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Apr 27, 2022

The Story of a Domestic Violence Survivor

The recent killing of Tracy Thompson in Calcutta and the chilling videos that have captured women being beaten unconscious and, in some cases, being left for dead, have sent shockwaves across the country. While some have lost their lives at the hands of their spouses, many more continue to suffer in silence for various reasons. But an appeal is being made for these victims to get out of these toxic relationships. Tonight, News Five’s Duane Moody speaks with a survivor, who got out after six years of abuse and now lives a battered-free life with her husband and five children.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Domestic violence continues to be a real issue plaguing the country and, believe it or not, thousands of victims are suffering in silence. For those who may not have experienced it, you may not be able to relate, but the graphic videos and pictures of recent domestic violence cases have rushed all the horrid memories back for survivor Shadai Sanchez. The twenty-eight-year-old mother of five says that for six years, she was the victim of an abusive relationship.


Shadai Sanchez, Domestic Violence Survivor

Shadai Sanchez

“You know as every relationship, everything good for the first and we start talk, we spend time with each other, come over to my house and after that we start take thing serious and we get into wi relationship. The first time he apologized and I forget about that. And then it start happen constantly even during the pregnancy. And even after my child was born, he used to still beat me. I can remember at one point of time when my baby was only a week and days old when he beat me with my baby in my hand.”


The physical abuse only got worse and continued for another five years, pushing her to the brink of death on at least two occasions. Even more frightening is that for a period of time, Sanchez became suicidal, having felt abandoned, powerless and with no sign of help.


Shadai Sanchez

“He came out of nowhere and he grab me and he start beat me. He start bang my head into the wall of the house so many times that I passed out. When I passed out, he picked me up moments after and start slapping me in my face and hitting me. I could remember all the times he does have my face – sometimes I was swollen, black and blue, my lips were hanging, they were swollen. So many scratches around my neck and face. I almost died two times. And many a nights I used to cry and ask God to take my life, even with my kids. I dah like why God no just end my life. I want dead, I tired ah live because at that time, you deh against the wall, like nobody deh deh fi you.”


You cannot sit back and allow your victimizer to continuously abuse you; it will eventually result in death, says ComPol Chester Williams, as he references a well-known public service announcement.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

Chester Williams

“He brought me flowers today was the name of the commercial. And yes the man beat up the woman and then the next day ih bring ahn flowers and she happy. Eventually, the flowers will go to her grave. We have to at some point in time make a stand and say enough is enough and women need to make that stand.”


Often times police reports are made, but the charges are dropped before the case gets to court.  And this makes it difficult to prosecute the abusers.  But sometimes, it is not that simple or easy, says Sanchez.


Shadai Sanchez

“I report it many times, but to me, reporting it doesn’t help. Maybe for some people, maybe not. In my case, it noh help because by the time yo call police, by the time police come, he done beat me and he done disappear. I believe that people will get tired of you and you have no body support you. I have family that are financial okay, but to me they don’t look on you like that. Without a family support, I believe that it is really hard for you to get out.”


And while victims may feel like there is no way out, there are non-profit organizations and groups out there to support. Places such as WIN-Belize, the Women’s Department, Haven House, which provides a safe space for battered women and children and there is even the route of accessing the Belize Family Court.


Tricia Collins, Coordinator, Belize Family Court [File: April 26th, 2022]

Tricia Collins

“If that person is hospitalized, if there is a weapon involved that that person is abused by the other person can come to the court can come to the court and apply because they are fearful for their life during that time of the incident or after the incident has occurred.”


Chester Williams

“There are many ways out. We have many organizations in Belize that are willing to assist women who are victims of domestic violence.”


And for those friends and loved ones who feel like getting through to a victim is an uphill battle, Sanchez says keep offering support, for there will be a turning point when a victim wants to get out.


Shadai Sanchez

“I was crying and my daughter looked at me and wiped the tears from my eyes and she said, mommy don’t cry. Ih say noh cry mommy. And that dah when I look up and say I need to make something happen. Dah either I dead yah or I live for my baby deh.”


Fortunately, Sanchez got out eight years ago and is now a twenty-eight-year-old survivor. The mother of five children has been married for the past four years. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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