Jackson: Domestic violence in Summit County
Ryan Summerlin October 17, 2013
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We are all too familiar with the effects of domestic violence here in our local community. It has been almost 3 years since Stephanie Roller was murdered by her husband, leaving behind 3 innocent children without a mother and a father who is serving a life sentence for her murder. On October 26th Advocates for Victims of Assault will be holding an event in Stephanie’s honor and memory.
Not every story ends in tragedy. Many victims are able to find the help they need and remain safe while doing so. It takes a community to support those victims either through their direct support of agencies like Advocates for Victims of Assault or through taking a stand personally against violence of any kind. It’s important that we hear and celebrate the success stories as well as remember and mourn those who we have lost. Here is a story from a recent client of Advocates:
“To everyone looking in I was an average woman: 2 kids and a husband and a normal life. Most that knew me thought my life was good. I had no idea that my life was far from normal. I had been married for 10 years, although we had separated several times throughout our marriage. The last time we separated we had been apart for about 7 months and decided to divorce. This changed everything. After years of mental, physical and sexual abuse it all came to a head. My ex spent hours that night taunting my children and me by threatening to kill me and our dog. I never thought I would call the police but I didn’t feel I had a choice. While the police were there I was given the number to Advocates for Victims of Assault. At first I didn’t think I needed it, but my children were in tears and I was afraid enough that I had called the police. At that moment I picked up the phone and called the Advocates. The advocate on the other end of the line listened with compassion and encouragement as she spoke with confidence and strength. That was the beginning of me learning to live again and maybe for the first time. After many conversations and meetings and counseling sessions for myself and my children we began a journey towards health and self-sufficiency apart from my ex. I was a woman without a job, no self-worth, no hope and no way to see things being any different. I now have a full time job, a house, a car and life is good. The gift and support we received from Advocates for Victims of Assault is far better than these things. I now have hope, value and strength; they gave us a future.”
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Advocates at 970-668-3906.
Turn the BEAT Around and Silence the Violence – Dance Party in memory and celebration of Stephanie Roller. October 26, 2013 7-10pm Holiday Inn Frisco. Please go to www.summitadvocates.org for more information and tickets or call the office at 970-668-3906.
Advocates for Victims of Assault, Inc.
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