Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paralegal Shares Story to Help Other Victims of Domestic Violence

Florida paralegal Patty Parra-Perez Andrews has survived a tragic incident of domestic violence that most of us could not begin to comprehend: the deaths of her two oldest children, Lauren and Sean, at the hands of her ex-husband in 2004. Andrews was shot point-blank in the head during the attack but miraculously survived.

Andrews’ story is heart-breaking, but not unusual for victims of domestic abuse. She stayed with her husband and endured 18 years of physical and verbal abuse before finding the courage to leave and divorce him in 2004. Only a few months later, he waited in ambush for the family and committed the unthinkable acts of violence, chasing his fleeing daughter down the street before shooting her and then himself.

But as difficult as it is to talk about her experiences, Andrews is sharing her story to benefit other victims of domestic violence, and to honor the memory of Lauren and Sean. She is promoting the Bay Area Legal Services’ Cup of Hope fundraiser on November 6, and will appear on an episode of Dr. Phil.

She told Tampa Bay Online:

"I need to tell other women that there are so many services out there for them, things I didn't know about," she says. "I know they're embarrassed to say I'm living with someone who hurts me.

"I know I can't stop the killings. I just don't want any woman to go through what I did."

Andrews has remarried, to attorney Troy Andrews, who supported not only her efforts to prevent domestic violence, but her desire to be a mother again. They are parents to Kailey and Kyle.

This feature story was hard to read; honestly, it made me cry. I admire Andrews' perseverance in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy - for her ongoing courage and her willingness to share her story in order to help other women trapped in violent relationships, by encouraging them to seek help.

Source: Tampa Bay Online

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