East Texan Speaks Out Against Domestic Violence

by Jessica Cervantez

It is a growing problem in East Texas, but many women are speaking out against it, domestic violence. One East Texas woman shares her story.

She has been through physical, and verbal abuse. She has thousands of dollars in medical bills, and yet, she has forgiven the person who has put her through it all.

Wanda Cook, a victim of domestic violence, said, "He hit me so hard I couldn't see. I filled a dishrag up full of blood, and I begged him to stop hitting me. He pulled the hair out my head."

That was the last time 34-year-old Wanda Cook would let her husband abuse her.

Cook said, "I prayed for my husband, and I wanted our marriage to work because I loved him, but he was so jealous every time I came home he assumed that I was with someone."

When Cook and her husband were married in August of 2003, she had no idea this is how it would end. The verbal abuse started just one month later. By February, of 2004, the abuse turned physical, that April, she left him.

Cook said, "He beat me so bad I was asked what he hit me with, I had multiple fractures in the nose... I have $25-thousand in medical bills."

He spent six months in jail for beating her. Cook now has a protective order against him.

Josalyn Penner, who is the assistant executive director at the Deep East Texas Women's Shelter, said, "The protective order has helped her. He hasn't assaulted her, it has helped to deter him, before he had too easy access."

Right now, Cook is in the middle of getting a divorce. In the meantime, she wants to speak out to others, to let them know if she can leave a bad situation like this, anyone can.

Cook said, "I'm not perfect by all means but a wife is a gift from God not a punching bag."

If you need help you can call the women's shelter hotline at 936-569-8850.