Panel to spotlight issues surrounding Valley survivors of domestic violence

By: Christian Colón

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WESLACO – A woman was shot in the hand by her father a couple of years ago. Now, he’s in prison and she is using her domestic and gun violence experience to help lift others and also to spark a conversation in the Rio Grande Valley she says people are ignoring.

From one point of her hand to the other, there is a mark. For Mariam El-haj, it’s a sign of survival.

“Every day, I am reminded because of the scars that I see on my body – and sometimes it is a reminder to other people about what happened to me. I use that to remind people that even though I am surviving I am also trying to thrive in what has happened and I am trying to be an advocate and trying to push the movement forward,” El-haj explained.

El-haj along with the local chapter of Moms Demand Action are hosting a panel event this weekend to talk about the issues, El-haj says, are kept quiet, such as gun violence, domestic violence and the need for victim programs.

The panel will be happening Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Weslaco Library Theater.

Watch the video above for the full story.


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