Mecklenburg County has second highest domestic violence rate in - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Mecklenburg County has second highest domestic violence rate in state

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Mecklenburg County is second in the state behind Wake County for the number of people killed due to domestic violence.

There were eight homicides last year and 122 statewide.    

That means domestic violence affects 1 in four women and you or someone you know has probably been a victim at one time.

Today, I spoke a survivor.  Her story is one that all too often goes untold…. And an upcoming art exhibit hopes to change that.

"Get out of the relationship as soon as you can," said Mia Jenkins.

"Don't be afraid."

Mia is a survivor of domestic violence.

In June of 2006 she took out a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend after she says he went from being loving to abusive.

"He told my mother since I can't since my daughter again you won't see yours ever again," said Mia.

Just two months after having their daughter, Mia was left paralyzed from the neck down when he shot her three times in the back of her neck, chest and ribs. She was 21 years old.

"I had shattered bones; my right lung was collapsed, ribs broken," said Mia. 

"My liver was lacerated, my elbow was skinned up; I have a small bald spot in the back of my head."

Mia is sharing her survival story in an upcoming art exhibit called End the Silence.

The photo exhibit was started by Sandra Guynes the founder of Pearls for Creative Healing.

A domestic violence survivor herself, she uses her organization to help victims domestic violence heal through art.

"To help these women heal from their emotional wounds of domestic violence but also empower other women that may be in that situation," said Guynes.

Mia along with 19 other survivors took part in the photo shoot.

The images all show a piece of their story.

"People think domestic violence it just affects one particular demographic or one particular race," said Guynes. 

"It doesn't. It does not discriminate."

Mia is thankful for the exhibit and despite being shy; she says she'll continue to tell her story.

"So that you can help other women that are you know dealing with domestic violence or being abused," said Mia.

The pictures will be displayed this Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (PDT)

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