(Memphis) Tennessee is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to domestic violence and one Memphis women knows the problem too well. She’s living in fear that each day could be her last.
She agreed to speak with us if we didn’t use her name or show her face.
She lives in the dark with a bandage still on her face.
“He’s busted my windows out twice,” she said. “He fractured my eye bone.”
Her windows are boarded-up, “The glass shattered and it hit me in the face.”
Police say her ex-boyfriend threw two boulders through them December 16. And it wasn’t the first time. Officers arrested Andreas Covington three times in the last four months for assaulting and harassing his alleged victim and vandalizing her home.
“It’s scary. Plus, I have kids.”
He’s in jail again on a $7,500 bond.
“He is going to get out,” she said.
The victim says every time Covington gets locked-up he gets out the next day and he is back with the same harassment and violence.
“He’s going to be mad that he went to jail. I know that.”
Her doors are barricaded with wooden posts and she sleeps on the couch so she can hear any noise.
“I hate having to sleep like this.”
“You sleep with a knife under your pillow?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.
“Yeah, I have to. You don`t understand, it`s not good. And I have to sleep down here in fear of my life and my kids.”
She sleeps with a switchblade, a cell phone and a butcher knife.
“Time to move. Pure and simple. Got to go,” said Attorney Miles Mason, who represents domestic violence victims.
Mason says police can’t always be there to protect victims so they have to protect themselves. They need to disappear, “You’re first level of protection is to not be in the place where your abuser can find you.”
“Are you willing to move?” asked Hall.
“I am,” she said.
She says disappearing would be a lot better than this life she’s been living, living in the dark.
“I am not going to take it.”
Mason has this advice if you are also a victim of domestic violence.
1. Get a temporary restraining order. Police can arrest an abuser for violating it.
2. Disappear. If you don’t have the means to move, get you and your kids to a domestic violence shelter. Only police will know where it is.
3. Get counseling. And know the abuse is not your fault.