WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) Nearly one year ago, Teresa Ewing disappeared for one day. Her ex-boyfriend, Brian Lyons allegedly tied her to a tree. She managed to escape and press charges, but when the trial began, she dropped them. To 63 year old Jeannie Staten, that story is all too familiar.
“This is not surprising to me. This happens all the time,” said Staten.
Jeannie is a former teacher and social worker. She was once a victim of domestic violence. Her ex-husband brutally abused her several times during their marriage back in 2003.
“We were only married for 10 months and during those 10 months it wasn’t even a month after we had married, he hit me for the first time. And it only escalated from there,” said Staten.
She remembers being attacked more than 10 times. During the last beating, she nearly lost her life.
“The last time he beat me, I was in ICU and the doctors don’t know how I survived it. He cracked my skull and separated my breast plate, completely in two. The only reason I stayed as long as I did was because he was threatening my children and I knew he was capable of doing it because he had put a gun to my head,” said Staten.
Jeannie eventually sought refuge with her friends, however, it didn’t stop there. Her ex-husband then allegedly stalked her, burning down their home, her grandmothers, and the mobile home she bought after leaving him. But she didn’t let that stop her. She’s now an advocate for Safe Haven and tells her story to women going through the same scenario. Jeannie says women sometimes stay with their lover, hoping they will change, but she urges women who hear her story, to seek help and get out.
“They’re not going to change. I promise you. I don’t care how many times that they tell you they’re going to change, they’re not. And it’s only going to get worse. And do you want to live the rest of your life like this and possibly give up your life? You do not have to depend on that man,” said Staten.
Jeannie’s ex-husband was eventually sent to jail for arson and solicitation to have her killed.
Currently he’s out of jail. Jeannie says the state needs stronger laws to protect women from domestic violence.