I Can Breathe I Can Breathe

I have my life; I can breathe.

The morning I received a message that my abuser had been shot and killed, I felt as if something heavy had been lifted off of me. I could breathe again.

For 7 years I had been his victim of verbal, mental, and physical abuse not to mention 5 children to care for and love. I had not completed my education nor was able to have my own employment. Not having my family or friends involved was hard. I felt alone with no support because they couldn't understand why I didn't leave.

There was so much pain and abuse I knew if I didn't leave I would die. So I left and always went back because he would promise things would change.

I didn't think he'd hurt me again but I ended up in the emergency not once but two times. The second time I almost didn't survive. Given emergency blood transfusions due to a kidney punch, the year of 1988, left me with Hepititas C. Over the last few years I have received medication treatments to delay Hepititas C and prolong the disease. Over the last 15 years from this life I'm able and grateful to have my life and a wonderful husband, 5 adult children, and 6 grand children.

To this day, monthly doctor visits and medication is helping me be a sustain my health and I'm able to continue my life. I have received my education, am employed with a wonderful company.

Many women are not as lucky. They don't make it out alive. Programs are available now and funds are in desperate need to keep them. I have been working on art projects with my jewelry, hoping to raise money in supporting these programs

Artist's Note: The medical implications of domestic violence are quite serious. The number one cause of emergency room visits for women are due to battering and the medical aftercare can last for years as in this survivor's case. For fifteen years she has been fighting for her life, but is such an upbeat and fun loving person that you would never know it.