From victim to ‘strong survivor’

Every time Gabriela Rowland tells her story, her voice catches at the same point.

The line is one she used in court, when she gave a victim-impact statement before her abuser was sentenced to six years in jail. It’s one that she used at a domestic violence rally in April, at a memorial service for Jennifer Martel in August and at a candlelight vigil for domestic violence victims earlier this month.

More than any part of her story, the part that gets her is the one that most precisely sums up her life since she endured a week of abuse at the hands of her then-boyfriend, Justin Mustafa.

“I was once a victim,” she says. “Now I’m a strong survivor.”  Read more.

Advertisements