Breaking News
More () »

This woman survived coronavirus and domestic violence. Here's her story.

While the coronavirus crisis has many people staying at home, advocates for domestic violence victims recognize home may not be the safest place.

WASHINGTON — While the coronavirus pandemic has many people staying at home, advocates for domestic violence victims recognize home might not be the safest place for victims stuck in the house with their abusers.

Kiawana Leaf is a survivor of COVID-19 and domestic violence.

“It's so many situations that people go through, and we feel like we are the only ones going through it and nobody else is going through what we're going through," she said.

Leaf told WUSA9 she and her mother tested positive for the coronavirus.

"I ended up having to get tested to return back to work, and that’s how I found out that I was positive," Leaf explained her symptoms were mild. "I thank God that I beat it, and didn’t even know that I had it."

COVID-19 was not the only battle Leaf has had to overcome so far in her lifetime.

RELATED: 'I broke down' | Man shares life-changing story after testing positive for coronavirus

RELATED: ‘Not aggressive enough’ | Healthcare, first responder unions urge DC mayor to change approach on coronavirus testing

Leaf battled depression, insecurities and a domestic-violence relationship.

She shared her story in her book released last year called "Confidence Unlocked."

Credit: Kiawana Leaf

"It would lead with profanity," she described the experience in a YouTube video. "Then, from profanity, it went from physical violence, and from physical violence it was just like, 'OK What am I going to do?'"

Leaf recalled feeling lost, lonely, and like there was no way out of her abusive situation.

It took Leaf more than three years to make it out of her relationship, but she knows that is not easy for other victims to escape, especially right now in the middle of a pandemic.

Domestic violence victim support agencies in many parts of the DMV have reported a rise in calls for help or petitions for protective orders.

RELATED: Nonprofit supplies meals, technology for families in Southeast DC

RELATED: Employees at these DMV grocery stores have tested positive for coronavirus

"My prayers are with those people who are home, and the home environment is not safe," Leaf said.

Leaf was able overcome her obstacles and life challenges and reconfirm her faith in God.

She is continuing to use her life stories to inspire others in a new book set to be released in May called "Beautifying Sins."

"I just know there is beauty in this pandemic. Although I know many are hurting and we're losing many loved ones, there is purpose in the pain. I am a firm believer. I am a witness. I can attest to that. There is purpose in our pain," Leaf said.

If you need help to get out of a domestic violence relationship call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.

Download the brand new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

Before You Leave, Check This Out