Domestic violence victim turns survivor; Hero within herself

YUMA, Ariz- What may start out as something first believed to be harmless escalates into extreme control and abuse. Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe.

Domestic violence survivor Nena Garcia shares her story on how she turned from victim to survivor.

Garcia said, “You know, taking you back to basically a nightmare.”

A nightmare so deep it still hurts in one way shape or form.

“Wow, you know. Living with him I still have nightmares, actually. Very seldom. What makes you laugh about that? Why do you chuckle?” When I get nervous I guess I do that a lot. When I get nervous I chuckle,” said Garcia.

She says living on a day to day basis was the only way she could keep her sanity. And she was not allowed to be sad.

Garcia said, “He just finished beating me up and then he wanted me to be all smiles and everything like nothing even happened. He would tell me…you better smile because if you don’t smile you’re going to get beaten up again until you smile.”

News 11’s Reporter Heather Yako said, “Do you think that has anything to do with the reason why you giggle when you smile sometimes?”

Garcia adds, “You know what, I’ve never thought of that. I’ve never thought of that until now. Could be.”

Garcia takes us back to when he drove her out to the middle of nowhere and describes what it was like for her stranded thinking this was her last day to live.

Garcia said, “He’s in front of me with a big rock a big boulder telling me that this is what he’s going to use to smash my head with and kill me. And I wasn’t praying I was begging more than anything. I was begging and saying you know you can’t do this. Think about your child. It was never about me I was talking about the baby. You’re going to have to live with the fact that you killed me and that this child does not have her parents to raise her. She’s going to be raised by somebody else. I was crying the whole time and begging for him to not do this. At that moment so many things were racing through my mind that it was hard for me to remember everything that was happening.”

She says it makes her very emotional just talking about her experience.

She said, “I really believed that the day has come. you know it really is my last day. I was thinking about my baby. You know, what is going to happen to her. All my thoughts were about her.”

Garcia mentions that she doesn’t see herself as a hero after saving her and her child’s life.

Yako said, “Sometimes when someone saves a life they would be heroic. Many people would consider someone heroic.”

Garcia adds, “Yeah. I guess when you save someone else’s life. Saving my own I didn’t think it would be. i just considered it like oh I’m stronger than I thought I was.”

She says being alive now feels like she’s hit the lottery.

“I’m alive, I’m alive. So that in itself means a lot. I managed to survive in that environment and I lived to tell about it and not only that, but I’m able to help other individuals that are in the same situation.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse you can reach out to Amberly’s Place for help at (928) 373.0849. Or you can visit the Safe House; Yuma’s only Domestic Violence shelter.

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