WARNING: Video contains graphic images.
Ocala, Florida — Recently, the Ocala Police Department received an inspiring message from a victim of a past case of Domestic Violence.
OPD Public Information Officer Sergeant Angy Scroble said that it was one of the worst cases of domestic violence some of OPD’s officers had ever responded to.
According to reports, when Ocala police arrived they found the bedroom where the attack happened covered in blood. The mattress was also soaked in blood.
Sergeant Scroble said the victim survived and is awe-inspiring.
The victim, Joi Partain, wanted to go public with her story in hopes of helping other victims of domestic violence.
In 2009, Partain, then 21, was attacked by her ex-boyfriend, Jonathan Pearson. He nearly beat her to death with two golf clubs. When the first golf club (a driver) broke, he grabbed a putter and continued the beating.
Pearson crushed the bones in her face and both of her arms. She suffered 22 broken bones in total.
At first, Pearosn stated that he didn’t remember anything from the night of the incident. However, during court Pearson blamed the attack on Partain. He said he did it because he could no longer “take” the verbal attacks from her. He said he had reached a breaking point and “just snapped.”
Partain said, “He offered to babysit for me, and after a 12-hour shift I found him unconscious on the floor with a beer can in his hand. Verbal attacks? He was blacked out drunk with my baby in the house. You would verbally attack a person too. Most of it was me saying, ‘I’m tired of this. You’re a drunk and you need help.’ He looked like he was going to hit me again, so I told him if he laid a hand on me it would be the last time. That’s when he walked out of the room. I really did think he was going for a walk, so I locked the door and laid down. The rest is history.”
Partain was lying in her bed facing the wall trying to sleep when he attacked her from behind. Partain said she was lying there in silence when, all of a sudden, he began hitting her multiple times with the first club.
A roommate, Alexa Connolly, who was also inside the home, stopped Pearson from killing Partain and called 911.
The couple had only been dating for three months.
In August of 2009, Pearson was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“During court Pearson’s family wore support T-shirts for him. It was just one of many things I had to deal with,” Partain said. “The hardest being the incident itself.”
Partain had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair injuries sustained during the attack.
In appreciation of first responders saving her life, Partain wrote the following in a letter:
“OPD and the Ocala medical teams saved my life years ago. I’m a survivor of severe domestic violence. I was attacked by my ex-boyfriend. The attack left me with 22 broken bones and the loss of my left eye. My ex-boyfriend was arrested and convicted of first-degree attempted murder. If it wasn’t for the first responders getting me into the helicopter in time I wouldn’t be here! I would like to thank Ocala first responders for giving me a second chance at life and protecting my baby (8 months at the time) and is now going on 7-years-old very soon! I hope one day I can hug all my Heroes face to face! Thank you all for what you do every day! ”
Through her eyes
I get the million dollar question a lot: why would you stay?
Love will blind you. I’m not embarrassed to say, yeah, I was in love with this guy. It’s not easy to leave someone you love, especially at the age of 21 with a baby.
People who have never been abused often wonder why a person wouldn’t just leave. They don’t understand that breaking up can be more complicated than it seems.
I was four hours away to the closest relative and they didn’t believe me about the abuse.
My poor dad reminds me at least every few months of how sorry he was that he didn’t come and get me when I asked for help. He has to live with that guilt every day.
My friends always talked me into forgiving Pearson because they liked him better.
I worked minimum wage at a lingerie store with a six-month-old baby.
I agree that I have not made right decisions in my past, but that’s what makes us human. It’s 10,000 times harder to just leave when you have a child and not too much support. And the main reason why I never called the police was because I was scared to fail as a mother. It scared the hell out of me to think that they would call DCF. That’s exactly what stopped me.
I was right too. Not too long after the incident, DCF opened a case against me. They claimed that I failed to protect my child and wanted me charged with child endangerment. Those claims were later dismissed, but the fact that they tried proved it’s just one reason why women are so scared to call the police.
There are many reasons why both men and women stay in abusive relationships.
If you have a friend in an unhealthy relationship, support them by understanding why they might choose not to leave immediately.
I am not only saying this as a person who has gone through it, I am saying this as a trained domestic violence advocate as well.
If you have friends or family members who are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, the most important thing you can do is be supportive and listen to them. Please don’t judge. Understand that leaving an unhealthy or abusive relationship is never easy.
Partain also made a video and was very honest about what she has gone through. She said she does not want to hide. Instead, she wants other women to learn from her pain.
She said if a woman (or a man for that matter) is in an abusive relationship her advice is to, “Get out! Get out now.”
She said she doesn’t want any person to listen to lies and empty promises that an abuser will never do it again.
Partain says she is a fighter and has vowed to never let anyone take her smile.