My name is Rachael Venters. This year I will be 37 years old. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois in a poor farming community. Illinois is where I first experienced domestic violence as a teenager at the hands of a boyfriend, whom I later married and divorced. This is also where I met the perpetrator who moved me to Northern Idaho where he tortured me and almost ended my life. I now live in a violence-free home with my two children and our pets.
Kelvie Malia, 35 years old, is originally from Hawaii but currently resides in Nevada. She is a single mother of 3 beautiful gifts from God. Kelvie Malia is also a notary public for the State of Nevada and a real estate loan signer. She is a volunteer enthusiast and Global Goodwill Ambassador.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
When she was 20 years old, Ishaunna Gully was shot in the back by her ex-boyfriend, leaving her paralyzed and terrified. Throughout the sentencing, Ishaunna received no explanation of her rights or the proceedings. She felt alone in the system and just wanted the whole process to end. Throughout the traumatic physical and mental recovery and legal battles, she became more and more determined that Mississippi can do better. She now runs “Take a Stand, No More,” a victims’ organization assisting victims of domestic violence. Now, she’s on a mission to convince Mississippi lawmakers and voters that in order to do better, Mississippi needs Marsy’s Law.
Nearly 15 years ago, my daughter, Angie Leon, was shot and killed by her estranged husband. Three weeks shy of her 22nd birthday, my daughter was taken from me and her three children. For the rest of our lives, we’ll be the victims of this senseless crime.
Through her work as a Victim Advocate with The Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention in Hattiesburg and Laurel, Mississippi, Teressa Ellzey has seen firsthand how important having a voice is in the road to recovery. She supports victims through all phases of recovery, including hospital visits and navigating the court system. "I am a victim's advocate first and foremost," she says. "I am a voice not only for The Shafer Center, but for victims that can't or are not willing to speak out about sexual assault."
In 2007, my ex-husband broke into my home and stabbed me over 30 times in the presence of my two daughters. Although I have been left with limited use of my limbs and am now disabled, I was blessed.
My name is April Estling, I’m 38 years old, and I am born and raised in northeast Iowa. While I spent a majority of my life in Oelwein, we have lived in Maynard for 8 years now. I’m a single mom of two boys, one in Heaven and one here on Earth. My boys, Kaiden and Amir, are my world and come before anything or anyone. We were like the Three Muskateer’s, going to do fun things, our Wednesday night youth groups at church, taking Kaiden to see WWE events annually, trips to Adventureland,camping. I loved watching Kaiden play football and basketball every year, starting with soccer when that was his only option as he was younger. Usually if there was one of us, there was all three of us. But that all came to an abrupt halt on the the night of Thursday June 28th, 2018.