Domestic Violence Story

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Content warning: this story includes details of abuse.

Jane (not her real name) works in the medical field and is a devoted mom to six children. She works hard, loves dancing, and has a passion for interior design and decorating. She is also a domestic violence survivor.

Late one night, shortly after Jane had left an abusive relationship, her abuser showed up at her new apartment. He loudly demanded entry. “I was afraid he would wake my children,” she says, so she answered the door. He instantly grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out of the apartment, threatening to kill her. She was then forced her into her car and told her to start driving.

Trapped at gunpoint in a car going 60 miles per hour on Interstate 581, Jane didn’t know what to do. Her abuser then started shooting. She leapt from the vehicle and tumbled onto the road, skinning her whole body. Fueled by adrenaline, she thought only of reaching her children to protect them. She flagged down a passing car and asked the driver to drop her off at her apartment. Only once she got back home did she realize the extent of her injuries. 

Tremendous pain radiated through her ankle, back, and wrist. She spent the next week in the hospital recovering. Jane needed crutches when she left. 

Jane seeks help from TAP’s Domestic Violence Services

While Jane was in the hospital, her mom called TAP’s Domestic Violence Services (DVS) hotline and connected Jane with the program. Jane told DVS staff her concerns—particularly the safety of her children—and together they formed a plan. 

Since it was not safe for them to come to the hotel where she was staying, Jane’s children stayed with another relative while she recovered. 

During that time, she learned that her vehicle had been found, crashed, with its windows shot out. Her abuser had not been found. While she waited, hoping to hear news of his arrest, TAP staff arranged for her to visit her children at Sabrina’s Place—a secure safe exchange facility that is guarded by off-duty Roanoke police officers and designed to protect against violent abusers. 

Before Jane learned her abuser had been arrested, DVS staff had already helped her move into a new apartment. They also helped her make it safe by installing cameras. They continued to support her through the initial court process, and when her abuser came up for early parole. 

TAP has continued to be part of Jane’s support network—but her journey has just begun.

Jane is an incredible person with a bright future ahead of her. She advises others who are suffering domestic violence that they shouldn’t hesitate to find help. “Be concerned about your safety,” she tells others, “and make sure you are getting support.” Reflecting on her time working with TAP, she says, “I feel like I am getting my self-confidence back.”

If you need help

Our staff are available 24/7 by hotline, so please call/text us any time at (540) 580-0775 for emergencies, or (540) 283‑4813 during the daytime.