News 12 at 11 o'clock, November 10,2009
AUGUSTA --- Each year three to four million women of all ages, income levels and backgrounds are abused by their partners. When you think of domestic violence you may not always think of the survivors. They are out there however, and willing to talk about their experiences in order to save someone else's life.
At the Second Annual Survivor's March held by SafeHomes of Augusta, candles were burned to represent the scars and bruises that have healed on the bodies of domestic violence victims. Those same candles symbolize those who will never have the chance to heal.
"We wanted to do something to remember the ones who lost their life and more importantly honor those who have moved forward," says Aimee Hall, Executive Director of SafeHomes of Augusta.
"I would still be in my cycle of abuse,"says Tori Taylor. "But it is possible, it can be done and it is scary. But the newness is wonderful and you can live a life free of abuse and free of fear."
Today, speaking out about her life in a violent relationship is one of Tori Taylor's missions. It has been a long journey for her, a survivor who once was a victim at the hands of her husband. Not a day goes by that Taylor doesn't think about the night in 2004 when she showed up at SafeHomes of Augusta. It was Francis Butler who met her at the door.
Taylor says when she opened the door she knew then that the turmoil she had once endured had ended.
"Many women have lost their lives trying to escape," says Taylor. "You have to take that first step though. Call SafeHomes of Augusta. It will change your life."
As she shares her story, Taylor is hoping someone who needs help will realize that they can walk away from violence and walk into a better life.
"It is a scary place to be when you are breaking out of something old into something new," says Taylor. "It is a lifelong process, but you continue your journey of freedom."'
After Taylor left her abusive situation, she went on to get her Bachelor's Degree from Augusta State University and is now working on finishing her Master's Degree in Counseling. It is her hope to help others get out of abusive situations.
It is estimated that 1 every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Sadly, most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
SafeHomes of Augusta can be contacted 24 hours a day at: (706)736-2499.
SAFEHOMES OF AUGUSTA INFO:
24-Hour Hotline: (706)736-2499
(800) 33- HAVEN