In 1993, a 24-year-old manicurist from Manassas, Va., did the unthinkable. News4 broke the story after a she cut off her husband’s penis while he slept. Twenty-one years later, Lorena Bobbitt says she can be proud of her name if it means telling her story will help other victims of domestic violence.
The butt of so many jokes for so many years, she can finally laugh but will never forget the night that changed her life forever.
“It was a crime. It was done but it was not done on purpose,” she said. “It's sad because domestic violence put me and my ex-husband in the hospital.”
Lorena doesn’t remember much from that night, saying a lot of it was a blur. She said she attacked her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, after he came home drunk and raped her.
Decades after being found not guilty, Lorena is healthy, living in Gainesville and selling real estate. Things appear normal.
“I took my life back and I gave myself a second chance,” she said. “It takes a lot of energy to say, No, I'm not a victim, I want to go on with my life, and you just don’t look back.”
A big part of moving on: Being mom to 8-year-old Olivia, a daughter she shares with her best friend and partner of 16 years.
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Dating after John Wayne Bobbitt was not as difficult as you might think, Lorena said.
“Believe it or not, I had quite a few gentlemen that wanted to date me,” she said.
Maybe they were curious or egotistical, Lorena suggested, but then she fell in love. She went on to raise a family privately after the highly publicized trial.
John Wayne Bobbitt, on the other hand, starred in a few porn movies. In 2003 he was convicted of assaulting his third wife.
These days, Lorena spends her time helping abused and battered women.
“It's a terrible epidemic,” she said.
Her charity, Lorena's Red Wagon, raises money for shelters across Prince William County. And though she legally goes by her maiden name, when advocating, she now wants everyone to know who she is.
“I use that name, the Lorena Bobbitt name, to help others,” she said. “Something good has to come out of this tragedy like mine.”
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)