Domestic violence survivor recounts help after horrific 'choking'
SAN ANTONIO —
For the first time in nearly 6 years, a soon-to-be mother of four from the Southeast Side said she can freely move around where she lives without constant fear.
"I felt like he was going to kill me a few times before," said LaQuinta, whose last name we’ve withheld because of her alleged violent past.
LaQuinta called herself a domestic abuse survivor.
"As soon as he would get angry about something, and I would fight back, then that's when he would choke me," she told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf.
LaQuinta served in the Army for a number of years. She believed discipline learned in the military helped her cope with the beatings.
"He would hit me a few times and I would run from him to the bedroom, and then he would pin me on the bed and choke me," she explained with a stoic face.
Five years after the alleged abuse began, LaQuinta turned to the Battered Women’s and Children's Shelter for help. Once at the center, she met someone who ultimately changed her family's life forever.
"I have a second chance at life because of her,” she told Wolf. “Because without her, I don't think I would have gotten to this point."
Sarah is a domestic violence survivor as well. But this Iraq War refugee, who's been living in San Antonio for the last 8 years, put her own struggles aside to help LaQuinta and her kids get back on their feet.
"She didn't care,” LaQuinta said about her past. “You're a person just like everyone else."
LaQuinta now works as a pharmacy tech. She and her children live in their own apartment. LaQuinta credited Sarah because of her emotional and financial support. That’s why she nominated her for the CASH FOR KINDNESS award.
"I called Ryan because I wanted to tell you thank you,” LaQuinta told Sarah inside her apartment.
She asked her to come over for dinner as part of the surprise.
“I wanted San Antonio to know all the wonderful things that you've done for me," she said while the two cried and held hands. “Because at a time when I thought I didn't have anybody, you were there. You've done so much for me and my kids.”
Sarah couldn’t believe the lengths her new friend went to tell her how much she meant to her.
“I'm very happy because you have your own place,” she told LaQuinta. “Your own life. Your freedom.”
Sarah told Wolf that everyone needs someone they can count on. She wanted to be that friend to LaQuinta. “I tried to give her hope and show that there's good people in the world."
Wolf explained how her kindness earned her a cash award from Fox San Antonio. Sarah tried to turn it down.
“You know, I love my friends,” she said. “I love to help people. It's not about money. Really.”
“The good thing about this weekly program is that it's not a need based program,” Wolf explained to her about CASH FOR KINDNESS. “We're doing this because we want San Antonio to see that good people are doing good things every day, including what you're doing now. Please just put your hand out for me.”
Wolf handed her $500 in cash.
“Thank you very much," Sarah said with a smile and tears in her eyes.
But the giving didn’t stop there.
“Would put your hand out for me?” Wolf said to LaQuinta who had a shocked look on her face.
“There's $500 for you as well!”
LaQuinta couldn’t believe her eyes. She reached out to give Wolf and Sarah a group hug.
“I won't be behind,” she said about her bills. “I won't be behind now.”
For help escaping an abusive relationship, call the Battered Women's & Children's Shelter at (210) 733-8810.
Click here to nominate someone for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS award.
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