Christy Sims didn’t see it coming.
4 years earlier, the Atlanta female had all of it. She was a mom, an effective psychological health therapist, the very first in her family to get a master’s degree, lovely, deeply spiritual and in a relationship with a guy that apparently loved her. “I fulfilled this man who was romantic, a smooth talker who wined and dined me and took me on journeys,” Sims stated.
The indications existed, nevertheless, that the relationship wasn’t as healthy as she at first believed. Consistent texts. Seclusion from her friends and family. All in the name of love.
” I didn’t know calling me 25 times wasn’t typical,” Sims stated.
She slowly started to pull away with strategies to end the relationship. On April 28, 2013, Andrew Fordham made it clear he would not let her go without a battle.
While she was on the phone with her mom, Fordham called Sims into the restroom. It was an ambush.
He splashed her with sulfuric acid – industrial-strength drain opener called Clean Shot – triggering 3rd and 4th degree burns to over 20 percent of her body, including her whole face, neck, chest, and arms. Because of a minute, she ended up being the very first reported case of an acid attack in the state of Georgia.
” I recognized I remained in a relationship with a sociopath,” Sims stated in Birmingham Friday. “This male aimed to damage me.”.
Sims stated the dreadful event, and her journey since then has led her to become a voice versus domestic violence on a worldwide platform, at the Birmingham Police Department’s Annual Domestic Violence Prayer Breakfast. The yearly prayer occasion is created to increase awareness and education on an issue that has long pestered Birmingham and surrounding locations.
” This yearly Domestic Violence Prayer Breakfast is motivating but bittersweet,” stated Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper. “The collaboration is motivating, but it’s so frustrating that this relationship cancer continues to exist in our society. It crosses socio-economic, racial and spiritual limits and has had disastrous impacts on our households and neighborhoods here in Birmingham.”.
Alabama typically ranks high in the number of females eliminated in domestic-related slayings, and Birmingham sees more than its reasonable share of the violence.
Birmingham cops examined 16 murders in 2016 that originated from domestic violence. Far this year, there have been 6 known domestic violence killings in the city.
In 2015, the department reacted to 6,083 reports of domestic violence. Of those, 699 were felony criminal offenses, and 5,384 were misdemeanors.
To this day in 2017, 4,413 domestic violence occurrences have been reported: 483 felonies, and 3,930 misdemeanors.
” We absolutely need a culture change in our neighborhood, a culture change where there disappear reasons for domestic violence. We need a culture change where domestic violence is not appropriate or endured, “Roper stated.” Our voices need to be louder, our focus needs to be sharper and hearts need to be more delicate in avoiding and reacting to domestic violence.”.
Sims still gets psychological informing her story. When an effective property representative, she had altered professions to become a therapist and was assisting HIV clients, drug abuser and recently-released jail prisoners.
She had been wed for 14 years to a male with whom she shared 3 kids, but the death of among their kids had torn apart the marital relationship. She stated she and her ex-husband stay friends today.
She began dating Fordham, and all was terrific at. Or so she believed. The more effective she ended up being, the more he started to battle for control over her and their relationship.
He wasn’t striking her, so she didn’t see herself as a domestic violence victim. That altered on Valentine’s Day 2013 when she strolled into her locked workplace to find roses, balloons and more.
What ought to have been a tender minute developed into a scare. “I felt frightened because my workplace remained locked, “she stated.” The spirit within me stated,’ You’ve got to leave this.”.
On the day of the attack, Sims was talking with her mama about strategies to commemorate her master’s degree diploma. Rather of that celebration, she invested 2 months in a coma, was briefly blind and would ultimately go through at least 13 surgical treatments.
Rather of giving up, Sims stated she chose to eliminate. While she was fighting to endure, she stated the guy who had proclaimed to love her a lot had signed up with a church, gotten baptized and was currently in a brand-new relationship. “But he loved me, right?” she stated.
She wasn’t going to let him go free. She introduced a media blitz that eventually wound up with Fordham being charged. “I could not see, but I was talking on the radio, “she stated.” He stated it was a mishap and they thought him. It took 2 years to obtain justice.”.
In July 2015, Fordham was founded guilty of exacerbated attack and 2 counts of intensified versus Sims. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail followed by 20 years of probation.
Sims has since established The Christy Sims Foundation and stated she is a voice for the voiceless. “There’s a lot of that do not make it out, y’ all,” she stated.
Consisted of in the message she provides is this: “Be cautious who you provide your heart to.”.
” None people deserve this. I didn’t do anything incorrectly. I didn’t injure anyone. I didn’t protect my heart the way I was expected to and I own that, “she stated. “I am not a victim of domestic violence, I am a survivor of domestic violence. I’m a fighter for everybody who cannot defend themselves.”.