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Sistercare saved my life says Columbia woman

Sistercare assists more than 40,000 survivors from domestic violence in the Midlands each year.

CAYCE, S.C. — A Midlands nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic violence is one of three organizations receiving a community grant from the TEGNA Foundation and WLTX, TEGNA’s CBS affiliate in Columbia .

Sistercare provides critical services and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence and their children in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, Newberry and Kershaw counties.

Permeco Meyers said she became a survivor of domestic violence in 2004, and is thankful for Sistercare. 

"He would start calling me names and curse words, and things in that nature," Meyers said. "As it progressed, it started to get physical after a couple of months."

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Meyers lived with her then boyfriend at the time, and she recalls being slapped, awoken by being choked in the middle of the night, and the violence worsened. 

"I was awakened by his hands, he was choking me," Meyers said. "He was trying to get me to admit that I had come home because someone had told him I had come home and that I was seeing someone. I tried to tell him 'no' because it wasn't true."

She said shortly after, things escalated even more that night. 

"He made me sit up in the bed and he had gotten a gun," Meyers explained. He had told me to open my mouth, and he put the barrel of the gun in my mouth, and no matter what he said, I would not admit that I had done that."

Meyers said her ex-boyfriend continued to ask the question, 'Why did you come home?' Every time she began to talk, she said he would slap her. She told News 19, that happened between four and five times. 

"He would hit me so hard that my ears would ring," Meyers said. 

After that night, she reached out to the authorities and crisis hotlines for help. In court, he was ordered out of her home. 

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Meyers said that lasted for a week until he showed up in her home again. 

"He had a brand new bottle of wine, it hadn't been opened," Meyers said. "He burst it against my face, and I remember falling back into the living room."

After being struck, Meyers recalled being approached by her ex-boyfriend and taken into the kitchen for him to grab knives, and being brought into the bedroom, where he tied her hands together. 

"I prayed to God to save me," Meyers said. "At that time, he just kept cursing and accusing me."

Shortly after, she says her ex stood her up and heard the floor creak and repeatedly asked her, who was in the house. It was then, he stabbed her. 

Meyers said he heard another creak noise and stabbed her again. She says she fell to the floor and pretended to be dead, hoping he would leave her. 

"I can only remember to this day, being stabbed twice," Meyers said. "They actually found four stab wounds. One was in my thigh, one was in my side, and they found two in my chest."

Meyers spent one week in the hospital. Her ex-boyfriend was sentenced to prison in 2006. He passed away in jail, Meyers said.

Sistercare assists more than 40,000 survivors from domestic violence in the Midlands each year. 

"We have a 24/7 service line, and anyone that's experiencing domestic violence, we would be happy to serve, and we have advocates standing by," Sistercare grant manager Leah McKee, said.

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According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence from an intimate partner. 

McKee said the grant funds will be used for crisis intervention and group counseling for survivors of domestic violence. 

Meyers now works for Sistercare, giving back to the organization that saved her. 

"I know that my life wasn't saved to be quiet, my life was saved to help others," Meyers said. "Your money does not go to waste. It helps in so many ways that you can't imagine. I would like to thank Sistercare and everyone who donates to Sistercare."

If you, or someone you know, is in need of services or experiencing a domestic violence crisis, Call (803) 765-9428 for help.

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