‘As mother I have no understanding’

Written by By Abigail Emery, CNN

Loren Leggett calls herself “a survivor of domestic violence” but she knows there’s no such thing.

Her 40-year marriage ended 18 months ago when her partner of 20 years stabbed her repeatedly — at least 20 times — in front of their four children, including her 11-year-old son, in their trailer home in the Jackson, Mississippi, suburbs.

“He was sentenced to four years, which is fine,” Leggett said. “We’re not getting any help or anything. It’s a slap on the wrist.”

The 58-year-old, who works at a hospice care center, said her former husband, who she calls “Bubba,” threatened to kill her in the years before the incident. Leggett said she tried to end the relationship but agreed to reconcile with the “devastated” man — for $60,000.

Police in the Mississippi community of Booker, where the incident occurred, said they found “numerous [attacks] over a period of time” on Leggett’s husband, Michael Blevins, and her former manager, Gloria Belton, who was injured in an unrelated stabbing.

In a twist, the three women had been friends for decades. Leggett joined them to celebrate Belton’s birthday, she said. In fact, the three were living together in an extended camper owned by Belton before the incident.

According to CNN affiliate WAPT, when Belton’s relatives found out about the attack, they moved her and her other daughter, who was also injured in the attack, to a motel.

“This is not what domestic violence should be,” Belton said to WAPT, through tears. “I never had the fear that he was going to hurt me. But he could do whatever he wanted with me. I was only human.”

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