News 12 First at Five, October 19, 2007
CSRA -- We continue our talk with a woman we'll call Lauren. She was a victim of domestic abuse. One night, she had enough with an abusive ex-boyfriend.
"Please Lord, don't let him pull this trigger," says Lauren.
One night, Lauren was at home and a male friend called to check on her. She invited him over and then, she heard someone pull up. That's when Lauren's ex-boyfriend knocked her front door off the hinges.
"It all happened so fast, to be real. All I saw was that big ol' gun in my face and in my friends face," says Lauren.
Lauren says her ex-boyfriend told her friend, if he didn't leave, he was going to kill them. With the gun pointed, Lauren was hoping one thing didn't happen.
"To pull that trigger because it was loaded. I was crying thinking of my kids 'Please don't kill me.' I don't deserve this. Don't kill me," says Lauren.
But Lauren's 3 kids were asleep. She says, her ex-boyfriend was cursing at her. She just listened, so her friend was able to leave. When the friend left, her ex-boyfriend chased him. The whole time Lauren was on the phone with 911. Her ex-boyfriend ran, but she was safe.
"I couldn't take it no more," she says.
She had to pack up her stuff and her 3 kids and live with a friend for 2 nights.
"He hurt me, but he didn't kill me," she says.
This all happening right after Lauren saw a Lifetime movie and thought...
"Oh my God, this is going to happen to me."
And it did. She left her home, this time for good. Lauren's oldest daughter is glad they moved.
"She grabbed my hand and we've been safe ever since," says Lauren.
And today, "We're better now. We're going to have a better life. We survived."
Lauren's message to anybody who thinks they are being abused is: if they put their hands on you once, they will do it again. And she knows first hand. She's not sure who to trust now, but knows she is going to make it through. She's looking for a new home right now for her.. and her 3 children.
Here are some warning signs to look out for if you think you're in an abusive relationship.
Amiee Hall tells us most of the time it'll start with verbal abuse. Then you'll be alienated and talked down to or embarrassed in front of family and friends.
After that it gets physical. The person threatens to hurt you, your children, or your pets. They control you, make sure you can't get a job, and control your finances.
To get help, call Safe Homes at 1-800-33-HAVEN.
And it's not just men abusing women. Amiee says they've handled about 20 calls this year from men abused by a woman.