Abuse survivor shares story with Yellow Springs students

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) – “I always thought that I was alone in my situation.  I always thought that no one understood what I was going through,” explains Johanna Orozco.

She doesn’t want anyone to feel the way she did.  That’s why the 25-year-old shares the story of how she survived dating violence.

Johanna spoke to students at Yellow Springs High School Friday.

When she was 16-years-old, her boyfriend abused her both physically and mentally.

After two years, Johanna finally ended the relationship.  But, the violence didn’t stop.

“Shortly after the break up,  he sexually assaulted me.  After I reported it and he was arrested, he was released four days later and after about two weeks, he came to my house and he came to my driveway and shot me in the face with a sawed off shotgun,” says Johanna.

Johanna’s ex-boyfriend Juan Ruiz, Jr. is now serving a 27 year prison sentence for her attempted murder.

Her recovery has been very painful.

She’s been through more than a dozen surgeries.  However, Johanna never gave up hope.

“There is always light after a very dark tunnel,” explains Johanna.

Johanna is now married with an 11-month-old son.

She hopes her story will save someone else’s life.

“Jealousy is not love.  Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical and that there are programs out there to help them get out of a relationship and that they should leave.  There is no hope.  They will not change,” comments Johanna.

She played an instrumental role in the passageof House Bill 19 in 2010, which requires dating violence education in grades 7 through 12 in Ohio Schools.

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