Former mayor advocates for domestic violence victims

The boyfriend of a Cape Coral woman is accused of killing her this week. Investigators told WINK News, Kyle Orr attacked Jessica Landor before. But she never pressed charges.

We have told you that former Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki knows all too well the patterns of abuse. She is making it her mission to give women a sense of hope and a safe place.

“Kinda feel urgency,” Sawicki said. “The urgency to get things running.”

She feels that urgency, especially after the tragic death of Landor. Investigators said her death was at the hands of her boyfriend.

“I can only imagine she felt so helpless and that’s what we want to prevent,” Sawicki said. “That helpless feeling.”

Helpless after Cape Coral police had records showing Landor’s boyfriend likely choked her and tied her to him weeks before her death. Sawicki, a domestic abuse victim herself, said deaths like that reminds her of the silent epidemic happening in Lee County.

“You’d be surprised how many women reach out during those times,” Sawicki said. “Several, several write me messages, texts. They are being triggered or it could have been there. There’s a lot of people in our community that suffer.”

Sawicki said that suffering could and will end with her Indigo Sky Collective. The former mayor said on average, it takes a woman seven times in a domestic violence situation before she leaves.

“What I say is: ACT,” said Sawicki, referring to Abuse Counseling & Treatment, “will save their lives, and we’ll prevent them from going back.”

Her dream of a women’s empowerment center will provide group therapy, self-defense classes, meditation and other life skills to leave an abusive relationship.

“It’s not just a woman thing,” Sawicki said. “It’s a community thing. It’s a law enforcement thing. It’s all of it.”

They are one step closer as their IRS non-profit classification should be arriving soon and it can begin providing services. But, they will need the help of Lee County – about $250,000.

“We need people to care,” Sawicki said. “This is going to be private donations. We’re really gonna need the community to step in.”

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If you are a victim of domestic violence, there is help. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or the Abuse Counseling & Treatment Center emergency line at (239) 939-3112.

Visit Indigo Sky Collective’s website for more information on the organization.

Writer:Michael Mora
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