Domestic violence survivor wants others to learn from her story - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Domestic violence survivor wants others to learn from her story

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RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) - One Ringgold woman had to fight for her life after she was brutally attacked -- allegedly by her boyfriend.

Vicki Bush is speaking out to Channel 3, hoping her story will help someone else. 

Experts say domestic violence can increase during the holiday season. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports one in four women will be victims in their lifetime.

"The one person I really cared about almost killed me," Vicki said.

She's talking about her ex-boyfriend, Travis Lee Wilson. Vicki thought she was in a great relationship, but ignored some of the red flags.

"Whatever I wanted, I had. He took care of me," she said.

But that all changed one night last month. Vicki says she had to fight for her life.

She remembers Wilson coming home, agitated. She went to lay down, but her nightmare started before she fell asleep.

"He was on the bed on his knees, with a hammer drawn back," Vicki explained. "I stuck my foot up under his chin and I grabbed the hammer. I kept pullin', pullin', and by the grace of God, I got it away from him."

Vicki says she was then hit in the face. She fell to the ground. Her head was repeatedly bashed into the floor.

"And then, I heard the knife blade open."

Vicki had cuts on her arms and face. She says blood covered the room, but was able to run outside to call police. An ambulance rushed her to Erlanger. Wilson ran off, but police eventually tracked him down.

Vicki was unrecognizable.

"I had 57 stitches, a concussion, fractured eye socket, broken nose, two broken ribs," she explained.

Now, Vicki regrets not leaving sooner. She said Wilson punched her once before, leaving her with a black eye and missing teeth.

But, like many victims, she said she tried brushing it off, thinking it was a one-time thing.

"I tried to do the right thing, forgive him. I hoped it wouldn't happen again. I believed it wouldn't," she said. 

"But as everybody knows, in those cases, it does happen again."

She hopes sharing her story will help someone else who feels trapped.

"Why would I keep putting up with that and not speak out for somebody else?" Vicki asked. "I'm hoping they would get the courage to walk off, or fight for their life, or try to change it."

Wilson was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery. He's being held in the Catoosa County Jail on a $20,000 bond. Vicki has taken out an order of protection against him.

Victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for support, resources and advice for safety. That number is 1-800-799-SAFE.
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