Kathy Wells married her high school sweetheart 44 years ago.
“Six weeks after we were married, he broke my nose. My worst beating came when I was eight and a half months pregnant,” said Wells, a survivor of domestic violence.
Back then, divorce was unheard of and people turned the other cheek to domestic abuse.
Wells said, “I remember going up the stairs of my church and someone spitting on me because I talked about the violence that had gone on in my life. The first group that I ever spoke to was a group of men, years ago, and they laughed through the entire presentation.”
Five and a half years later, she left the man, once called her better half, to make a better life. Wells had the support of her family, but other women aren't so lucky.
“Sometimes your friends and your family don't want to get involved. Find somebody outside of that and just talk to them. Let them know you've got feelings. Let them know the things that are happening to you because they shouldn't be happening to you,” explained Angie McKinney, President of the Dothan Zonta Club.
Dothan Zonta Club is part of Zonta International, a global organization that fights to end violence against women. They kicked off their 16-day campaign on Monday, to let others know there is help.
“We hope that people will help raise awareness to the issue as well as reach out to help other members in the community who are struggling with domestic violence or other forms of gender based violence,” said Tami Page, District 11 Governor of Zonta International.
“It's a touchy subject and it's very personal to people. So they need to know that they're not alone. That's the biggest thing because they think it's just them,” said McKinney.
Wells has been an advocate for 35 years now. She survived her nightmare and is proof you can break the silence to find real love.
If you or someone you know is struggling with domestic abuse, contact Dothan Zonta Club or House of Ruth by clicking on the links below.