Tascha's ex-husband, Gerald Ray Johnson, is now in prison.

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After Tascha escaped, she documented the abuse by calling the police, getting a rape kit at the hospital and taking photos. Bruises and swelling made her almost unrecognizable in the pictures. "Most of the injuries I incurred were on the left side of my face because every time he hit me, that's where the blows would land," she says. "I couldn't hear for a short period, and I couldn't see for a while. My jaw was dislocated, and my nose was cracked."

Tascha decided to press charges and file for a divorce. Gerald was convicted and sentenced to 52 years for domestic abuse, assault and battery, rape by force, forcible sodomy and two counts of rape by instrumentation. Later, his sentence was reduced to 22 years.

Though Gerald will be eligible for parole in 2019, Tascha says she's not afraid of her ex-husband anymore. Looking back, she says she's realized that night in 2001 wasn't the first time he had raped her. "Many times I said, 'No, I don't want to do that.' And I didn't have a choice," she says. "Because he was my husband, I never associated what was happening as being rape. He was someone I loved."

Oprah says the reason she's doing this show is to help people understand that if they're forced into sex by anyone, it's rape. "Even if it's your husband, your best friend or an intimate partner—rape is rape," she says. "[Tascha] was one of those women who didn't know that, and I'm sure that there are many women who are watching us throughout the world right now who also didn't know that."

Tascha is now remarried, but she remains dedicated to helping other abuse survivors. "I'm not ashamed of being a victim of rape and domestic violence," she says. "So if I can help someone, then I will. If I can share my story, I will do that."
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FROM: Beauty Queen Raped by Her Husband
Published on November 07, 2007

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