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Nadia Ezaldein was young, beautiful and much loved by her family. She was also a statistic. Ezaldein was one of the 1.3 million women who are abused by her partners each year in the U.S.
Her family says Ezaldein endured months of physical and psychological torment from her Chicago boyfriend, 31-year-old Marcus Dee, including cracked ribs and a broken jaw. Ezaldeins’s sister claimed Dee even went so far as to put a gun in Ezaldein’s mouth to threaten her. However, also according to her sister, Ezaldein was too afraid to file for an order of protection. Even though Ezaldein broke it off, Dee wouldn’t let her go.
On her 22nd birthday, in September of last year, Ezaldein went to work at Nordstrom. It was Black Friday. It was also, sadly, the last day she would be alive. Her ex-boyfriend came into the store and, after making a bit of small talk, took out a gun and fatally shot his ex-girlfriend before turning the gun on himself and ending his life.
The most dangerous time for a survivor is when she leaves her abusive partner.
Roughly 2,000 women a year are killed by an intimate partner, and most of those fatalities happen with a firearm. Prior to her death, Ezaldein’s sister went before a judge to get an order of protection for her sister, but her request was denied. The judge asked “Is there something wrong with her?” in regards to Ezaldein not being present. When her sister replied, “She’s scared to come here,” the judge dismissed the petition, stating Ezaldein had to file it herself.
Fear is one of the most common reasons why women stay with an abusive partner or flee without a safety plan in place. If you’re being abused, reach out to an advocate near you—visit our Find Help page and enter your ZIP code—and they can help you create a safe plan of escape and help you secure a personal protection order (PPO).
For more information on how to obtain a personal protection order, and to learn about some serious relationship warning signs that could mean your life is in danger, follow these links to other articles on this site:
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