PATERSON, NJ- Looking back at seven years of an on again off again relationship with her ex partner, Tishell Jackson shared, the long term abuse is evident. But even with the assaults, both verbal and physical, the Paterson resident never thought the violence would escalate to the level it did on January 3, 2018.
The flowers that showed up in her office, at a job she only had for 29 days but had already grown to love were beautiful she said, “but not from a beautiful person.” Indeed, just months earlier she again tried to end the relationship realizing “this guy is never going to change.”
Just hours later, her alleged abuser would force his way into the passenger seat of Jackson’s car, brandishing a gun and threatening her life.
The short ride, during which Jacskon tried to get to an area where police could provide quick assistance, ended with her riddled with bullets, two in one arm, one in another, one through her cheek and mouth, and a fifth lodged in her back.
Less than six month later, after spending nearly two weeks in and out of consciousness, close to a month in the hospital, and two months in rehabilitation, Jackson is fighting to get her life back in order. Part of that, she said during a sit-down with TAPinto Paterson, is healing mentally, achieving her desire “be normal again.”
While the physical scars are evident, the survivor speaks eloquently about the events that led her to seek assistance from local activist Corey Teague. In the aftermath of the attack many comments were made on Facebook about the incident, but only Teague, she recalled, shared it in a way that indicated he wanted to make sure “it never happened again.”
Struggling to make ends meet, while seeking to make a break from the neighborhood where the incident happened so that she can feel safe, she sent a message to Teague via social media and “he came in the rain with one good foot,” to begin strategizing a plan.
“She was looking for a hand and nobody was responding,” Teague said. His goal was simply to “get the story out. None of it was rehearsed or planned.”
The initial video caught the eye of Justin Rucker, also active in Paterson, who brought it to the attention of Charles Florio. After pledging $5,000 to assist Jackson, Florio invited her to meet him in his 4th Ward office and offered he a rent free apartment for 12 months.
Asked what it was about this story led to his generosity Florio responded that there is not enough help for victims of domestic violence, and he is “lucky to be able to do it.” Labeling Jackson a “warrior” and a “survivor” Florio said that he had no doubt that the donation will be put to good use, and allow her to get her life back.
Both Jackson and Teague were overwhelmed by Florio’s generosity, offering similar responses as to whether the giving was just an attempt to improve his public image. The entrepreneur with vast property holdings throughout Paterson “wants to make money” Teague suggested before continuing “who doesn’t?”
“He also gives back, and he stepped up.”
With a new place to call home, and as Jackson progresses on her path to healing, she intends on continuing to tell her story because that, she believes, is the best way to show her abuser that despite what her put her through she survived.
“As long as I was quiet he was winning.”