(Memphis) Six months after the murder of Germantown Teacher Heather Palumbo-Jones, her mother is now an activist.
She’s raising awareness about domestic violence, something she didn’t know much about until her daughter’s death.
“Sometimes you don`t understand why you have a calling, you just do,” said Pansy Swinson.
You might not recognize her face but you might know her daughter’s. Heather disappeared April 16 and was later found dead in the woods, police say strangled by her estranged husband.
“Yes, it’s a terrible thing that happened to me. Yes, I lost my child but I am not going to crumble. I am going to come back stronger.”
With stage four thyroid cancer, Swinson has found new purpose.
She’s become a voice for domestic violence awareness and recently had an idea.
“I started feeling better so I got-up and I grabbed Heather’s picture and I put it around my neck and it’s probably the first day I really felt good in a longtime.”
She says she’s wearing her daughter’s picture to rallies, hoping to start a movement because she knows now how many victims are out there.
If people could see the faces, maybe something might change.
“Once this happened to Heather, I started noticing that it is happening all the time, just over and over and over again.”
Whether it’s raising money for shelters, donating clothes for victims or just letting the world know there are faces behind the numbers; Pansy says her daughter’s life still has meaning.
“Until the end of my life, this is my purpose.”
If you would like to wear the face of someone you know and love for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a good event coming-up is the Ashley Scott memorial 5K on Saturday, October 19.
It will be at 8 a.m. at Bartlett Baptist Church at 3465 Kirby Whitten Road. Online pre-registration is at racesonline.com or you can call 901-873-8150.
There’s also a 3K Women’s Walk for DV at 8 a.m. Contact Daphine Swift at firstname.lastname@example.org