PARKLAND, Fla - One in four women. You know at least one. It is a topic that is often considered taboo, rarely discussed openly. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
Several high profile cases have made headlines in South Florida recently, as women have been badly injured or killed. Their husbands or boyfriends are accused in the crimes. One woman survived being shot and she wants to give a voice to the women who can no longer speak for themselves.
Kate Ranta says she met Thomas Maffei online.
“We were very, sort of, 21st century,” Ranta says. The pair quickly fell in love, got married and she got pregnant.
“And you know, it was, it all seemed very storybook,” she added.
Over time, however, Ranta says her life became dominated by her husband.
“Texting you, texting you constantly, wanting to know where you are and you know, checking your emails. I wasn't allowed to be on Facebook. And I say allowed. I mean allowed,” she said.
She says she left with their 4-year-old child after a violent encounter with Maffei. She thought she was safe until Nov. 2, 2012.
“My father was with me in the apartment and he showed up at the door and shot through it,” she said.
The 911 calls recorded her screams of terror and cries for help as she and her father were each shot twice, Kate’s child watching as it happened.
“It's tunnel vision, disbelief. Denial that this is happening. And then just sheer terror,” she said.
Kate was shot once through the hand and once through her left breast.
“If I had been shifted any other way, it would have gone right in. It's it's a miracle,” she said.
The Coral Springs Police Department responded, as Kate came out of her house, suffering from gunshot wounds. She fell to the ground, as her father came out carrying the four-year-old boy who had witnessed everything. That’s when Maffei exited the home, and surrendered to police.
Maffei was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed burglary, two counts of false imprisonment and child abuse. He awaits trial, scheduled to happen in 2015.
After the shooting, Kate says she was a weak, traumatized victim. Today, she has become a survivor. When she was in the hospital, her friends started a Facebook support page called, “Love and Support for Kate Ranta and Family .”
As she took over the posts, she has shared intimate moments, thoughts and posts intended to help victims, survivors and their loved ones to understand.
“So many women that this happens to, they no longer have a voice because they don't make it,” she said.
She has taken her voice to lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and her story has been shared in Rolling Stone Magazine.
“That I'm lucky enough to be here, and blessed enough to be here, I'm not going to be silent,” she said.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that victims of abuse may experience everything from physical violence to the control of finances and ridicule.