DETROIT - Lavon Morris-Grant was shot four times by her husband, including once in the head, but she kept on running. She ran downstairs, collected her three children and got them out of the house.
Her husband of 10 years was so enraged that he had not succeeded in killing her and their children; he turned the gun on himself and shot himself dead.
"I believe that day his plan was to kill all five of us," said Grant.
That was 16 years ago, and Grant does look back. She remembers every second of that day. Now, she talks to women about her so they can recognize the signals of domestic abuse and get out, while they can.
Grant spoke Tuesday at the Understanding Trauma & Mental Health in the context of Domestic Violence: An Integrated Framework for Healing and Social Change. It's a long title for a very important conference held at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on Tuesday. Several organizations including the Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency pooled resources and talked to a huge group of men and women about domestic violence and how to stem it from growing into a dangerous tide.
"Most times in a relationship outside people can see things that are happening, particularly close friends and family, they can see the behaviors going on between you and your partner," said Grant.
Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy reported that there are at least 8,000 cases of domestic abuse in Wayne County alone, every year. That's way too many.
What can you do if you suspect someone you love is in trouble?
"Just stay her friend, even if you don't talk about it no more just stay her friend, because she is going to need you in the end," said Grant.
Part of social change is finding the resources to fully prosecute suspects, and making sure victims find their own sense of victory in leaving the abusive situation.
Grant also seeks change in churches and religious institutions that promote the concept of "praying and staying". She says it's important for religion to play a part in liberating women to leave when their lives and safety depend on it. Grant says she believes in a "praying woman", but not a "staying woman at all costs."
Grant future tells her story of how she survived the attack from her husband and lived on to help others in her book, "Whom Shall I Fear."
For more information on the book and Grant's story visit her website lavonmorrisgrantllc.com
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