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East Tenn. woman raising awareness on domestic violence

An East Tenn. woman is raising awareness on domestic violence after facing the monsters of her nightmares head on.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 8:51 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -An East Tenn. woman is raising awareness on domestic violence after facing the monsters of her nightmares head-on.

On her 15th birthday, Zakiya Bell-Rogers' mother loaded her and her two younger siblings into the car and left in the middle of the night. Zakiya said they were fleeing from her abusive father.

“I still have that trauma and that trauma has changed me completely,” said Zakiya Bell-Rogers.

Ally Slavick from YWCA of Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley says more than 45 percent of black females are, were or will be victims of domestic violence.

“Black females are murdered by males at a rate three times higher than white females,” said Slavick. “So these statistics show that domestic violence is the number one health issue facing Black women.”

Zakiya’s mom died shortly after they got away. When Zakiya turned twenty-one, she was graduating from college, taking custody of and raising her brother and sister.

“I refuse to let my mom down, I refuse to let my brother and sister down, I refuse to let any of the women in the shelter down that I knew,” said Bell-Rogers.

Zakiya is a survivor.

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