Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of articles and editorials exploring domestic abuse.
When women escape an abusive relationship, many say the same thing about their abusers: they were charming at first, they were sweet, they lied.
Four domestic abuse victims have come forward to publicly share stories of abuse, survival, redemption and a fight they, and many other silent women, will face the rest of their lives.
These are their stories:
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At 20 years old, Danielle Silva was working as a teacher’s assistant at a private preschool in Falmouth when she met Alvys Marino, then 34, whose daughter attended the school in 2006.
Mr. Marino, a Cuban immigrant who sought asylum in the United States, has two children with his ex-wife.
Three weeks after meeting, Ms. Silva and Mr. Marino started dating and married in February 2009, Ms. Silva said. At the time of their marriage, she was pregnant with their first child.
“Had I known his history, it would have prevented this situation entirely,” Ms. Silva said.
Although there were red flags, Ms. Silva, now 35, said she was too young to notice.
“I was feeling infatuated, I didn’t understand the signs that he was being controlling or manipulative,” Ms. Silva said.
After they were married, his treatment toward Ms. Silva changed, she said. He would make comments about how he “owned” her and was in charge of her, she said. He began verbally abusing her regularly, seemingly fine one minute and spitting mad the next, over triggers that would change daily.
He made comments about her weight and how she looked, compared her to his ex-wife and insulted her intelligence.
The first time he hit her she was pregnant.
Ms. Silva was getting ready for bed and noticed Mr. Marino had not joined her, a routine they were used to, she said. She found him sitting on the couch and asked when he would be coming to bed. He punched her in the arm and told her never to question him again.
Throughout their marriage, Mr. Marino had several affairs. Three years into their marriage, he hired one of his mistresses as their babysitter.
“He wanted to move on and pretend it didn’t happen but I was feeling like I wanted to be done with the relationship,” Ms. Silva said. “Two weeks later, he was trying to be intimate with me, and I said I had no interest in it and felt disgusted by him and didn’t want to be with him like that. He raped me for the first time.”
Mr. Marino said she was his wife, this was her job and she did not have a choice, Ms. Silva said. The abuse became daily. The systematic abuse and psychological trauma Ms. Silva endured wore her down to the point where she wholeheartedly believed she would one day die at his hand.
“I did my best not to think about it. The most important thing to me was to keep them (children) safe because if something bad were to happen to me, they’d be alone with him,” Ms. Silva said.
Knowing she would never get out of the situation on her own, Ms. Silva set out to convince Mr. Marino to divorce her by saying she was repulsed by him and he would be happier with someone else, she said.
In September of 2020, eight years later, he finally agreed.
“It had to be all on his terms, and I was forbidden from telling anyone until it had gone through,” Ms. Silva said.
The terms stated Mr. Marino would never have to pay child support, custody would be shared, he would have full access to the children at all times and he wanted to remain living with Ms. Silva in the house that she was not allowed to sell. Ms. Silva agreed to the terms to get through the divorce hearing and began her plans to physically escape him.
Ms. Silva convinced Mr. Marino to let her and the children move to Florida, saying it would be much easier for him if they were out of state and he could no longer obsess over where she was and what she was doing.
On June 25, while legally divorced, Mr. Alvys flew to Florida with the children to look at their schools and tour the area where they would be living. One morning, before going to one of the amusement parks, they decided to go for a swim but Mr. Marino thought he forgot to pack his bathing suit and was looking for an alternative, such as basketball shorts. He told Ms. Silva and the children to go to the pool and he would be right down.
“It was taking him a long time to meet us at the hotel pool,” Ms. Silva said. “He came down 20 minutes later, smiling but in an evil way, and he came up to me and told me to come to the edge of the pool.”
He said that while in the hotel room, Mr. Marino went through her phone and saw Ms. Silva had been texting with another man.
She said he ushered them back to the hotel room where he held them hostage for hours, abusing Ms. Silva by punching her in the face, choking her and threatening to kill and rape her.
Ms. Silva was eventually able to talk Mr. Marino into letting her use her cellphone again for work purposes.
“I told him I had to finish my work and if it’s not done, my employer will get worried,” Ms. Silva said. “He turned around for 10 seconds and I tried texting 911 when he wasn’t looking. Twelve minutes later, there was a knock at the door and the police were there to rescue us.”
Ms. Silva’s account of the events have been verified by police and court reports obtained from the Orange County Clerk of Courts in Orange County, Florida.
The police separated the children and attempted to interview them, but Mr. Marino consistently yelled in their direction, stated he did not give the police permission. In the report, police noted how fearful the children and Ms. Silva became when Mr. Marino addressed them. Mr. Marino was placed under arrest and charged with interfering with an investigation, false imprisonment, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony (premeditated rape) and battery (domestic assault), according to court documents.
