Surviving domestic abuse, victims come together to help others

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Feb. 15, 2006 is a day Amy Waters Houser will always remember.

"Next thing I know my daddy is lying on the ground and he's standing over him with the riffle shooting him and that's the next shot I heard," said Amy.

Six years ago, just one day after valentine's day, Amy's former husband Joey Scates  shot and killed her father  Hugh Edward Waters during a violent domestic argument.

"It started with him being verbally abusive," said Amy.

"Then he would break things in the house or hit something. And then it started on me, physical with me, black eyes, pushed, shoved, hit, he head butted me."

Amy endured abuse for almost 15 years.

"You ask the question, why don't they leave?," said Amy.

"I've asked it. But until you've lived in it, you can't judge them. It's fear. You don't leave because of fear of what they're going to do."

That's why today she works with Amy's House.

The group helps all victims of domestic violence, adults and minors with a variety of services.

"One which is an emergency shelter for victims looking for shelter for the night and some other clients help them get to the resources they need," said Kay Schwemm of Amy's House.

Part of that assistance also includes transportation to and from appointments, court appearances and job interviews.

"Domestic violence unfortunately is growing and growing," said Schwemm.

The organization helped Amy get back on her feet financially and emotionally.

And although Amy's house wasn't named after her Amy makes it her mission to spread its message.

"God saved my life," said Amy.

"He might have taken my daddy's but I'm here to help other women. Tell them there are places you can go so they won't have to go through what my family went through."

Amy Houser's former husband is currently serving life in prison without parole on a first degree murder charge.

Amy House will be at a domestic violence awareness event coming up soon in Lincolnton.

Lincoln Cultural Center 403 E Main St, Lincolnton, NC

October 28th, 2:00-4:00pm

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