Act 2 – Scene 5: The Baroness

Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine

The night of the attack I was taken to MCV Hospital with a police guard while they searched for Gary. It was there that I saw a man wheeled in with half of his head missing, and the young doctor told me that HE had gotten the bullet that I didn’t get that night. Those words stuck with me to this day. I laid there crying and trying to make sense of what had happened. To this day I still can’t.

I was then told I had to press charges because the police believed all domestic violence victims usually don’t and they don’t automatically arrest the men. So I did. I was further told by Joe Morrissey that it was next to impossible to get a conviction in these cases, but I did, not once by twice. Even though he was sleeping with Gary’s sister while he was prosecuting the case.

It took two years of my life to fight that fight. I was persecuted, belittled, drug thru the mud, stalked, threatened and attacked again by his sister in public. My mother had a heart attack in court, I lost a baby and we spent tens of thousands of dollars for attorneys just to help me thru the process.

But a funny thing happened, I found myself. I became a fighter and an advocate. I spoke out, publically and to legislators, the media and to anyone who would listen. Women would find me everywhere, and would just tell me their stories and would beg for my help.

I went in the middle of the night and snuck them out of their homes, I shuttled them to safe houses, I pulled weapons on men while these women got away. I even pulled a man out of car in Carytown as he was beating his girlfriend.

I took back my life, changes laws for mandatory arrests, I have spoken on Capitol Hill and I have identified the bodies and buried many women who went back. And I dance and perform and I scream for those who can’t. And I became stronger and empowered. There is one thing I learned about going thru what I did, no one can do anything to me that others haven’t tried and failed. And Karma is an interesting and beautiful thing.
We are not what has happened to us, we are what we do about it and who we become because of it.

Virginia Department of Justice Services – Victim Services
Safe Harbor
YWCA of Richmond
Fan Free Clinic