SILVER SPRING, MD. (WUSA9) - From a house of worship in Texas to a house shared by lovers in Maryland, we've seen how domestic violence can destroy families and communities.
Perhaps you missed the story of Chaunya Blackwell. She was 43. A beloved realtor from DC.
Friends say she and Anthony Strong were preparing to get married in February. Chaunya was excited about her new life and love.
She made Tony a special birthday meal last week. Then three days later, the man who made her beam with joy, called police to report that he had killed her in the Silver Spring home that they shared.
In court, prosecutors say Strong claimed he "snapped" angry at Chaunya for having spent all his money. So he strangled her. Gouged her eyes.
Then, Strong put a pillow over her head and suffocated her. I'm telling you this because domestic violence is gut wrenching and crushes the soul.
Friends are left now with thoughts that haunt them. And, signs that may not have been apparent to Chaunya - and those who mourn her.
She called him her protector in one social media post, but others saw him as possessive and controlling. That's a clear signal of a relationship in trouble.
Domestic violence is all about power and control. So we need some real talk here.
Every 9 seconds a woman is physically abused by her intimate partner.
Ladies, if your man really loves you that love shouldn't hurt.
I'm talking verbal, mental and physical abuse, isolation, coercion or threats. These are all RED FLAGS that you are in a dangerous, unhealthy relationship.
Seeking help, could save your life. And, if you're a friend, family member or co-worker who notices something -- it's time to pull that person aside, without judgment, and let them know that they are not alone.
This type of violence is not a private issue. It hurts all of us.
Give them the number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It’s 1800 -799-7233.
Your call is confidential and someone is there 24/7.
A professional can help them create a safety plan and tease out their options.
We can pretend like this issue doesn't belong to us or we can keep it real.
And, save the next Chaunya from having her bright light extinguished ... far too soon.
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