Protect the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
January 20, 2016
By Lily Morales
Today, as hundreds of thousands of women march in D.C., it has never been more important to protect the rights and freedoms of women. And we know they are threatened. The new administration is considering the elimination of funding authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which saves the lives of millions of women who experience violence. Women like me.
Several years ago, I was viciously attacked with a knife by an ex-boyfriend. I didn’t think he was capable of such a violent act. In an instant he stole my life from me. I was slashed everywhere. Luckily, my mother’s nurse heard my screams and called the police. At the time, my daughter was only six years old and all I could think was, ‘What will happen to her without me?’
I wasn’t supposed to survive and was in a coma for weeks. I lived. Looking in the mirror for the first time was extremely difficult. I didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. My self-worth dropped to zero.
I thought I was alone.
That’s when Safe Horizon entered my life.
With one call, I entered a safe place where I received counseling to heal from the trauma and found other women who had been through my ordeal. They became my friends and to this day we support each other. Safe Horizon was critical in helping me with referrals for the reconstructive work which gave me back my face, body, essentially my life.
I’m more than OK these days, but none of this would have been possible without the support of people like you and the critical funding that Safe Horizon receives because of the Violence Against Women Act.
My voice is my strongest tool to combat domestic violence and so I have dedicated my life to speaking out and helping other women.
A survivor of domestic violence