AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Another week, another domestic violence death.
On Tuesday, we reported the shooting death of 75 year old Virginia “Sue” Wilson of Thomson, Georgia which is a short distance from Augusta.
Her husband 74 year old James Wilson, III has been arrested for his wife’s murder.
Investigators say James Wilson was found pointing a gun at his chest.
We don’t know what led to the murder nor if domestic violence was prevalent in their relationship.
But, we do know that a woman is dead and loved ones are mourning the loss of a cherished part of their life.
Whenever I report on domestic violence there is a sense of sadness that floods my mind and heart over the senseless crime and my inability to save the victim.
Of course, I am not a counselor, physician nor a minister.
However, I am a former victim who survived domestic violence and an advocate against this crime while being a proponent for change.
Hopefully, my monthly blog posts can provide a foundation upon which victims may glean understand of the resources available to help them break free from abuse and end the potential cycle of abuse.
The most important first steps include seeking advice from advocates like domestic violence counselors as well as making an escape plan.
In my situation, embarrassment kept me from revealing the trouble that was festering in my marriage.
We had just held an elaborate wedding that was filled with guests from across the country.
I boasted about the wonderful man God had sent me.
How could I reveal that he was mistreating me?
Was it just the first year growing pains that people said were common for couples?
I confided in my Aunt Sandy and a former co-worker in Memphis named Glenda about emotional abuse and breakdown of my marriage.
I was pushed once while seven months pregnant.
In the back of my mind, I felt it was only a matter of time before it got worse.
My Aunt Sandy and her husband, Uncle Sam, lived in neighboring Connecticut so they could provide a viable safe haven if things turned bad for me.
But, I feared my, then, husband would be able to gain easy access to me and potentially cause harm to not only me but my Aunt and Uncle.
So, we came up with a backup plan for me and the baby to drive to a place called Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts.
Once there, the baby and I would be able to get a ferry ride to my Aunt and Uncle’s vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard.
The Vineyard had long been a place of peace and happiness for me.
Now, it would be a place of refuge.
I always kept a small suitcase packed in the back of my closet in case things got really bad and I needed to escape immediately.
Sadly, that suitcase and others were eventually needed when my son was five weeks old and the dread of the worst happening actually came to fruition.
There was no double that my infant and I had to leave after I was viciously attacked by my, then, husband.
Thankfully, after my husband was arrested, my sister and mother were able to arrive the next morning.
With the help of two sorority sisters, in a matter of hours, we were able to pack my car and drive to safety more than two thousand miles away in my childhood home of Augusta, Georgia.
When asked for advice about leaving an abusive relationship, my first response is “have a plan.”
This includes securing money for gas, food and lodging if needed.
Have a safe, secure destination even if it means driving across country.
Finally, break the restraints of embarrassment and allow others to help you.
SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center has resources and information for all victims.
They helped me.
They are willing and waiting to help others.
Contact SafeHomes at https://www.safehomesdv.org/Contact-Us
Rest in peace Mrs. Virginia “Sue” Wilson and all who have lost their lives due to domestic violence.