Victim delivers powerful statement about domestic abuseA clear cut and brutal picture of domestic abuse came into stark focus on Monday as the victim of a Carlton man sentenced for domestic abuse by strangulation came forward and delivered an impassioned impact statement.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
(Editor’s note: Due to the nature of the offense committed by Travis William Lindberg, the Pine Journal has chosen not to name the victim in the case.)
A clear cut and brutal picture of domestic abuse came into stark focus on Monday as the victim of a Carlton man sentenced for domestic abuse by strangulation came forward and delivered an impassioned impact statement. Not long into the presentation, given before Judge Robert Macualay, the victim was unable to continue and the balance of the prepared statement was read by Assistant Carlton County Attorney Nichole Carter.
The victim talked of how she suffered continued abuse by her then-boyfriend, Travis William Lindberg, over the year and a half they were together and “how Travis William Lindberg changed my life….what he took from me, and what he continues to take from me,” she stated.
She said since the day she reported to authorities that Lindberg attempted to strangle her during a fit of rage, she said she had to leave their home because it was solely kept in his name. Since that time, she said she has moved twice.
“I didn’t get to pick my apartment based on where I wanted to live,” she said. “I had to pick it based on proximity to where he lived, I had to pick it based on the security system in the building, how many locks I had on my door and whether they’d allow me to install another.”
She added that she’s had to change her phone number three times since the incident and has had to alter her daily routine to avoid having him find her.
“I can’t keep a constant schedule at work,” she said. “I can’t take the same paths to and from places, I have no routine. I live in self-created chaos to try and keep myself alive. I can’t go to the same gas stations we used to, the same grocery stores or restaurants. I sleep with pepper spray curled up in my hand and carry it whenever I’m walking anywhere, even right outside the door to my car.”
The victim went on to tell the court that she has had to miss work because she’s had trouble with her memory and her ability to concentrate since the strangulation incident and added that she bursts into tears over nothing and at the most inopportune times. She said she currently attends counseling and two survivors’ groups weekly to try to deal with the aftereffects of the abuse.
“Every single relationship in my life has been affected on some level,” she continued. “Some of them have been lost because people couldn’t handle how much it’s changed me.”
She said she is also going through medical testing for headaches that began after the attack that have so far not responded to treatment. She also suffers from insomnia and “horrific” nightmares.
“The memory of his hands wrapped around my neck, squeezing the life out of me, cutting off my air supply, slowing my circulation….” she recalled. “I can actually feel it again at times and feel shortness of breath. The fear I felt not being able to breathe and seeing a dark halo move in around his face as my vision began to fade haunts me, both awake and in my
The victim stated she believes Lindberg will blame her and not take responsibility for his actions.
“I know that he will hold a resentment toward me forever, which means I will never be safe as long as Travis is alive and free,” she said. “He will probably sit there and tell you he’s sorry, but he’s not sorry – he knew exactly what he was doing. He used to tell me he could choke me out because he learned how when he was a cop and then revive me because he was a paramedic. He had done it before – he’s just sorry he finally got caught.
“He’s not sorry he made my life a form of hidden hell,” she continued. “He’s sorry he lost his ability to play the hero to the world while he terrorizes those he claims to love behind closed doors. I’ve seen him conjure up tears and claim remorse many times, cheated, lied, hurt me and then go off in fits of rage, only to do it over and over again. Travis will do just enough to make you think he’s trying to get better while continuing to do what he wants…Behind the charming big smile, all the ego, the false remorse, Travis is a predator and an abuser and a narcissist who thinks he can do whatever he wants.”
The victim acknowledged that by pressing charges against Lindberg, she knows she is taking a serious personal risk, despite the fact that the court has issued a DANCO (Domestic Abuse No Contact Order) requiring Lindberg to refrain from any contact with her.
“I wanted him to know that he’s not above the law, that when he chooses to try to hurt someone, he will be punished for it,” she said. “He will never know which woman he meets in the future will also be strong enough to stand up to him and tell him ‘No more.’ Travis will not be allowed back into my life to hurt me again.”
She acknowledged that she had checked Lindberg’s police record when she first met him and found it was clean “because those who came before me couldn’t do what I am doing today, telling the court and all involved what he did to me,” she concluded.
“During this process, every time he would try to intimidate me, harass me, each moment I thought I couldn’t do this anymore, I remembered that I may have been spared this pain and experience had someone come forward. I did this in part so any woman in the future thinks to look what she’s getting into.”
The victim said her “new reality” is that she will never be completely safe again.
“In this process,” she concluded, “I have learned through others how best to protect myself. I’ve also learned that no matter what I do, the reality is that if he decides someday that he has nothing left to lose, I may die. Every morning I wake up and for a moment, I wonder if today is that day. I pray that it’s not and try to go on with my life.”