According to a report from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a woman in America is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds. The same report found that one in three women have been physically abused by a partner. One of them is Carleigh Hagar, a 25 year-old from Indianapolis. Until her prince charming turned into a monster, she had never imagined she’d become a victim of abuse.
Carleigh’s bad situation came to a head on the evening of October 22, 2016. She, her boyfriend Ryan Cameron, and three friends had just come back from a wedding. Everyone had a great time; hearing all the laughter, you’d never think anything could have been wrong. However, Ryan had gotten extremely drunk and was directing his aggression at Carleigh. Not surprising: when a woman is abused, drugs or alcohol are involved 45 percent of the time. Right there in front of their friends, he started insulting her, calling her all sorts of foul names, and then told them that if they wanted to rape her, now was their chance.
She decided it was best to walk away and just turn in for the night. Unfortunately, things only got worse, much worse. Ryan crept into the room and began brutalizing her. Their friends ran in and tried to stop him, but he managed to shove them out and then lock the door from the inside. The friends called 911 right away. But in the few minutes it took the police to arrive, Ryan was able to inflict terrible injuries on her, including a partially successful attempt to rip her tongue out.
Carleigh had been living in fear of Ryan for quite some time. Now she’s determined to speak out, encouraging others to leave abusive relationships. “You have to tell somebody. You can’t be embarrassed,” she says. “You can’t be ashamed. You have to tell somebody because I almost died and it can happen.”
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