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Heartland domestic violence survivor shares her story to help others

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; and an annual event is raising money for a Heartland shelter.

”It has impacted my life very greatly,” said Leslie Washington.

Leslie Washington is a domestic violence survivor, and is talking about her personal experience dealing with 8 years of abuse.

“I had a situation where I left him, and he ended up finding me and that was a disaster,” said Washington.

Washington said when he came back, that’s when she knew she needed a plan to leave.

“You have to plan accordingly. You have to make a bag, you have to put your necessities in a bag, your medications your important papers, if there’s children involved all their important papers IDs, passports, money, have a separate bank account,” said Washington.

Jessica Hill, executive director for the Safe House of Southeast Missouri, said they served more than 500 domestic violence victims last year.

That’s why every year the Vintage Now Fashion show brings awareness to this staggering statistic.

“Vintage Now helps us to showcase not only the power and beauty of the women of our community, but also the fact that we do have people who have experienced domestic violence right here in our own cities, in Cape Girardeau, in Jackson and in the Cape Girardeau area. It just shines a light on the issue and brings it out of the darkness and gives us platform where we can say your not alone were here to help you,” said Hill.

Washington said she wants women to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

“I, myself, called the Safehouse for Women here in Cape Girardeau and they said, ‘well, we have a bed for you. All you need to do is go to the Greyhound bus station,’ and that’s what I did, and I haven’t looked back,” said Washington.

The Vintage Now Fashion show is coming up on Saturday, October 9, at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau.

You can get tickets now online or in person at the Safe House of Southeast Missouri’s thrift store.

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