He was released the next morning on a $5,500 cash bail, wired to Florida by his new wife, the former mistress/babysitter with whom he had child with a year prior, and married two weeks before the incident in Florida.
Ms. Silva filed for an emergency restraining order after returning to Massachusetts, which was granted for one year, and testified against him, she said. Since the restraining order was filed, Mr. Marino has violated it twice.
“The lawyer called me to testify and asked me a bunch of questions and his lawyer cross-examined me and it was a horrific process to go through,” Ms. Silva said. “A lot of victims don’t get help because you’re broken down so much mentally, I don’t know how other people would handle it. The system is really terrible; it deters you from wanting to get help and retraumatizes you constantly.”
Mr. Marino has been charged with assault and battery on a household member, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, oral, vaginal and anal rape and secret sexual surveillance. He was arraigned in July and released on a $2,000 cash bail.
A probable cause hearing is set for November 30 at the Falmouth District Court to determine if the case will be moved to superior court.
The defendant’s name, Alvys Marino, was obtained through police and court documents.
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Before Natasha Walton, now 37, began dating her abuser, a local Falmouth resident with generational ties to the town, she was subject to emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of her stepfather.
She grew up in a household where abuse was common, whether she endured it herself or she saw it happen. Many times, alcohol fueled the abuse.
In her mid-20s, she began a relationship with a man who she would date from 2009 until 2011. She did not want to name the man for this article.
In that time frame, the man’s driver’s license was suspended due to drunk driving convictions, and Ms. Walton was responsible for driving him to and from work, and taking care of him, feeling as though that was her role.
He would shove her as she got in and out of her vehicle and sometimes hit her, Ms. Walton said. But the option of staying with him on the Cape was better than the alternative of risking homelessness.
But as the feeling of being trapped escalated, Ms. Walton started to empower herself. She sought out a job and interviewed at a high-paying facility that worked with autistic children. Oftentimes, the job would require her to travel to individual homes for case work.
“I told him I needed him to switch his schedule with his job to work with mine, since I am the one with the license and he said he would, but when I told him I got the job, he said ‘Well, I am not changing my schedule and you need to take me to work,’” Ms. Walton said. “I felt some shame in the moment that I had to tell this great job opportunity that I won’t be able to take the job after all, because my boyfriend doesn’t have a license and needs me to take him to work.”
One night, he had been drinking. They had an argument. He started hitting her in the face, and Ms. Walton hit him back, slapping him as hard as she could, fearful of his response, but more angry.
He looked shocked, then angry, but walked away, Ms. Walton said.
“After months of being pushed around and hit, I needed to put my foot down,” she said.
She secured a job as an assistant manager at the same company her abuser was working, knowing he had not been promoted in the several years he worked there, Ms. Walton said. When she came home and told him about the opportunity, he was drunk and agitated over an altercation with his mother.
In the past, the two had had consensual sex but Ms. Walton expressed she did not want to anymore. He grabbed her by the back of the neck and raped her.
The next morning, Ms. Walton had orientation for her new job in Dartmouth. She recalls making the commute from Falmouth to Dartmouth in a mental fog.
When she got to work, her manager saw how distraught she was and told her that whatever had happened to her, she did not deserve it and she had the power to change it.
A week later, she left her boyfriend.
It has been 10 years since Ms. Walton has endured any sort of abuse, from anyone. She has been happily engaged to her fiancé since 2015.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you try to leave, what matters is you keep trying,” Ms. Walton said. “What’s so important is that you value yourself and you don’t rely on anybody else to understand your value.”
Ms. Walton has a message for other abuse victims.
“It’s not your fault and even if you do feel ashamed of the things you feel you let happen somehow, you have to understand you didn’t let anything happen and you’re doing the best that you can and that’s what you have to expect from yourself,” Ms. Walton said. “It is a very slow process to get to where you are when you realize you need to leave and there’s a sense when all of us leave our abusers that we miss them, but we miss them usually in the time frame of when you first started dating.”
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They first met each other at a license renewal course after being ticketed for drunk driving in 2019.
For John S. Biasiucci II, this was one of several OUIs.
“He was actually very, very charming and very cunning,” said the woman, a Connecticut native, who asked to remain anonymous for this article. “But he lied about everything that came out of his mouth and I believed him. I didn’t know any better.”
They moved in together almost immediately, she said. Within two weeks, he was arrested and jailed for violating probation.
“I was on the Cape, I had nobody there other than him; my whole family was in Connecticut, I wasn’t working and I was financially dependent on him,” she said.
