'Best thing that you will ever do for yourself.' Domestic abuse survivor shares how she got out
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a local woman is sharing her personal experience with an abusive relationship and how she got out in hopes of helping other victims.
"Think about when you walk in the house and you don't have anyone screaming at you. You don't have anyone hitting you. Get out and leave. It is the absolute best thing that you will ever do for yourself,” said Sheena Butler, domestic violence survivor.
It’s an emotional part of her life that she says she endured for years before mustering up the courage to eventually leave her situation.
"I looked up a domestic hotline number. And I spoke to someone on the phone. I told them my situation,” said Butler.
That’s when she says she was connected with a representative from the Urban Resource Institute, a local nonprofit that helps domestic violence victims heal and get the resources they need to move on.
A report from the mayor’s office to end domestic and gender-based violence shows that there were nearly 600 reported victims of domestic violence in the city from 2010 through 2019.
As Butler nears her one-year mark of getting out, she has a message to anyone experiencing domestic violence - whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional.
"There's so much more, so much more for you than to stay in that situation. And don't say, 'Oh, he's not physically abusing me so it's not that bad.' It's the same thing. Abuse is abuse,” said Butler.