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Domestic violence victim shares her story in hopes of encouraging others to leave dangerous relationships

Tiffany Stott credits Safe Place in Midland for giving her the confidence and courage to speak out and end the cycle of domestic abuse.

MIDLAND, Texas — Having a safe place to call home is something many of us take for granted.

But for all too many of us here in West Texas, finding that safe place is not easy because of an abusive partner.  

According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 228 men and women were killed by their partners in 2020. That number is 23% higher than it was in 2019. 

In Midland, Safe Place may not look like much on the outside, but on the inside, it is providing just that: a safe place. 

“It’s not chaos like you're used to, it’s quiet, it’s tranquil almost," Tiffany Stott, a Domestic Violence Survivor, said.

That is exactly what Tiffany Stott needed nine years ago. Stott describes her ex-husband's abuse in vivid detail. 

“He always pushed and shoved me even when I was holding our son. When I was 9 months pregnant, I remember holding onto the stairs and I was holding on to the rail. I had said something he didn’t like and he shoved me. I thought I was going to fall. That was the first time I thought, 'okay I’m going to die if I stay with this person.' I didn’t know what to do. I’d never been with someone like that. Everything told me to run but I didn’t know where to go. And I didn’t know that anybody else dealt with something like this and I just thought it was me.” 

But it is not just Tiffany.  

In fact, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence.  

“When I was brought here to Safe Place for counseling…it changed my world completely," Stott said. "I realized I was lovable. I realized I can be loved. You’d think those things were pretty easy to understand but there’s a lot of people out there that don’t know that when they’ve dealt with domestic violence abuse.”

Dealing with that domestic violence is exactly what Safe Place is for, from providing free shelter to counseling and helping victims' education and career goals.

“Everything I learned through counseling I was able to apply to my life," Stott said. "I’m going to school to one day be an attorney. I’m working on getting my bachelor’s and then I’ll apply for law school."

Stott says Safe Place made her realize she could change her life.

"There are people there that can help you change your life and that is what I’m in pursuit of is helping other people change their lives too.” 

But the best thing safe place gave tiffany? 

“A new start. A chance to actually live life and not be afraid of anything. It represents hope to me,” Stott said.  

If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can call Safe Place's 24-hour hotline at 432-570-1465. 

For more of Safe Place's resources click here.