At first, she believed she could “fix” him. But soon after, she realized the extent of his struggles with addiction and his tendency for physical violence.
But he was not physically abusive toward her until October 2019, five months into their relationship.
“There was an altercation where he threw my purse at me, and it cut my face a little bit,” she said. “I didn’t report it or anything but prior to that, he would kick me out knowing I had no where to go and then he’d take my cellphone so I couldn’t call anybody and lock the doors so I couldn’t get in.”
At the end of October, he beat her so severely she was in a coma for three days and he was sentenced to two and a half years in jail, she said.
That day, she learned Mr. Biasiucci was not taking his bipolar medication and was binge drinking. He lost something in the kitchen and when he questioned her about it and she did not know where it was, he grabbed her by her hair, slammed her head against the marble island in the middle of the kitchen and threw her to the ground.
“He was wearing steel-toed work boots and proceeded to kick me in the face and the ribs a couple of times. He blindsided me, I had no defense, I had no time,” she said. “He was stomping my face with his foot, and I was wearing a jacket with my phone in the pocket. Normally the first thing he would do is take my phone when we would argue.”
But he did not take it that time, she said.
She was able to pull her phone from her pocket and dial 911.
“All I remember saying is ‘He’s going to kill me,’” she said. “They pinged my phone and that’s how they found me. He took off and I was laying there bleeding, in and out of consciousness.”
When police arrived, Mr. Biasiucci was not on the property. According to a neighbor, he was seen running down the beach toward Clearwater Drive in the Onset Bay area, court documents show. Police located him hiding under a deck.
“The next thing I remember is I woke up and I had been intubated, and I woke up trying to take it out of my throat,” she said. “I didn’t know where I was or what day it was or what had happened.”
He was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a felony; assault and battery on a household member, threat to commit a crime, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, misdemeanors, according to the court documents. He was sentenced to two and a half years in jail, and released early on good behavior.
“I truly, honestly believe if this man is left to his own devices, he’s going to kill someone someday,” she said. “I went from being kind of fearful of him getting out to just pure anger. How dare this man. He just moves on to these women, he controls them, he manipulates them and he hurts them. This is not something that happens by accident.”
After Mr. Biasiucci’s release in May, he created a new social media account and connected with a Bourne woman he was close with in high school.
Unaware of Mr. Biasiucci’s convictions, sentencing and probation, she was excited about the relationship, said the Bourne woman, who also asked to remain anonymous.
Because of his previous convictions and active probation, Mr. Biasiucci was tested daily for alcohol consumption and regularly and randomly tested for drugs and alcohol, she said. Still, he would drink frequently and she noted he always became verbally aggressive with her while intoxicated.
Throughout their two-month relationship, Mr. Biasiucci would make threats, yell and swear at her, demean her and call her names and send her harassing text messages. In the days following, he would apologize to her, take her on extravagant dates and buy her expensive gifts, she said.
“One night, I was telling him he couldn’t be around my children anymore,” she said. Specifically, her 14-year-old daughter.
When Mr. Biasiucci was 24, he was accused and convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl at a campground in Plymouth in 2000. According to public record, the girl told police he had fondled her and penetrated her digitally without her consent. He was charged with rape of a child and indecent assault and battery of a person age 14 years or over.
“He kept enticing my daughter,” she said. “He bought her a necklace and gave her money. He claimed he didn’t do it and that the girl lied but he was convicted of rape.”
The next day, she called Wareham District Court and requested to speak to Mr. Biasiucci’s probation officer, who told her how dangerous he was, she said.
“Once I found out the severity of what he was capable of, it was so much scarier that what I anticipated,” she said.
The next day, she went to his house to get her stuff and he grabbed her by the wrist, leaving bruises consistent with being grabbed, according to the court documents.
“I started punching him in the face and ran down the stairs,” she said.
Mr. Biasiucci was charged with assault and battery on a household member, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to six months for violating his probation, according to the court documents.
When his sentence is up, he will be released without probation, she said.
“I do have a restraining order but it’s only a piece of paper at the end of the day,” she said. “People that dangerous, they aren’t afraid of that piece of paper.”
At his hearing, both women were present and noticed he had a new girlfriend, another girl Mr. Biasiucci had gone to high school with.
“We tried to text her to warn her but she blocked us,” the Bourne woman said. “It’s really sad.”
“He’s going to do the same thing to her, he’s not going to change,” the Connecticut woman said.
“Domestic violence is nothing new, it has been going on for ages,” she continued. “I just want women to know it’s OK to talk about it. It’s important to be spoken about and a lot of women don’t speak about it because they’re afraid of their assailant. We stay silent because we are fearful of repercussions but then it’s like the next person gets hurt and then the next one and why should they get away with it?”