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Domestic violence cases on the rise amid pandemic

Posted at 5:54 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 21:09:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Isabel Rosales was brutally attacked and nearly killed by her husband in January 2018.

"It was life or death, my ex husband attacked me in front of my kids," said Rosales.

Rosales was married for 16 years. She and her ex-husband moved from Chicago to San Diego for a fresh start. But Rosales says the abuse only got worse.

"Sexual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, everything," said Rosales

Shortly after their 16-year anniversary Rosales told her Ex-husband she wanted a divorce. She barely made it out of the family home alive.

"I was getting ready to go to work and we had been arguing...his behavior had been kind of erratic over the last few weeks. I thought he was agreeing with me when he said it ends here. I thought he was getting his suitcase and leaving. He followed me into the bathroom and he stabbed me. I ran into the kid's room and he stabbed me in front of the kids who were sleeping. I was able to push him out of the way and I ran out of the house. Before I ran out of the house though he attacked me again at the front door. I knew if I didn't make it out of the door it was over and by the grace of God the door opened."

Rosales was in the ICU at UCSD for three days with a breathing tube. She says she fought to stay alive for her three children and her mother, who was killed by her boyfriend in 2011.

"My mother was murdered by her boyfriend in Mexico. And my ex-husband attacked me in a very similar way."

Rosales says she had what her mother did not. Help. Hers came in the form of Operation for Hope, a San Diego non-profit that helps provide emergency services to victims of domestic abuse. Rosales was given emergency shelter and money to pay for a divorce attorney.

"It helped me have a future. It gave me exactly what it promises- HOPE."

Rosales has this advice for other survivors.

"I was ashamed to ask for help. I didn't know services like this exist. I am here to tell you there's great courage in asking for help and taking that first step... I hope and I pray to change one other person's world out there by sharing my story. My heart aches for those who do not make it like my mom, for those who do not know how to get out or where to go, for those that think an abusive relationship is normal. Anything is possible and each and every person is deserving of a beautiful and safe life... I am happy now. These tears are tears of joy."

During the pandemic, domestic violence incidents have increased. From January to June 2020, there were 8,495 domestic violence incidents reported to law enforcement in San Diego County, as compared to 8,235 during the same period in 2019; a 3% increase from the prior year according to the San Diego County District Attorney's office. The Victim Assistance Program advocates at the District Attorney's office served 2,940 victims from March-July 2020, as compared to 1,941 in 2019; a 51% increase in those served.

Operation for Hope will hold it's biggest fundraiser of the year October 28, 20202. 10News Anchor Vanessa Van Hyfte will be emceeing the live event and silent auction. All of the money will go directly to benefit victims and survivors of domestic abuse in San Diego County.

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