A survivor of domestic violence was honored this National Crime Victims’ Rights Week for helping others in similar situations.
Patricia Jackson said she had been married for 15 years when her husband’s verbal and emotional abuse turned physical.
“The physical stuff started,” she said. “So did the threats to kill me.”
When her husband attacked their teenage son in 2004, she finally fled and said she wanted a divorce.
But he got her back to the house one day using a pretense and attacked her almost immediately, she said.
“Before he threw me down the stairs, he told me he was going to finish it for once and for all,” she said.
She said she prayed that if she was going to die, that she die quickly and that the truth would come out and her son would know the truth.
Jackson survived the fall and eventually got away, went to a hospital and called the sheriff.
Her husband was convicted of malicious wounding and abduction and sentenced to prison.
She said the services offered at Empowerhouse like court escorts and group counseling were vital to her recovery.
“She is one of the bravest people we know,” Empowerhouse Executive Director Kathy Anderson said. “I have to say, bravery is part of surviving domestic violence.”
The Fredericksburg, Virginia, non-profit also operates several shelters.
They try to head off domestic violence, giving presentations on healthy relationships to high school students and warning of dating violence.
Jackson's now on the Board of Directors at Empowerhouse.
“Now I work for people like I used to be,” she said. “I don't consider myself a victim anymore. I'm a survivor.”