Supporting victims of abuse

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Five years ago my daughter was 3, sitting in the back seat of our car when she witnessed her stepfather stabbing her mother in the head, neck and back in Cuba, Mo. Five years ago I had no idea about the Violence Against Women Act.

As I sat in an ER bleeding, officers took pictures. Nightmares came. At 3 a.m. I called the crisis line for the Safe House for Women. Linda Shields helped me. She set up an appointment for my daughter and me to talk to a counselor.

My now ex-husband received 20 years in prison. By then I was stronger. I was joined in the courtroom by a victim's advocate from the prosecuting attorney's office and an advocate from the Women's Crisis Center in Steelville. I consider myself so lucky to have had them during the ordeal.

Therefore, my heart is stricken when I hear of women and men who are victimized by their significant other and do not receive help when they desperately need it. Furthermore, when I found out there were people singled out because of their sexual orientation, immigration status, and just being Native American, I felt victimized all over again. How could our government who had passed the Violence Against Women Act with full support of both Republicans and Democrats be arguing over a lifesaving bill?

I was stabbed on July 27, 2007, in my head, neck and back. I was in pain for a long time. No one deserves that pain.

ANGELA RICE, Blodgett, Mo.