
A firm believer in second chances, she claims she asked the man to contact her to see if she could help him get back into society in any way.
Despite ‘never intending’ to be romantically involved with him, Stephanie claimed that the charge ‘got her off her feet’ and the couple married after just seven months of dating, in July 2018. 2016.
The domestic violence survivor said that the ‘light, remorseful’ demeanor Gerardo displayed to herself meant she had no doubt about marrying him at the time.
Stephanie said: ‘We started dating very quickly, within a few weeks and then a few weeks later he told me.
I think it’s not fair that a domestic violence survivor is judged so harshly
“When he told me he killed his wife, I felt sorry for him because he cried and acted as if he had no intention of taking her life and I believed him at the time. that point.”
However, after only a year together – where he was always nice to her – Stephanie claimed Gerardo just dumped her for a day without an explanation.
Stephanie believes her current ex-husband has ‘manipulated’ her in the first place and now she questions his feelings for her throughout their marriage.
However, since sharing her experience online, Stephanie insists she is constantly being judged by others for being married to a convicted murderer.
Stephanie said: “I think it’s not fair that a domestic violence survivor should be judged so harshly because I feel that the decision to have sex with a man who murdered his wife really did. back to the fact that I was abusive in a relationship for too long.
“I believe he has paid off his debt to society – he’s been in prison for 20 years and it really doesn’t make sense but I’m a believer that everyone deserves a second chance.
“But I also know from working with that population that these people know how to manipulate – people judge me for being involved with him but he’s manipulating me and people don’t understand that.
“I’m older and more mature now so I can see that now.”
The Hidalgo County Court found Gerardo Castaneda guilty of first degree murder on December 22, 1996 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
https://www.thesun.ie/fabulous/8204771/domestic-violence-survivor-married-murderer/ I am a domestic violence survivor and married to a man who killed his wife