DALLAS (CBS11) – By the time this day ends, three more American women will die– their lives snuffed out by husbands, boyfriends and angry exes in a perverted view of love.
But, those sobering numbers from the U.S. Justice Department don’t calculate the full cost of abuse. Many experts say that children are often the forgotten victims of the violence.
“Doctors told my family that I wouldn’t walk or talk again and when I first woke up, I couldn’t see,” says Storm Malone of Dallas. “But through the power of God.”
Now 18, Malone’s name is one you may remember. In August of 2013, the then 14-year-old was shot and left for dead in an attack that claimed the lives of four women– including his mother and older sister.
Three other children were wounded in two separate households.
“I was shot twice in my chest area, and once in my jaw that exited by head.”
His left arm is still paralyzed from his injuries. The boyfriend, Erbie Bowser, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year.
“It’s not worth it,” says Malone with a wisdom beyond his years. “If someone doesn’t want you, just leave. If it’s not working and your kids are uncomfortable. Don’t put them through that.”
After being told that he would never again walk, talk or see, this fall Malone enrolled in Mountain View College.
“I feel like I need to get my story out,” says Malone, who wants to become a motivational speaker. “It’s not just hurting you, it’s also hurting your kids and family around you.”
He walked into Dr. Keisha Lankford’s class by mistake. Or perhaps it was fate.
“I’d seen him on one of your stories, before,” says Lankford, a Mountain View Sociology professor. She and her husband also operate a non-profit and were preparing to celebrate 20 years of advocacy for healthy, safe families.
“The community needs to take an active stand in trying to prevent, but also provide resources so we can help heal that hurt,” says Lankford, “otherwise it perpetuates.”
So the Lankfords decided the gala on Saturday could also help fund a scholarship for Malone. “He wants to be a public speaker to share his story with many, and how can we not help him with that?”
So I asked Malone what has helped him heal– he quickly responded, pointing to his grandmother and aunt, and told me his family. And there’s also his faith.
“I stay praying, like, I pray, pray pray.”
And he continues to persevere.