|Posted by Anne Siren on October 5, 2012 at 3:25 PM|
Broward – Mary is not her real name, but the 72 screws that hold her face together are real, as are the 47 metal parts in her head.
She spoke this week at one of the Women in Distress centers to launch Domestic Violence Month.
Here’s what happened to Mary:
About a year and one-half ago, her boyfriend attacked her while her 10-year-old daughter slept in the house. He broke a five-pound marble ashtray on her face and continued beating her head. She lost one eye. She screamed for help. Her daughter ran in and jumped on the attacker’s back as he was beating her mother.
The attacker was captured and is now serving 19 years in jail.
Mary is a survivor. She spoke at the center to honor the victims: those who are enduring abuse today and those who died from abuse in the past.
She credits her appearance Tuesday to Women in Distress, or WID, counselors and her coach Liz Becker.
WID reports that “ . . . on an average two women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.”
At this ceremony, to remember those victims, red paper cutouts of men, women and children were stationed around the large auditorium at the WID building.
Mary Reidel, president and CEO, brought those cutouts to the attention of the audience when she asked the more than 40 BSO deputies and officers present to take their places by the these effigies representing victims.
BSO Col. Timothy Gillette, executive director of the department of law enforcement, called the day one of “sorrow and commitment. We carry sorrow for the victims lost, the victims’ families and those who still suffer. Our commitment is to those who have lost loved ones, to offer support for the children left behind and to promote education to avoid these acts in the future.”
Reported statistics show 548 cases of domestic violence were reported in Pompano Beach. Fort Lauderdale had 866 cases; Hollywood, 766 cases and Coral Springs, 654 cases.
But it is estimated that half of all domestic violence is never reported.
Nancy, not her real name, had lived with emotional abuse for more than 12 years. “My Prince Charming began to yell at me if I got home one minute late from work. He yelled at me if the food was not right. He broke me down emotionally. I decided to pack my bags. That was the day he came home from work early. He held me as a hostage in my house for three days. Then, for the first time, he hit me. When he walked to the front of the house I ran out into the street. I was barefoot. I ran three blocks until I got help. I went to WID and have had a year of therapy.”
Prince Charming has since been prosecuted for his crime.
“At court, I did not flinch,” Nancy said. “I am not afraid anymore.”
Nancy is also completing her college courses in psychology. She wants to help other women and herself.
October is the month to bring awareness to domestic violence. Men, women and children all suffer from this kind of violence, but there is help available.
The first step is to call 911. There is also a 24-hour crisis line, 954-761-1133. Information about WID is available at www.womenindistress.