Justice is No Lady: Chapter 4 ~ Second Prison Break and the Norfolk Years

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyIt was 1995. Nate’s grandmother’s basement was orange. It was wallpapered in a fifties motif with little vinyl record albums. My husband, the newly minted Christian attorney, had been in this basement on his laptop computer, hooked up to the internet, for six months.I sat and looked out the basement window, the bottom of which was level with the dirt, and begged Nate for the thousandth time to disconnect and spend some time with his wife and three babies. Nate would come out of the basement only for food, sex (I had the wrong lingeré still), evening TV, and excursions to the grocery store. And to sleep … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 3 ~ Company of the Faithful

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyAt Regent University, I had lots of role models. Sweet-tempered women were submitting to their husbands, keeping their student apartments immaculate, and having babies right and left. I learned to buy wheat berries from the local co-op and grind them to bake bread. We were Stepford Wives, only hugely, proudly fertile. We grew herbs. We read books on natural childbirth. We prayed for God to make us more meek and submissive. And we prayed for our dear darling hubbies over at the Christian law school who were going to usher in a new American Revolution and turn this country around. “Shh! Quiet! Daddy’s stud … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 2 ~ First Prison Break

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess Willoughby1993 was a rough year. It was the year that Nate was fired from his engineering job in Tazewell, Virginia, and first started thinking about studying the law. It was the year when we went to a conference and met a pastor who advocated corporal punishment for wives, and Nate took to his teachings like a duck to water. It was the year I had Jack, who was conceived a few months after Daniel’s birth. Most notably, 1993 marked my first attempt at a separation from Nate.Daniel had been born at home. Nate and I were part of the Christian separatist movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s, rooted in the belief … [Read more...]


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