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Domestic Violence Victim Shares her Painful Story

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – A local domestic violence victim shared her story of physical and mental abuse. Susan Still says her ex-husband always displayed power and control, but didn't start the physical abuse until the last couple of years of their marriage.

Still was married for 23 years, lived in Amherst and is the mother of three. But what is so disturbing about this case is Still's older son was forced, by the husband, to video tape the abuse with her two younger children standing by to watch.

Still says as she was physically abused, her children endured mental abuse. But those videos were used as evidence against her ex-husband's at his trial.

"And I think he thought it would not be found, and it actually was. It was very sad that it happened that way. I feel devastated for my child," said Still.

Still's husband was convicted and remains behind bars. He was initially sentenced to 36 years in prison. But due to a technically, it was lowered. However, Still says it is the toughest sentence in New York State in a domestic violence conviction.

"I think in light of that, the judge set a precedence, and I am happy to say that. But even though it was set on the physical abuse, the mental abuse that occurred will be with myself and my children for a life time," said Still.

The video tapes are now being used to educate and train police officers, judges and attorneys, professionals working in the field of domestic violence.

"To help them understand why a woman makes the decisions she may makes, or why, when a woman comes to the door and says everything is fine, when they can clearly see everything is not fine. It will help them understand why a woman goes back on an average of seven times before she decides to leave," said Still.

Still says it will help them understand what it is like behind closed in a house of domestic violence.