Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wonder Woman Wednesday-Woman stabbed over 40 times makes educating others her mission

Since the launch of Wonder Woman Wednesday on my Damsel in Defense blog, I have read, listened to, and watched some amazingly heroic stories.  All of them ripped my heart right out of my chest and lit it on fire, but this week, one took me by surprise. 

In 2005, Ilianexy Morales was a 33 year old beautiful woman with her entire life ahead of her.  She had recently broken it off with her boyfriend, and was moving on with her life.   One day, he showed up at her door saying he wanted to speak with her, and she let him in.  It never occurred to her that he came that day planning to kill her.

In a moment’s time, he pulled the knife from his sock and slashed her over 40 times all over her body.

“One day I was young, beautiful and healthy, then suddenly I was slashed everywhere, my face disfigured and my teeth were gone.  All because one person, who I’ve known for three years, felt he had the right to do this to me,” Morales explains, “I was stabbed and slashed over 40 times, all over my body, face, head, neck, breasts, stomach, arms, hands, legs and feet, and my teeth were shattered by the knife as well.”

After a miracle and three months in the hospital, half of which she spent in a medically induced coma, Morales survived the attack and has since had to endure more than 20 reconstructive surgeries.
What kept her hanging on?  She had a 6-year-old daughter and a bedridden mother who needed her.  Morales attribute them for keeping her strong.  She wasn’t going to leave her baby, and her mother, who heard the entire attack but couldn’t help, was not going to have that as her last memory of her child.

Saddened that she endured so much pain and disfiguration, Morales never let what happened to her get the best of her.  She used it to fuel her passion for helping others, and she never quit smiling.

Aryn Quinn, the founder of Beauty Cares, a non-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic abuse against teens, women and children brought Morales’ story to GLAM4GOOD.  Quinn nominated Morales for a day of Glam4Good pampering, stating, “Ilianexy embodies the founding spirit of Beauty Cares by taking something terrible which happened to her and turning it into an opportunity to empower others.  She’s strong, lovely, and generous with her talents and hard learned lessons.  Domestic violence shreds a woman’s spirit and I knew this GLAM4GOOD experience would be a celebration and powerful step to wholeness for Ilianexy.”

Morales explained that her boyfriend was never violent before that day, but was always extremely controlling, jealous, insecure, obsessive, and smothering.  He isolated her from her family and friends and followed her when she was in school or at the store.  She explained that he’d threatened to kill her then himself if she ever left, but she didn’t have a weak personality, and only submitted when death threats came into the picture.  Still, she believed he was generally good.

Morales’s ex-boyfriend was arrested at her apartment the night of the attack and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  He will be out in 2020.

Wonder Woman Wednesday this week goes to Ilianexy Morales, who was not only strong enough to survive, but strong enough to use her tragedy to help other women who might not otherwise know any better. 

Ilianexy Morales-Wonder Woman
“My message to women who are currently in abusive relationships is there is no excuse to stay in such a situation.  You deserve better, you deserve to be treated with respect and love,” she advises, “Seek therapy so others can help you understand that this is not the life you deserve.”

“To women in situations like mine, that have survived an attack and are hiding and ashamed and don’t know what to do, I want you to know that there is help out there for you,” she continues, “It first starts with acceptance; your scars, injuries, and everything else can be treated by amazing doctors that donate their time to help, but you are in control of what’s inside.”

When asked how she feels now, she will smile and tell you she is very lucky to be alive because, “There are women being killed every day by their partners.  I barely escaped with my life.  Do not let it get this far or worse; you must take action now for yourself and your children.”

Not only does Ilianexy Morales get the Wonder Woman Wednesday award this week, so do Beauty Cares and GLAM4GOOD for their mission to empower and educate women to live safer lives. 

They do hard things to build strong women, which falls directly in line with the mission of Damsel in Defense

If your partner threatens or physically abuses you, which includes pushing or shoving, there is no justification and it will only get worse.  Tell your family and call the national domestic abuse hotline immediately at 1-800-799-SAFE.

See Ilianexy's full story here.

If you or anyone you know needs help, reach out.  Do hard things.

Do you know of a Wonder Woman?  I'd like to hear from you.  Email me at sunshine@yourdamseldiva.com.

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