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Jeanette Towne vividly recalls the morning her chronically abusive husband went into a rage and began beating her with a hammer.

"I thought he was going to kill me," she says. "I started praying like I had never prayed before. 

"At that moment I felt strength in my gut, and I told my husband, 'Go ahead and kill me!' He immediately stopped and turned away. I believe the Holy Spirit showed up that day. There's no other way to explain it." 

That day 20 years ago was the moment Towne says she stopped being a victim. 

Now the CEO of a successful technology firm, she oversees more than 500 contractors and employees. Her ideal life today as a wife, mother and company president seems a world away from her life as a "domestic prisoner."

She uses that term to describe how difficult it is for women to leave their abusers. Towne says complex emotions and even church teachings on marriage and divorce keep victims bound. 

"The average [abused] woman leaves eight to 10 times before leaving for good," she says. "I never looked back."

Towne contributes her new life to the grace of God. She has remarried and today has 18-year-old twins and two adopted daughters.

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