The 20-year-old headlines still sting today: A shy manicurist from Manassas, Va., cut off her husband’s penis in a fit of rage. Lorena Bobbitt says she did it after he came home drunk and raped her.
“It was a blur,” Bobbitt said.
She was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity, and today she's using her notoriety to help others.
“I use that name, the Lorena Bobbitt name, to help others,” she said. “Something good has to come out of this tragedy like mine.”
Now a busy mom living in Gainesville, Va., Lorena spends her time running Lorena's Red Wagon, a foundation that raises money for victims staying at shelters in Prince William County.
Even her 8-year-old daughter Olivia helps, delivering Easter baskets and Christmas gifts to families in need.
“That's what I wanted her to realize,” Bobbitt said. “Working together as a team we can help others.”
Lorena has found doing her advocacy work is easier with a little help from her friends -- a sort of sisterhood that keeps her moving in more ways than one.
“They lift you up,” she said. “They don't judge anybody, don't judge me.”
At SoundBox Fitness in Haymarket, Lorena works with women who have rallied around her cause. It's one of many local businesses she's teamed up with to host events. This Friday they're having a Zumbathon to help victims.
“Who doesn't want to dance and keep themselves in shape, too,” she said.
Another way she's stepping out is experimenting with social media. She Googled herself for the first time, and of all the things that shocked her, “My birthday was definitely wrong.”
For the record, she's 44, fit and says she's never felt better about helping others also break free.
“I took my life back and I give myself a second chance,” she said. “I want them to say I can do this I can be like her and they can. They can.”
Zumbafest to fight Domestic Violence
May 2, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
15125 Washington Street, Haymarket, Va. 20169
Click here for tickets or get them at the door
Domestic Violence Resources:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233)
- SERVE (Manassas campus of Northern Virginia Family Service)
- Hilda Barg Homeless Shelter (Woodbridge, Va.)
- Fauquier Family Shelter (Warrenton, Va.)
- Vint Hill Transitional Housing (VHTH)