WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – So far this year, there have been 5 homicides in Wichita related to domestic abuse. With October being domestic violence awareness month, it’s a grim reminder.
That’s why Wichita Police held a Facebook live forum Wednesday, in hopes of bringing victims and advocates together.
One Wichita woman who was watching is a domestic abuse survivor.
“I started dating my abuser when I was 17 years old,” said Amy Lawson. “Abuse in every aspect.”
Lawson was still in high school the first time she was hit.
Normally, KSN would not disclose the identity of a domestic violence survivor, but this victim wanted her face to be shown and name revealed.
“I went through everything from being choked unconscious during my pregnancy. I’ve had a knife held to my throat,” Lawson explained.
Even though Amy feared for her life every day, she stayed with her abuser 12 years, got married and had 4 kids with him. One day, she decided she had had enough.
Lawson texted a code word to a friend who brought police to her door. She said that text saved her life.
“It came down to the point releasing that if I continue the example that I’m setting is that my daughters will see that being hit and controlled and owned as being a sign of love,” she said.
It’s cases like this that prompted Wichita police to hold an online forum about domestic abuse.
Experts like Keri McGregor of Catholic Charities’ Harbor House were ready to answer questions and offer help, hoping to prevent any more DV deaths.
“It’s been a hard year for the community as it relates to those of us who serve domestic violence because anytime something like that happens we think, have we served this person?” asked McGregor.
There are resources that she wants more abuse victims to know are available and can make all the difference.
“If one person can hear me and can know that there’s a chance of getting away, there’s life after abuse, it’s all worth it,” Lawson stated.
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, there are many places where you can get help.
In Wichita, there are several places that can help; Stepstone, Harbor House, the YWCA and the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center.
The Kansas Attorney General’s office has set up a statewide hotline, and there’s a national domestic violence hotline that’s monitored 24-7.
You can find the Wichita police department’s Facebook page by clicking here.