Blanche’s Story

Blanche Cook is a student, a mother, and a survivor of domestic and intimate partner violence.

After being held captive by her husband, Blanche was in the hospital with life-threatening injuries and was in severe condition. Her mother was contacted by the doctor and was absolutely terrified and heartbroken to hear of her daughter’s condition. Immediately, she drove from her home in South Carolina to Florida to be by Blanche’s side. Her mother was very supportive and felt like Blanche was safe, protected, and in good hands when she was in the hospital.

“It all happened so fast. By the time I woke up in the hospital, I felt overwhelmed. I was in complete shell shock. Everyone around me had already found out and I didn't even know how yet. It was the most difficult situation I had been through in my whole life. I was just so relieved to have my mother’s support. I was so lost and had no idea how to restart my life all over.”


The chief of medicine at the hospital gave orders to only release Blanche to a protected domestic violence shelter. The social workers then relocated Blanche. Now, she would be safe and could access resources to assist her in moving forward.

Blanche knew the road ahead would have challenges. However, she did not know that this horrific incident landed her and her ex-husband on the front page of the newspaper and national news outlets.

“It was very shocking at first. I never thought that would happen to me. As hard as everything was to accept, it ended up helping me so much in the healing journey. I didn’t have to explain my story to anyone really. For myself, all of that attention just reminded me of what I just survived and how I would never look back again. My whole life changed. I took my wedding rings off and started healing. I’m thankful the media did not portray my story out of context. I pray that by it being in the media, it helps someone.”

Looking back on her marriage, Blanche can now recount the early signs of her husband’s abusive behavior.

“We were married for six years and had one son before the incident happened. Leading up to the incident, he was abusing drugs and heavy amounts of alcohol. He started suffering from bipolar schizophrenia episodes in which he refused any type of professional help. His alcoholism got so severe he failed his pancreas and became a Type 1 diabetic. He had complete control over my life. I had no family, no friends, and all my time was dedicated to his illnesses. There were so many red flags. It was unfortunate that many of them happened so quickly and led to a very horrific incident.”

For those experiencing abuse and weighing the decision of whether or not to come forward, Blanche shares her thoughts for survivors.

“I would tell them that they can overcome this and the healing process is not an easy process but it’s definitely worth it to have your life back after abuse.”

Sexual violence most often is perpetrated by someone a survivor knows, and this includes intimate partners. Blanche shares what she wishes someone would have told her about marital abuse.

“I wish someone would have reached out when I started distancing everyone around me. I wish I had better knowledge of so many resources that could have helped me. I was living in a new state, completely dependent on my husband, and a stay at home mom. I would have left sooner if I had prior knowledge we would have been protected and safe. I am now divorced and know that marital abuse is a problem. It’s very scary and a lot more people go through it than people want to believe.”

Blanche shares with us what has been most helpful in her healing journey.

“My determination was most helpful. I did not want to be just another statistic. I wanted to heal and become stronger. That’s exactly what I did for years following the abuse. I felt like I became the person I was before the abuse. I missed that person. It took time, but finding myself again was one of the happiest feelings.”