Curbing domestic violence in Onondaga County
"It's horrifying and it does trigger because, for a very brief moment, you remember the anxiety, the fear."
Those are the feelings Julie has had over the last few weeks, after hearing about recent domestic violence cases in Onondaga County.
She endured a 13-year abusive relationship with her husband, where she was physically and emotionally abused.
"My son might not have a mother if this continues," she thought.
It was that realization and a good friend, that finally prompted Julie to get help.
"Somebody told me to come to the Vera House, and so I did, and I talked to an advocate, and she really did change my life," Julie said.
That's when she finally got the courage to leave her husband.
Vera house's Desiree Williams says taking that first step is key. They provide counseling and support services for victims. They also help perpetrators of domestic violence, hoping to rehabilitate them and keep them from abusing again.
"If that person can see that they are a better parent or a better partner in a relationship, and this class helps them, that's what we want," Williams said.
As for Julie, she is proof that victims of domestic violence can be survivors. She hopes her story serves as inspiration to others who are in an abusive relationship.