PINE BELT (WDAM) - Ishaunna Gully-Bettis is completely paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in her spinal cord by her ex-boyfriend March 23, 2002.
"His actual mother called me and told me that he was coming in to kill me, and that I should call the police," Gully-Bettis said.
She said that leading up to the incident, even though he had never physically abused her, he would be verbally abuse, control and stalk her.
"It could be friends that I could be friends with for years and he'll show up at the place," she said. "He would be in a corner looking at me. Just pretty much watching me from a far."
Gully-Bettis said that because he never physically touched her, she never considered that to be abuse. She said she didn't know that was considered abuse. She didn't know that domestic violence had a name until she became a victim.
The night of the incident, she said that he burst into her home like "Rambo" shooting repeatedly at her. She said he seemed to not care who is was around or who he hit. Ishaunna says she saw something in his eyes that she never saw before.
"I had no other thought as of this could not be the same person that somewhat said he loved me, that said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me," Gully-Bettis said. "But come to find out, it was this person."
Gully-Bettis said she knew immediately after she had been shot that she was paralyzed.
She said what kept her going was her 2-year-old son.
"He didn't see a wheelchair. He didn't see someone in a hospital bed. All he knew was that was my mother."
Flash forward 15 years later, she as well as her son are both advocates for domestic violence and is very open about her past relationship.
Gully-Bettis said it took it her nine years to be able to confront and talk openly about the situation.
Currently, she is married and has a movement called "Take A Stand – No More with Ishaunna Gully-Bettis." She teaches young girls to be aware of the signs of abuse and to love themselves first.
"I try to bring awareness to knowing who you are and loving you," Gully-Bettis said. "You can't love anyone else if you can't love yourself."
According to the Mississippi Coalition against domestic violence, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been a victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner and estimate 36.2 million women have been slapped, pushed or shoved by an intimate partner at some point in her life.
If you feel or know someone is a victim of domestic violence, contact your local police department, the MS Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-898-3234, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).