LAGRANGE, Ga. – Folks across the country are remembering domestic violence victims and honoring survivors during this Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Two-time domestic violence survivor Vickie Morton shared her story publicly for the first time at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night.
She says she was nervous, but says it was also freeing. She hopes her story will help give someone else the courage and strength to get out of an abusive relationship.
“I was married at two different times and both were very abusive relationships,” she said.
Her first husband abused alcohol and prescription drugs.
“The final straw was that I had found out he was doing cocaine and I’d decided then that the demons that were there were larger than anything I could handle,” Morton said.
He committed suicide a few months after their divorce was final.
“Which was my fear that he would’ve killed me and then killed himself,” Morton said.
Morton’s second marriage lasted for seven years.
“The last day of the marriage, it was a six-hour torture that I ended up in the emergency room. He held me hostage in our home for six hours hitting me, throwing things at me, and abusing me,” she explained.
When he went outside, Morton was able to find her keys and drive herself to the emergency room. Sheriff James Woodruff works with local organizations as part of a task force to end domestic violence in Troup County.
“I think it’s no more a big problem in LaGrange than anywhere, but any community would be fooling themselves to think they don’t have a problem,” he said.
Morton says her strength that got her through all of this came from God.
“I know that I am here for a reason and it is because of God’s grace that I am here and that I survived,” Morton said.
Morton was able to seek help from the Harmony House in LaGrange. Last year, 60 people died due to domestic violence in Georgia.