BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana ranks second highest in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men. That's according to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV), which confirms the majority of the cases are related to domestic violence.
A recent victim who was lucky enough to survive shared her story in hopes others will recognize and report abusive situations.
The woman, who does not want her name mentioned on television, is recovering from a real nightmare. Her face is swollen, cut, bruised. There is a footprint on her arm. She said it all came from her husband.
"He just snapped for no reason. I don't know why," the woman said.
She may never get the answer to that question. Her husband died last week when police said she ran over him with a box truck. It was the end of a violent night for her and a marriage that she insists was mostly good.
"That was my husband, my best friend, my protector," the woman said.
But last week, she needed protection from her husband. She said he attacked her for not jumping in to help him during a fight at the RaceTrac gas station at Airline Hwy and Tom Drive.
"I got hit with pictures, tables. He kicked me. He peed on me like I was nothing," the woman said.
She said he could be verbally abusive, but this she said took by surprise. She shared with us photos she said she took inside of their house on that night. She was so desperate she said she stole a box truck and took off toward the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. With her husband hanging on to the driver's side door, she said she crashed the truck through the gates. Seconds later she slammed on her brakes and unintentionally ran him over. He later died at the hospital. The woman said she is still trying to figure out what she did wrong.
"I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner. I packed his lunch, clipped his toe nails. I was a good wife," the woman said.
Executive Director of the LCADV, Mariah Wineski said it is quite common for woman in that situation to feel lost or confused.
"Unfortunately, in Louisiana, domestic violence is a very big and common problem. We do find, a lot of times, it can seem like a surprise the first time that someone becomes physically violent," Wineski said.
The abuse, she said, first starts with insults, or financial or emotional control. Wineski said they are all early warning signs that should not be ignored.
"We encourage anyone who is experiencing any form of domestic abuse to reach out for help," Wineski said.
The victim considers herself lucky to have survived this and had this to share with others who might find themselves in similar situations.
"Don't turn your back on the ones who told you that it's not okay," the woman said.
If you or someone you know think you might be a victim there is a free hotline you can call 24 hours a day. That number is 1-888-411-1333.