GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — For victims of domestic violence, one survivor says the most challenging part is taking a step forward and breaking free from the cycle of abuse.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A woman from Georgetown has a courageous story of how she hopes to help others through her own experience.
“I was to the point where I thought there was never going to be a way out,” says Deborah Jackson.
For decades, Jackson felt helpless.
“I didn’t really know who to go to," she said. "Or where to go. I was kind of lost - I was.”
It took time, but Jackson knew she needed to take a step forward.
"The first and most important thing is making that first step,” she said.
That step put her in a brighter place.
"Once I made that first step and made up my mind, ‘I’m not going to live like this anymore. I don’t deserve it. I’m a good person,’” Jackson said. “I don’t want anyone to ever have to go through what I’ve been through. And I know there are women out there in the situation I was in.”
She says taking that step was her proudest moment. What she thought was an impossible way out, turned out to be a way into a stronger and happier life.
“I decided that this is my time to walk out the door and get on with my life," Jackson said. "Get the help that I need. To not be hurt by this person anymore. And that’s what I chose to do.”
As she says, there's help. Programs like a victims advocate at the Georgetown Police Department can be helpful.
"We want them to know they have a lot of choices that they can make because the number one thing with domestic violence really is they've been made to believe that they don't have a choice," said Lyndsay Deaver with the Georgetown Police Department.
According to data from Georgetown police, victims advocates worked with nearly 250 victims of domestic or family violence from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30 of this year.
“When I got out on my own, the first thing I did was — I went to church,” Jackson said.
This wasn't just a step -- she took a leap of faith. She's still the same person, but now able to live her life free from the worry of what might happen to her.
“Now, am I afraid? Nope," she said. "I’m over that. I can walk down the street or go to the store or whoever I want to and I am fine. Because I got out.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the Georgetown Police Department provided us with a list of resources available:
Georgetown Police Department
Victim Advocates, Becky Rhodes and Lyndsay Deaver
550 Bourbon Street, Georgetown, KY.
Victim Advocate, Joni Napier
107 Court Street, Georgetown, KY.
800-544-2022 or 859-233-0657
The Center for Women and Families
Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Hotline
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence