For Lisa Mucciarone, the only thing harder than leaving her husband would have been not to. For more than a decade, paranoid that she was cheating on him, he regularly beat, cut, and raped her, and often verbally attacked her in front of their three children.
On Feb. 14, 2006, everything changed. After hours of physical torture, restraint, and intimidation with a large kitchen knife, her husband’s steady breathing signaled that he was asleep, and Mucciarone jumped at the opportunity to escape. Leaving her children in their beds, she snuck silently out the back door of their Malden home, drove far enough away to be safe, and called police.