Lansing woman advocates for fellow domestic violence survivor during COVID-19


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– A Lansing woman wants people to know domestic violence is still a pressing issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara Delacruz fell head over heels when she entered a new relationship in 2016.

“He made me feel secure,” she says. “Of course, a charmer, aren’t they always, but I would say I just felt like I was swept off my feet.”

After a few years of dating and having two kids together, Sara says things turned tense. The couple decided to take a break, and things came to a head on March 16th when she met her ex to drop off some items at their home.

“He looked like he had been crying all day or whatever. He just looked very sad, stressed, depressed but evil all at the same time,” she says.

As she tried to leave, Delacruz says he strangled her. She broke away, but he chased her and took things even further.

“And I remember being attacked, and I’m just like “What is he doing?” I thought he was probably punching me or something, but no, he was stabbing me.”

She was stabbed more than 20 times. A neighbor called police before she was taken to the hospital.

“I just remember thinking to myself like, God, this is what women go through, or just people that are in domestic situations. Like, I almost lost my life,” Delacruz says. “I didn’t do anything wrong to almost lose my life. I didn’t ask this man to try to kill me.”

Authorities found and arrested her attacker three months later.

“I went home, I celebrated with my children. Everything felt fine because I’m not looking over my shoulder.”

But her fight wasn’t over. Her attacker posted bond in July and is back on the streets. Instead of living in fear, she’s focusing on healing with the help of Voices of Color, a nonprofit organization that supports survivors of domestic violence. Founder Tanesha Ash-Shakoor says she has her back no matter what.

“Whatever I can do, I have her. And to anybody else that doesn’t support her, then you’re not just going up against her. She has a team.”

She also says there are still resources to help other survivors even in a pandemic.

“Whether you have COVID-19 or not, you can go to a domestic violence shelter,” Ash-Shakoor says. “They will make provisions for you even if you have COVID-19. Abusers have attempted to use that.”

“I feel like the only way you really can heal is just being honest with yourself,” Delacruz says, “being a voice for yourself, telling your truth, owning it, and not being ashamed.”

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