Victoria woman speaks about domestic violence (video)
Oct. 7, 2013 at 5:07 a.m.
Updated Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:08 a.m.
In 2010, a Victoria woman's ex-husband choked her so hard, the veins in her eyes popped.
Tracie Boop's ex-husband, Adam, was charged with and pleaded guilty to felony strangulation, misdemeanor family assault, felony gun charges and violation of a protective order - but not initially.
Initially, Boop begged police officers not to take him into custody.
Initially, she bonded him out of jail.
Initially, he apologized, and the couple agreed to work out their issues without getting law enforcement involved.
"Unfortunately, neither of us lived up to our promises," Boop said while speaking at a domestic violence awareness event at the University of Houston-Victoria on Monday night.
Every nine seconds, a woman is abused by her intimate partner, Boop said.
"That's a lot of women just since I've been on this stage," she said.
Boop left her ex-husband Nov. 1, 2011, weeks after he disassembled a gun she hid in a dresser.
"I knew if I didn't do something, he was going to kill me," she said.
But it wasn't until much later that justice was served, that he was sentenced to four years in prison, she said.
"I felt like I couldn't take any more court resets. ... Then, one day, it happened. He pleaded guilty to all charges," Boop, 33, said. "I'm stronger because I stood up to my abuser."
Debbie Ramirez, meanwhile, read aloud the name of a woman whose photograph adorned her purple T-shirt.
Her father, Clarence Ramirez Jr., shot her mother, Guadalupe Ramirez, 28, six times in a neighbor's driveway in Victoria in September 1986, a few weeks after he convinced her to move out of an apartment the Mid-Coast Family Services set her up with.
"He told her that he was sorry," Debbie Ramirez said.
She and her sister saw the deadly fight unfold.
"I don't know if I block it out or what," she said afterward of how she copes.
This was the first time she participated in an event like this.
Sporting manicured toenails, some pink and some purple, she marveled at how most people don't know October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"Everyone knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but people have asked me, 'Hey, what's the purple for?'" said Debbie Ramirez, now a 34-year-old CASA employee.
Margaret Rice, the university's Department of Justice grant coordinator, said ignorance is not bliss - it increases the problem.
And although no one from the Crossroads has been killed because of domestic violence in recent years, "it is a true epidemic," said Elena Torres, the University of Houston-Victoria's victim advocate.