In the movies, boy-meets-girl is the starting formula for happily-ever-after.
For Ashley, however, meeting “Mark” was the beginning of a nightmare instead, one that almost took her life.
During the course of their relationship, Mark would punch and kick her, till the night he finally unleashed the violence that would induce a medical stroke for Ashley, and long-term memory loss.
Ashley found help at InterAct, the Wake County agency that provides free services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Today she maintains her own business and home.
To continue providing these life-saving services, this weekend InterAct hosts Hoopla, its signature fundraiser, full of March Madness hoops action and much more.
Set for Saturday, March 22 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Holshouser Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, Hoopla also features live music, food and a silent auction, says InterAct’s Christina Brewer.
“Have fun, watch some hoops, and help raise money for InterAct,” Brewer said. “Join us, and help give victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence a fair shot at not just surviving, but thriving.”
InterAct served 8,241 victims in 2013, and estimates that as many as 100,000 Wake County residents may live silently with abuse and violence in their homes every day.
Hoopla tickets are $30, and are available at interactofwake.org. The State Fairgrounds are located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.
“I was scared and ashamed then,” said Ashley. “You lose your identity. But it’s important to let people know that there’s help and empathy. I had no idea about InterAct until I had nowhere to go. This is a special place.
“The person I was and the person I am now are pretty different, but I’m alive,” she said. “I’m alive.”
To read more of Ashley’s story, click here.
If you need help, call InterAct’s 24-hour domestic violence crisis line at (919) 828-7740 or toll-free at (866) 291-0855.
Reach the 24-hour rape/sexual assault crisis line at (919) 828-3005 or toll-free (866) 291-0853.