Survivor Shares Story of Her Escape from Domestic Violence

Fighting an Epidemic

Rockford - Traci Honings was a victim of domestic violence and made the tough decision to leave her husband when she was carrying her fourth child.

Traci says, "People get stuck in a rut and they think they can't do better. And I don't want my kids to think that, because of what has happened to them, or because of what we went through, that they can't do anything..."

Traci recalls the moment where she knew she had enough of the abuse.

"The straw was when I was pregnant with Zion...six months pregnant...and he just went for my throat and really tried to take me out," says Traci.

Now she's thriving in her career nine years later -- re-building a stable home life she did not imagine having.

But it wasn't an easy road to take when she became homeless with three children in tow and one on the way -- leaning on whatever resources she could find and her faith.

Traci talked about how lucky she feels noting, "God opened doors in my life and I was blessed to be positioned and meet people and have favor with people whether it was business or where I lived."

That's where non-profit organizations like Remedies step in to help victims but also, working with police so they're more equipped in handling domestic violence calls.

Karen Gill, Vice President of Operation at Remedies shares how they're working with local law enforcement:

"In the new protocol --  the police will be putting the victim on the phone with us immediately. And that says to her, through their actions, this is dangerous now," says Karen.

Approximately 8.5 million women and 4 million men in the United States report experiencing domestic violence before the age of 18.

Traci fell victim to abuse that she grew up with as a child and knew she wanted to break the cycle for her kids.

Remedies Vice President of Operations talks about programs that they have in place to help fight domestic violence at the root.

"It doesn't do any good to continually help victims, help victims, help victims...because an abuser can go out and get another victim," urges Karen.

The City is also getting involved in fighting growing domestic violence in the Rockford area. Mayor Tom McNamara says part of that plan is reaching out to youth.

Mayor Tom Mcnamara says, "I think [that] getting to younger people, to educate them and make them aware of those early signs [of abusive behavior], is something we can do better as a community."

 


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