Wendy de Jesus
Good evening, my name is Wendy de Jesus and I am a Domestic Violence survivor. On November 23rd of 2006, my partner and father of my children shot me at point blank while I was cooking dinner for my family, in front of my 2 children who were only 10 and 8 years old.
Miraculously, I didn’t lose consciousness immediately, even though I was shot several times in my head and other parts of my body. I believe my mother’s instinct wanted to protect my children, whom very courageously called the police and let them in to save me.
The reason why I have decided to share my story is to help other people to become more aware of the consequences of Domestic Violence. I am not here to talk about my aggressor because he is the father of my children, and due to my love and respect for them, I won’t provide details of our relationship that ended with me almost being killed. As all of us know, the Domestic Violence Cycle includes honey moon phases and he never showed signs that he would do something like that when we started our relationship, to me or anyone else. All I can say I that he already served his time with the American justice system, and he is currently residing free in my country, Dominican Republic with the support of his relatives.
On the contrary, I am still physically and emotionally in jail due to the impact of the bullets that I received that day. As a consequence of the attack, I was hospitalized in a coma for several months. The neurosurgeon who operated on me couldn’t remove a bullet located in my head, which he couldn’t even clean, but he was able to make a cavity where hopefully the bullet would eventually fall into, instead of leaving me quadriplegic or dead. I had to live with that threat until December 25th of 2012, when the bullet moved and the same neurosurgeon who helped me the first time, was able to successfully remove it from the cavity he had made.
But before all that, I had to endure extremely difficult moments, such as waking up from a coma without being able to talk and feel terrified for having a male nurse touching my body after being attacked by a male figure. Then I had to learn to do everything again like I was a one-year-old child. During the rehabilitation process, I also fell off my bed and hit my head exactly where I had surgery twice, and on another occasion I was transferred to another hospital without my family being notified. I also had to live with the continued stress of having to prove to the Social Security Office the reasons why I cannot work, with the constant threat that they will end my benefits which is the only source of income of my family. And so many more challenges that I really hope my testimony would help to end and avoid other victims to be re-traumatized by the lack of education and negligence of the system.
I am currently disabled and even though I no longer carry a bullet inside my head, I still suffer from massive headaches and have to live day and night with a constant noise in my ear due to the bullet impact, which according to the specialists, have no cure.
Despite all this, my immense love for my children motivated me to live again and survive all the obstacles that I encounter and continue facing on a daily basis. I have learned that every minute of my life counts and because of that, I would like to thank God for allowing me to continue being present in the life of my children and let me become an example of strength and overcoming to them.
I also would like to thank Wendy Luzón and De La Mano, for giving me a hand and helping my children, who are the true heroes of this story. Of them I can very proudly say that they have grown into two extraordinary human beings, whom have been able to live a healthy life full of positive experiences. My oldest son was able to finish high school and after a few semesters in college, he decided to complete the Basic Combat Training with the Army and he couldn’t be with me tonight because he is on his way to continue with the Advance Individual Training with the Field Artillery School. And my beautiful daughter is getting ready to study to become a School Counselor and for all that we are now a stronger and united family.
I want to take the opportunity to also say thank you to the Lawrence Police officers who rescued me, the medical staff who took care of me, my family who never left me, the sister I found through this situation and to everybody who prayed for me, for my children and for my healing. God bless