Five years ago I had no idea. Five years ago my daughter was three sitting in the backseat of our car when she witnessed her stepfather stabbing her mother in the head, neck and back in Cuba. Her mind couldn’t comprehend why, how. Five years ago I had no idea about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). But I would learn.
Sitting in an emergency room bleeding from the head, officers took pictures. A wonderful Sheriff made sure my daughter was safe until her father would pick her up. We survived, but it was not over. Nightmares came both in the day and the night. Her father threatened to take my daughter from me and proclaimed I would never see her again. At 3 a.m. I called the crisis line for the Safehouse for Women in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Linda Shields who would become a lifeline to me listened and helped me. She set up an appointment for my daughter and me to talk to a counselor and caseworker. We went on a Friday. The help we needed had come.
My now ex-husband received twenty years in prison for domestic assault with serious intent to harm. This was a year and a half after that brutal attack. By then I was stronger, but not without weakness. I was joined in the courtroom by a victim’s advocate from the prosecuting attorney’s office and an advocate from the Women’s Crisis Center in Steelville there. I consider myself so lucky to have had them during the ordeal which can be fearful.
The storms which have come as a result of the attack have been rough for my daughter and me. Five years later, I still see a counselor as does she. Yet, there has never been a time where I haven’t had the resources I need. Therefore, my heart is stricken when I hear of women and men who are victimized by their significant other and do not receive help when they desperately need it. Furthermore when I found out there were PEOPLE singled out because of their sexual orientation, immigration status, and just being Native American, I felt victimized all over again. How could our government who had passed the Violence Against Women Act with full support of both republicans and democrats be arguing over a life-saving bill. How could the same government who helped me who I have stood before in Washington D.C. not want to help everyone who lives in this country?
I was stabbed on July 27, 2007 in my head, neck and back. I was in pain for a long time. I am stronger now. No one deserves that pain. No one………
For more info: http://4vawa.org/
1221 Bowers Street #2225
Birmingham, Michigan 48012-2225