Honoring survivors during Domestic Violence Awareness month

Thursday, the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff held its fifth annual Domestic Violence Vigil

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s still Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Thursday, the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff held its fifth annual Domestic Violence Vigil at Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza.

“We want people who are survivors to come, we want victims who might have never have been able to come forward because they’re so afraid, or transportation issues, whatever. We hope the words of those who’ve been in their shoes will inspire them,” said Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt.

Brianna May is a survivor of domestic violence, which she says she endured for more than two years before moving from California to Kentucky to escape her abusive partner.

“David would choose to strangle me if he drank, if he didn’t drink, if he was just having a bad day, if I asked him about money problems. The main thing of control was strangulation,” said May.

May says she recalls when she knew she had to leave her abuser.

“He was laughing over my body, and decided to kick me. And our son was sleeping in the bed, not two feet away from this. And I knew he was going to kill me. I know I would be dead and I’m sure our son would be as well,” said May.

May says her abuser hitch-hiked from California to Kentucky to find her.

“He came here, went to places where I have a small business that I share my jewelry with…with machetes on his hip. It became very apparent to me that I couldn’t have a normal job,” said May.

May says her abuser died last year, and after four years, May and her two children are living without fear.

Thursday, she stood at the podium at the Domestic Violence Vigil to share her story, and remind others they are never alone. She says the most important thing to a survivor is to know they’re supported.

“We desperately need support. Emotional support more than anything. A lot of people say ‘well, at least you left, at least you got out,’ but there is no caring stage through the emotions of that,” said May.

The theme of the vigil was “Rise Up,” and provided a time for survivors to stand up and share their stories.

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