LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Quan’Deja Craven never thought she’d have to utter the words, "I am a domestic violence survivor." In fact, to her it with the farthest thing from her mind as she entered her first month with her new boyfriend.
“We started to date at the beginning of March and it happened on April 29,” she said.
That “it” is the night she was attacked, beaten and kidnapped by her armed boyfriend.
The Sunday night in 2018, she and her boyfriend began to argue at his home in Lexington.
“I was over something stupid,” she recalled.
She said he had been drunk when the argument began to escalate.
“He kidnapped me in my own car, took me to a hotel, more abuse, name-calling, just a lot of abuse,” she said.
At one point Craven’s mother called her. Craven said her boyfriend whispered in her ear, “You might want to say your final goodbyes, because this is it for you. You’ve got 5 minutes on the phone with her and that is it.”
Determined to not let this man take her life, Craven was able to send her friend a short text message; 911 and her location.
“When police first got there he wouldn’t let me out. He was threatening them. Finally, at one point, he looked at me as was like, ‘Go open the door.’”
Craven’s boyfriend was arrested and charged with her assault. He is currently serving a four-year prison sentence.
“I still didn’t feel comfortable at the time. Until they grabbed him. Once they grabbed him, I felt that peace,” she said.
Craven’s story is one of the thousands that are shared across the country every year.
Now, there is a new program being implemented across North Carolina.
It’s called the Lethality Assessment Program.
First responders are given a short questionnaire to ask victims once they arrived on the scene. Depending on what answers are given, it will give the officers an idea of the severity of the abuse.
“What their biggest threat is to them. So you can imagine if it’s a weapon, physical, or anything like that,” said Staci Harris, the victim’s assistance coordinator for the Burlington Police Department.
Depending on what is said, they will trigger an immediate follow up from domestic violence victim professionals. The follow-ups will provide information, help and guidance to victims.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and needs help, contact any local law enforcement agency, or call the crisis hotline at 1−800−799−7233.