News from Heather

Friday, May 20, 2005

On March 13, 2005 John Grossman died of a massive heart attack. Joe, my 13 year old, remarked that John had pretty much ruined half his life since Joe was six when I was shot. All three of the children are coming forth about the abuse they suffered and were too afraid to talk about before. As reported in an article, “abuse does shape your life; it does affect your present; because it is you”.

Before John died he sued my parents and me for disparagement. He wanted any reference to him taken off my website and did not want me or my parents to speak of him in any context. He wanted to stop me from writing a book or doing a movie.. His goal was to break my parents both spiritually and financially. A couple of weeks before his heart imploded, the Judge who heard the case found for me and my parents. Robert Sullivan of Broening, Oberg, Woods & Wilson defended us pro-bono. We were so pleased with the job Mr. Sullivan did for us. Finally we met a lawyer with ethics and morals. This was a large win for us because it opened the way for me to write a book, etc.

Speaking of a book, etc. we received the first draft of the screen play being written of my life. We are in the process of putting together different papers needed for the background. We are collecting much data as to why these two men became abusers. It is a learned trait! Thanks to all of you who continue to come forward.

I have applied for state assistance called Long Term Care and ABIL, especially Velma, has be so helpful trying to help me with all my medical bills. Bud Grossman, John’s father, looked me in the eyes, patted my hand and told me that I would never have to worry no matter what happened. I believed him!! I had respect for him and thought of him and his wife as honorable people whose word meant something. I’m sure that I and many other people found out differently.

Our computer guru, Roman of Mobile Comp, brought a laptop donated to me by Dr. Sharon Taylor, a professor at ASU. He has generously put money and time into giving me the opportunity to be more independent. He installed voice recognition on it and has a few other small updates to put on and I’ll be ready to receive emails at my own address.

I also want to thank Dino of Taglios for his generosity to me and my family. He has helped me by being a great friend and donating his time to us.

Ron Samuels’ trial has been set for 11/07/05. I will have to fly to Florida as a witness for the prosecution. It will be very traumatic for me but after everything I’ve been through I can do it.

My website receives between 50-100 hits everyday and up into the 250 range each time I do a public appearance regarding D.V. A good friend, Lorel Stevens, helped me with the following speech which I have given before large audiences:

“My name is Heather Grossman & I am here before you today as a woman, mother, mentor & a survivor of domestic violence. 7-1/2 yrs ago domestic violence forever changed my life & the lives of my family. As the bullet penetrated my spinal cord it shattered many hopes & dreams & my ability to function as I once did, but it did not destroy me or my will to live.

Although there is much that has changed in my life, I wake up every morning with a purpose & a list of things to accomplish. I may not be able to brush my own hair, but I have a voice & I use it to help others. I may not be able to wash dishes but my heart beats strong & it powers me forward. I may not be able to wrap my arms around my children but I let love flow through every cell in my body.

I have dedicated my life to eradicating domestic violence & speaking on the behalf of those who can not. Here are some frightening statistics:

1. Every 15 seconds a woman is beaten in the U.S.

2. 1 in 4 women will experience D.V. by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

3. 1/3 of high school & college students experience violence in a relationship during their dating years.

4. Approx. 3.3 million children are exposed to D.V. each year.

5. Children who have grown up with violence in the home often become abusers or victims themselves.

6. Men who batter their wives are also likely to assault their children too.

7. 2 out of every 3 women were turned away from shelter when they did flee violence because there is simply no more room

8. Up to 50% of all homeless women & children are fleeing D.V.

9. D.V. is the police departments’ most prevalent call & often times the most dangerous to respond to.

It is painfully obvious that D.V. is a serious & often deadly issue. If we were to liken D.V. to a disease striking our nation, it would be labeled not only an epidemic, but a pandemic. This “Disease” of D.V. is not bound by race, religion, age or socio-economic class, everyone & anyone is at risk of being infected & affected.

I have made ridding the world of D.V. my mission. It is only through education, awareness, prevention, increased services & last but not least, offender accountability that we will become healed & inoculated from this deadly disease.

I may sit before you tonight, instead of stand, but my voice rings louder & truer than it ever has. D.V. has no room in my life anymore & I will not rest until there is no room for it in the world as well.”

How You Can Help

Heather Grossman's ex-husband hired a man to kill her in 1997. He was not successful in his attempt to take her life, but the gunshot wound left Heather paralyzed from the neck down. Heather was just 31 years old with three young children. During the years since the incident, Heather's family has been doing everything they can to keep her alive and well, but expenses are high, and they need as much help as they can get.

Since Heather's new website launched on September 21 with the Paypal Donation Options, Heather's family has received donations from quite a few generous people. Please take a moment to see who has donated to Heather's family so far.
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