Survivor of domestic violence shares her story

Survivor of domestic violence shares her story

Too many families are torn apart by domestic violence every day across New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Too many families are torn apart by domestic violence every day across New Mexico.  

In this latest case Tuesday night, police say Rufino Castillo ran over his mom at a gas station in northwest Albuquerque. She is in the hospital in critical condition. 

Police say Castillo also injured his dad in the domestic dispute. He’s in jail facing several charges including aggravated battery. 

Just a few days ago, police arrested a man for a fight that turned deadly. 

Police say Julius Irving choked his girlfriend to death. He is now in jail facing a murder charge. 

Heading into the holiday season, it can be the worst time for people who face violence in their own homes. 

But there is hope, and there is help. 

The Domestic Violence Resource Center in Albuquerque hosted its “Power of the Purse” fundraiser to help survivors. 

KOB 4 spoke with a survivor who shared her brave story. 

Angela Sanchez says if someone told her 15 years ago what she would have to endure, she wouldn’t have believed it.

She shared her story at the Power of the Purse event Wednesday night. It’s a fundraiser for Albuquerque’s Domestic Violence Resource Center.

Organizers auctioned off purses. They say some women fleeing violent relationships leave with less than that.

Sanchez was one of those women. 

“We left our situation with nothing. They were small babies, and we had nothing,” Sanchez said.  

She says her partner of five years and the dad of her three children started using drugs. 

“I worshiped the ground that he walked on, he was my first true, true love,” said Sanchez. “When I would look at him, he wasn’t the same man that I knew before.”

She says leaving was one of the scariest things she’s ever done. 

“To this day we don’t just leave doors unlocked. I’m always checking windows, checking doors,” Sanchez said.  

But she wants others to know it gets better.

“You can be in a home with the bare minimum as long as you have your kids, you have yourself, and you live to see another day, a better day, you know?” said Sanchez. 

If you are facing violence at home there are places to turn. The Domestic Violence Resource Center being one of those places. 

The city also created a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Commission after a spike in cases over the last holiday season. That commission has grown to 21 members. 

They just started offering hotel vouchers for people who need a safe place to stay for a few nights while they figure out their next steps.