Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – Beaver County commissioners made the long trek to the state Capitol to take a stand against domestic violence.
This week the commissioners passed a first of its kind, county wide resolution against domestic violence. They are now calling on the 28 other counties in our state to follow the lead.
This moment comes after a long, difficult and terrifying journey for Heather Wolsey.
“Never in a million years did I every dream that I’d be in a relationship like that, or that I’d have to deal with it after I left,” said Wolsey.
That relationship was an abusive marriage that lasted for 20 years. She says she was trapped by threats of taking the children away and getting her excommunicated from her church, but there was one that kept her bound above all.
“He said he would kill me if I left, and I believed him. At the very end he did try to kill me, and that’s when I decided if I stay I would be dead,” said Wolsey.
Even after that she says she was stalked and harassed for another five years. Her ex-husband is now in prison.
Her experience inspired Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney to take action.
“As leaders let’s put it on the forefront of our counties to make awareness of this crisis, it’s literally a civil rights crisis,” said Whitney.
He proposed a county wide resolution to do just that.
“To make people aware, to finally step up, speak out on domestic violence, but more important than anything be aware how to spot it and just to come forward with it,” said Whitney.
The resolution passed Tuesday night and was ceremoniously signed Friday at the Capitol.
For Wolsey, it’s a symbol of strength as she works to lift others from the violence she knows all too well.
“It means the world to me that not only as a lawmaker, but as a friend he would stand up and fight for me, and with me and for every victim in our state,” said Wolsey.
And there are a lot of victims in our state. According to the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, 1 in 3 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Since 2000, 42% of adult homicides were domestic violence related.