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'I miss the old me': Domestic violence survivor goes viral on TikTok after sharing her story

Local domestic violence survivor goes viral on Tik Tok after sharing her story
Posted at 6:46 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 11:23:07-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite enduring unspeakable trauma, one local domestic violence survivor is using the power of social media to raise awareness.

Earlier this month, Abigail Winters celebrated a milestone she never imagined she would be celebrating. Alongside her son, she released balloons in honor of surviving domestic violence.

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"I mean, that boy saved my life, and he continues to every single day," Winters said. "He gives me hope that we can have our little family and we can be happy."

She said she almost forgot what it felt like after being in an abusive relationship for several years.

"I felt like I was completely and utterly trapped. There was nothing I could do to get out," she said.

But her life changed two years ago after a child custody exchange between Winters and her ex-fiance ended in her being shot in the face.

"My ears were going off, like ringing like when a bomb goes off, and then like I had no pain, though," Winters said.

In front of her mother and her 1-year-old son, Winters said her first thought was to make sure her son, Stiles, was okay.

"I looked as far as I could, and she was cradling my son with her entire body to make sure that he was safe," Winters said.

After months of being afraid of what people would say about her, Winters decided to share her story on the social media platform TikTok.

“Social media has changed my life completely," she said. "It's given me so many opportunities to share the awareness that I need to.”

After being praised for her courage and seeing how many others online have been victims of domestic violence, Winters said her hope is to let others know they are not alone.

“I wanted to save one person from crying at night because they're stuck in a relationship they can't get out of," she said. "I would want to save one person from feeling like their babies are in danger."

Many of Winters' TikToks have gone viral, and she is using that leverage to reach new heights.

"Even though you feel isolated, hold on to your family," she said. "Hold on to your friends. They're still there for you, and they will come, and they will pick up the pieces. They will."

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