CENTRAL — “From the time you put your clothes on this morning to the time you got here — there was a woman that died at the hands of a man. A husband. A boyfriend. A fiance. There was a woman who got put in the hospital. There was a woman whose children saw her get beat.”
Those powerful words set the stage for a speech delivered by Sabrina Greenlee at the second annual Angie’s Run held on Saturday in Central.
“These things are real and we have to be mindful of these things each and every day,” she said. “Let’s not let October be the only month we think about these things. These women are dying every day.”
Greenlee said she hadn’t intended to share her story when she took the podium that chilly morning but felt inspired to do so after looking out into the faces of the women she hoped to reach.
“The thing about being broken is that it doesn’t have an age. It doesn’t have a race — but people can sense it — and they’ll prey on it.”
Greenlee was attacked when another woman her boyfriend was seeing threw a cup of chemicals in her face. The concoction left her scarred and blind and she spent a month in the Augusta Burn Center. Not three months later, the boyfriend was arrested less than a mile from her house with a machete.
Greenlee said he told officers he was on his way to “finish the job.”
Greenlee is the mother of NFL player DeAndre Hopkins.
“When someone does something to you, everyone in the home becomes a victim. DeAndre saw me get beat. He saw me get put in the hospital. You know, you can hear things from the next room. You think you’re covering things up, that you have it all under control, that you’re whispering … But when a man starts to beat you and your kids are in the next room …
“My kids saw me get beat by two or three different men. I was in a cycle and it was a cycle that I could not break because my self esteem was so low I didn’t think I could any better. So I went from one relationship to the next looking for a man — a king — and never realizing I was a queen,” she said.
Greenlee says now she is finally free from abusive cycles but that it was a long road to discover her true worth.
“I stand here before you today as a beautiful and worthy woman but it took me a long time to get here. Don’t just wear a purple ribbon in October and then let it all slide the rest of the year,” she said. “Victims don’t just need help in October. This is every day. It’s real. It happens.”
Reach Kasie Strickalnd at 864-855-0355.