DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County leads the state in the number of women murdered in domestic violence incidents. Now, county leaders are taking steps to raise awareness and help give victims a way out.
Tamiko Lowery said at first it was emotional abuse, then it turned physical by her husband of three years. She's now an advocate against domestic violence.
“I remember him hitting me. I don't remember anything else after that. The next thing I know, I was in the middle of Interstate 85 with cars swerving around me,” Lowery said. “When you're raised in that environment and you see it, you just don't know how to get help.”
The same is true for Sabrina McKenzie whose husband of 20 years abused her and it ran in her family.
“My sister was murdered by her husband. She was stabbed 22 times in front of her kids,” McKenzie said.
Both women are survivors. And both are sharing their story in an effort to help others. Especially in DeKalb County.
Domestic violence deaths have increased in DeKalb in recent years. Last year, the county had the highest number of deaths in the entire state, which is why solicitor Sherry Boston said her number one priority is to get that number down.
“To know that I am here serving in a county where traditionally we are at the top at the list for the state of Georgia, it means that I know I have to work extra hard to get the message out,” Boston said.
Boston’s office is collecting cell phones to give victims the opportunity to call for help. And they're getting businesses to help them.
“It's hard when you have to hide even those emotional scars,” Boston said. “But when you think you can potentially save someone else’s life…”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Solicitor’s Office is having a symposium that’s open to the public to talk about the issue.
It’s on Thursday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Manuel Maloof Auditorium in Decatur.