News 12 First at Five, October 18, 2007
CSRA --- It's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in just the past nine days, we've seen three local cases: a kidnapping, a murder and a burglary.
There are more domestic violence calls this year for one agency. And now, we introduce you to a woman we are calling Lauren. She's hoping her story helps someone else who's struggling with domestic abuse.
"It was just torture every day and every night. I was wondering if I was going to make it through," says Lauren.
It lasted about three months. After almost a year of getting along with her boyfriend, something changed, and changed fast. It all started with harassing phone calls and then stalking.
"Then he started putting his hands on me, and said he would never do it again," says Lauren.
But he would do it again, and again.
Amiee Hall, interim executive director of Safe Homes, sees her share of domestic abuse cases. Through September of this year, about 2,500 crisis calls came into Safe Homes. That's up about 500 from all of last year.
Lauren is going through the same kind of violence most victims deal with, starting with the verbal and leading up to the physical.
"We've seen people come here with foot prints on their stomach because they were stomped on; eyes swollen beyond belief," said Hall.
Lauren had enough. She ended her relationship. "He went his way, I went my way. I thought," she said.
She tried to move on with her life, and see her friends. But the threats continued, and her ex-boyfriend came around, this time with a gun. He told her, in front of her friends, "'If they don't leave, I'm going to kill you all'," Lauren related.
A determined Lauren kept going, but she cut all her friends out of her life. She got a temporary restraining order, but the stalking continued.
"It got to the point where I'm coming in, walking up to the door, sticking my key in and the phone rings. It scared me half to death," says Lauren.
All this, while raising three young kids by herself. "I thought everything was just fine and just one night, I couldn't take it anymore," she says.
Tomorrow night on News 12 First at Five, you'll hear what happened that night. It's a night that changed Lauren's life, and the lives of her three young children.