Domestic violence survivor helping others

Domestic violence survivor Carolyn Thomas says her boyfriend's jealousy eventually turned violent over the course of their relationship.

"One of the most important things that led up to this was the jealousy that I didn't pay attention to," she said. "I thought that by him being jealous, it was a way of showing that he loved me."

However, one day she says his jealousy turned deadly.

"He went and got that gun and he shot my mom first in the abdomen area and then drug me into the living room and shot me in the face at point blank range," Thomas said.

Thomas says she has had a long recovery since half of her face was shot off, but she says she wants the world to see it so they can avoid domestic violence.

On Wednesday, Thomas spoke to students at a special program at St. Augustine's College to let them know there is help out there for people who are dealing with abuse.

"The best thing to do would be call the national domestic violence hotline number and get some information from them and let them let you know what would be best for your family member and how they would go about leaving because you definitely need a safety plan," she said.

Thomas is also urging people to take action by developing a safety plan before leaving the abuser, before they end up like her or worse.

"I think the first time they hit you, because they're definitely going to hit you again," she said. "I can't say it will be next week or next month but it will definitely happen again."

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