Domestic violence survivors “shocked, emotional” to hear about homicide

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Advocates are speaking out after a deadly domestic violence incident in an Orange Mound neighborhood.

Witnesses say their neighbor Amanda Petrowski was beat in the head and run over by a car.

The father of her children, Santrez Traylor, is now in custody for the crime. He faces charges of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

“This is a nice, quiet neighborhood and I wouldn’t have expected something like this to happen so close to me," said neighbor Jay Smoot.

Witnesses said Traylor beat the mother of his children over the head with a rock or brick repeatedly in front of her house. Then ran her over with a car several times.

The mother of two, 31-year-old Amanda Petrowski, was pronounced dead on scene.

“I was shocked. I got real emotional," said Deborah Robinson.

Deborah Robinson’s a domestic violence survivor.

She wasn’t surprised to hear Traylor had a lengthy history of abusing Petrowski.

“I just want to reiterate that this can happen to anybody, anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you live," she said. "It is a problem and it is a problem in Memphis.”

Police reports show Traylor’s been arrested multiple times over the past three years for stalking or abusing Petrowski.

Just last month, he was arrested for trespassing, threatening to “beat her brains in” and threatening to put one of their two children “through the wall.”

Affidavits say he once called around 200 times and has threatened to kill her before.

As of last month, she still identified him as her boyfriend -- something victims say not to judge.

“Each time, I’d take him back. Yes, it’s a cycle that we go through and it doesn’t take the first or second time, it’s usually six, seven times before you finally say you’re done.”

She says she’s going to keep sharing her story for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in honor of victims like Petrowski.

“Don’t look down on us. It’s hard, especially us as women, and it does happen to men, but we’ve got to have the support of everybody.”

She hopes others will speak up before it gets taken too far.

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, you’re encouraged to call the Family Safety Center at (901) 222-4400.

There will be a gathering with community leaders, advocates and survivors at Martyrs Park this Wednesday for a brief ceremony honoring victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence. The Big River Crossing bridge will be lit in purple to honor Domestic Violence Awareness month. The ceremony is at 6:15 p.m.