A Lantana woman had always been strong and independent.
When she finally walked away from her five-year abusive relationship, she noticed she had briefly lost many of her hardworking assets.
The 32-year-old, who wants to be identified as Jane, is rebuilding her life and is using her experience to help others realize they can live a life they’re proud of and deserve.
“I knew his behavior was wrong. I knew the situation was wrong. I was trying to get out of it, but they trap you,” she said.
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The most recent done at the hands of the man Jane thought she knew and loved left her bloodied and bruised, with horrible marks on her face.
“He punched me in the face and knocked me cold to the ground,” she said. “Thankfully, I’ve never seen his face again.”
Jane broke her silence about her abusive relationship while in the hospital that night. Jane says victims don’t deserve to have their world unraveling on the inside, they need to tell someone.
“I felt like I put myself in this position and that I needed to get myself out of it, so I was honestly working to try to get myself out of it,” she said. “You need to ask for help, you need to tell people your situation, you need to accept the help.”
In this season of giving, dentists at Spodak Dental Group in Delray Beach want to turn her tragedy to triumph. For them, that’s helping to boost her self-esteem and sense of self-worth with a restored smile at no cost.
“My sincere hope is that her confidence and her strength, sends a message to someone at home who is in an abusive relationship to not take it anymore,” said Dr. Craig Spodak of Spodak Dental Group. “To take care of their family and leave a relationship like that.”
“I have a great view on life. I am so happy right now, I never felt happier to be free. I won’t let this define me in anyway shape or form,” Jane said. “I had no idea of the resources that were out there.”
There are several resources available in Palm Beach County, including Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, or AVDA, with a team working around the clock to get survivors shelter and transitional housing. Right now, they’re getting between 180 to 200 calls a month, a significant climb.
“We’re finding unfortunately that the violence level, the lethality level of these situations, is very high, guns are involved, multiple children,” said Jennifer Rey, Program Services Director at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse.
While it’s high, she says rooms are available and safety measures are in place for those who want to reach out and escape.
“We have PPE for everybody. We have a cleaning regime that’s making the place wiped down every 8 hours, so we’re