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Massachusetts Domestic Violence Registry

This petition had 905 supporters

My name is Gina Antonelli and I am a survivor of domestic violence.

   My story begins with a truly amazing night out to celebrate my own and a few of my close friends birthdays on a party trolley driving around Boston. The party was filled with laughter, love and amazing memories but unfortunately, it quickly turned into a real life nightmare. 

     I remember driving us home and swapping stories about the night and  laughing about funny moments until something was said that didn't sit well with me. I decided to just keep quiet and brush it off as I stopped at a red light and just let him continue on his rant. He was going on and on and finally I said "James's irrelevant I don't care about it." Which turned into "you don't care about me?" to him. His eyes glazed over, staring at me, eyes piercing through my soul he asked "you don't care about me?" Then slapped me across the face. He just lost it and started to lunge at me and I yelled "Do not do this! Please don't touch me!" At this point he wasn't my boyfriend anymore, I could see it in his face he wanted to hurt me and in that moment he wrapped his hands around my throat and began to strangle me unconscious.  I remember waking up to him  punching me and screaming "drive! Wake up and f**king drive!" as he would hit me every time I said no. The car was not driveable by any means, we were smashed almost head first into a retaining wall on the passengers side and supposedly had hit a pole before that.  I can to this day still feel the blows to my face, my eye, the taste of blood and broken teeth along with the thought of me not seeing my family or friends ever again. I can remember trying to escape the car and him just dragging me back by my dress and hair just to beat me more. I can remember looking out the window as he was attempting to choke me again in the car just crying.. screaming for help just praying  for someone to show up. When I physically couldn't take anymore survival mode took over, I decided to give in and say "ok-I'll drive, I love you, I'll drive just please stop!" He calmed down enough that I was able to get him to put his seatbelt on hoping it would stall him for at least a minute longer as I slowly opened my door planning my escape. As soon as I heard the seatbelt click I bolted out of the car and literally ran for my life. What felt like just seconds later, James was able to break free from the truck  and chased after me,caught me and dragged me by my hair down the street back to the wall. He started to strangle me again and when I thought it was over for me Malden fire department  happened to be at the right place at the right time, saw what was happening and was able to get James off of me. It took at least 7 firefighters and police officers to restrain James and 2 were struck by him as well. I suffered from a broken occipital bone, broken teeth, swollen face and lips which limited me to a strict chicken broth diet for a while along with some anxiety, emotional trauma and sky high medical bills.

   This petition is not to bash James but to simply tell my story, protect and help others that have gone through similar situations and to most importantly raise awareness. Domestic violence and abuse comes in many forms and usually is not always detectable and sometimes is not a regular thing. Just because it happens "once in a while" doesn't make it ok.Just because they apologize doesn't always mean they are truly sorry.We laughed, we loved each other and had our ups and downs like many other couples but there is still no excuse for it.. do not condone it!  Verbal,mental and physical abuse are all just as bad and we need to end this here. 

The description asked me "Why do you care about this petition?" ..I don't have enough words or space honestly. It's not only because I've gone through it but I have seen it most of my life, I've spoken to numerous women who needed guidance and a voice, I've been to battered women shelters,I've seen how this effects family's as well as  friends of survivors, the emotional trauma that comes after and my story was extremely public so I feel that I can truly make a difference and even if I least I tried.  What I do know is that I will fight till my last breath to prevent this from happening to anyone and I need your help to do it. I want to petition start Massachusetts registry for domestic violence and abuse victims that will be very similar to a sex offender registry. Men and women will be able to research their potential partner,friend etc. and see if they have had a previous guilty charge involving domestic violence and abuse. With social media, dating apps and websites or even something as simple as meeting someone at a bar you don't know who you're surrounding yourself with and I think it is important that if you're going to take the risk on meeting someone you don't know that you need to be cautious and do some research. The real question is Why shouldn't this be available to us?

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