Let’s Talk: Domestic Violence

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — If you had to guess, what crime do you think tends to keep police the busiest? The answer is domestic violence. October happens to be domestic violence awareness month.

We’re starting a new series where abc27 wants to hear what you have to say. We set up two chairs between the courthouses in Carlisle and asked a question. Have you or anyone you know been affected by domestic violence?

“I have actually, myself,” Angela Small said. “Alongside the road, we saw a guy out of the car and he was punching his, it happened to be his girlfriend,” George DeMartin said. “She (his mother) would get hit all the time. Even for questioning my stepfather,” Marty Wise said.

It didn’t take long before people took a seat and told their stories.

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“All I felt was that I was a bad mother for allowing my children to have witnessed that,” Small said. Her husband’s attacks landed her in a hospital multiple times. “To the point where he got very physical, pushed me up against the counter, drug me down the basement stairs, he had me lean up against the bed where I still have some marks on my body.”

DeMartin and his friend knew they had to save the girl being beaten on the side of a road. “So we pulled over quickly, got her into our car, and tried to take her someplace safe,” DeMartin said. “The police were there and arrested him and put him in the back of their car. This girl who we tried to save, got out of the car our car and got into the back of the police car with him. I’ve thought about it a number of times over the years. When somebody brings up this type of situation, it always comes into my head.”

“I don’t consider myself a victim, or my mom. I consider us survivors. We’re survivors,” Wise said. “A lot of times women are afraid to leave these situations because it’s been called battered women’s syndrome.”

Ten years later, Wise’s stepfather stopped abusing his mother. Because Marty had turned from a boy into a man. “When I turned 18 the abuse stopped. When I started playing football,” Wise said.

Small too is now free, separated from her husband. But the nightmare is not forgotten. “He does, he asks me, mommy, why didn’t you leave?” Small said. “I think I learned how to build my own control back and not have to worry about somebody else, have to rely on someone for a support system.”

The Pennsylvania Coalition against Domestic Violence cites these statistics:

  • More than 10 million people are abused each year in the United States
  • In Pennsylcania, 109 people died of abuse in 2020.

If you or someone you know is living this nightmare, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

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