Erath County Sheriff’s investigator shares powerful story on her fight to survive domestic violence.


Rosye Holland pictured giving a speech at last year’s Better Beginnings Benefit. PHOTO/BRANDON GUTIERREZ

By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Rosye Holland is many things; she is a mother, daughter, friend and Erath County Sheriff’s investigator.


But what most people might never guess is that she is also a survivor of domestic abuse.

I first heard Rosye’s story during a speech she gave in 2021 at an event hosted by Cross Timbers Family Services.

It was powerful, inspiring, and one year later, I still find myself thinking about it.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to share Rosye’s story on a larger scale.


The following is the first in a two-part series taken directly from her speech.


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I began my career in law enforcement as a patrol deputy and I was recently promoted to the Criminal Investigation Division, specializing in crimes against persons.

I am the mother of three beautiful children who inspired me to become the woman I am today and I am honored to share my story.


I grew up in a broken home and witnessed my mother in and out of several abusive relationships. This pushed me in to a young marriage that lasted 17 years. I would not leave my marriage, even though it was unhealthy, because I wanted my children to grow up in a two-parent home.


I met my best friend 11 years ago. Kim is an Investigator with the Brownwood Police Department and I had no idea that she would become my saving grace and role model.

She played an important role in my story because she helped me get out of a toxic marriage and pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.


Two years after my divorce, I was about to graduate from the Police Academy and my life was on track.


Soon after, I met my prince charming. He was such a smooth talker, always knew what to say and when to say it. Flowers for no reason, he would brag and boast about my achievements all over social media and to anyone who would listen.

I felt important and loved again, despite all the warnings I was given about his past.


The entire relationship lasted about 10 months, and during that time, I was physically assaulted 14 times.


It started with a push or a slap, then escalated to serious violence.


My friendships slowly began to fade, I was isolated, and I found myself solely dependent on my abuser.

Out of the 14 times I was abused, six encounters involved being hit with an open hand, closed hand or pressure points below my face.


I was beaten and sexually assaulted; one encounter left me with fractured ribs and bruises across my lower body.


I began to doubt my role as a sheriff’s deputy. How could I save someone else if I couldn’t manage to save myself?


The last seven incidents were by far the worst. Two involved him placing his hand over my mouth, hitting me in the face, placing his hand inside my mouth and pulling it as far as he could, tearing the crease of my mouth.

I would call in to work with bizarre excuses because I was unable to hide my injuries. The last five times I was beaten, I did not expect to survive.


My abuser became a master of strangulation. He would strangle me until I lost consciousness, release the pressure, allow me to catch my breath and do it again until I submitted to his demands.


The hell I was living began to affect my career; I had trouble focusing, was emotionally exhausted and struggled with self-doubt.


I kept the struggles to myself, too embarrassed to tell anyone what was happening, until a phone call changed my life.

I was dispatched to a domestic disturbance involving a 62-year-old woman. I never imagined someone that age could be so badly assaulted. She had been beaten for four hours and to escape her abuser, she crawled the length of two football fields in a cold, dark pasture.


I looked at her and began to cry. I told her that she was safe and that I would save her. She then looked at me through swollen eyes and said, “Honey, we will save each other.”


I was dumbfounded. How did she know that I was living the same nightmare?


You would think that statement alone would have been enough to wake me up, but it wasn’t.

Like most victims, I lived in a world of denial.


What happened next will shock most of you; my abuser asked me to marry him.


So, what did my dumb ass do? I said yes.


Find out what happens next in part two of Rosye’s story publishing tomorrow on Beneath the Surface News.