Former Cape mayor aims to be the voice of domestic violence victims

Former Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki has a new mission—being the voice of domestic violence victims.

Her ex-husband was just sentenced for beating her at a conference in Miami, and now she wants to change the law to protect victims of the same crime.

“I’m gonna make lemonade out of lemons. That’s basically what I’m gonna do,” Sawicki said.

Sawicki knows all too well the pain of domestic abuse.

“To hear them say they’re ashamed or embarrassed and don’t want people to know—I know what that feels like,” she said.

But today she stands a survivor. And she’s ready to make change and help the millions of women and men like her.

“I had one write me this morning that her husband of 30 years put a gun to her head in front of her grandchild and then shot her and shot himself,” Sawicki said.

It’s stories like that that have Sawicki partnering up with the mayor of Palm Bay in Brevard County to create a charity aimed at changing policy.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says on average nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S.

“People who disagree or try to say that we shouldn’t talk about it, it just drives me more to want to do something,” Sawicki said.

She hopes this new partnership in the state will shift policies to benefit the victims and give a voice to the people often too scared to speak out.

“I certainly think there are things that can change, that need to change to protect the victim,” Sawicki said.

Reporter:Brooke Shafer