Thank you to Katie Ferrell and NBC4 for allowing my daughter, Amaya and me to share our story with the world, in order to let other's, (especially children) know they are not alone; more importantly, that healing and triumph is possible to come from something so painful.
By Katie Ferrell
Published: February 16, 2017
COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One in three. That’s how many women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Last year Columbus Police responded to nearly 2,000 violence calls. Marica Phipps is one of the survivors.
Phipps is a mom of three; a mom who almost lost the chance of getting to watch her kids grow up. Her daughter, 10-year-old Amaya Phipps was the only one home the night she almost lost her life.
Like most kids her age, Amaya is carefree. She loves Chipotle, playing games and her dog Izzie. But, there is a place in her mind she doesn’t go anymore.
“Back then it was hard for me as a child, but now it’s getting better,” said Amaya.
Amaya has lived through what most children aren’t even allowed to watch in movies. She was told to stay in the basement by her mom’s boyfriend…a blaring TV not enough to drown out the sounds of her mom being beaten upstairs.
“Some little things I forget, but I don’t think I will forget like the whole thing,” she said.
Marica’s story is like so many other women in abusive relationships.
“When he told me I’m going to kill you, you’re going to die tonight, I just thought ya right,” said Marica.
Despite eight years of beatings, she stayed. That “ya right” happened December 6th, 2013.
“He strangled me to the point my legs started to go numb. At one point he lifted me up by my hair, and he slung me from one end of the room to the other,” said Marica. That night she thought she was going to die. “The impact at which I hit, it split my head back from here maybe to about the middle of my head.”
The blows kept coming as she ran down the stairs. Her one chance to escape came with a price- leaving her little girl behind.
I had to run from the house and I had to leave her there.” She still carries that guilt.
“It’s tough. It’s tough because these are grown up things. These are adult things that little kids have to push through. They have got to get up and go to school every day and know they may not be safe at home.”
Amaya was safe when officers arrived. Marica worries her youngest had to grow up too soon.
“You do need to be there for your mother or whoever your guardian is,” said Amaya looking out for her mom.
Marica wants you to know there is help out there. She started the nonprofit organization, Battered Not Broken, Inc. https://batterednotbroken.org a domestic abuse nonprofit organization providing education, support, empowerment and resources for victims and others.