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NEWS1130 Series: Courage to Come Back Awards

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – They are inspiring, generous and humble. News1130 has begun a series to profile the winners of the 2012 Courage to Come Back Awards with this look at Kamal Dillon, recipient in the social adversity category.

She spent more than 12 years in a loveless marriage. She was tortured, raped, and nearly murdered more than once. Today, Kamal Dillon is a survivor who speaks out about domestic violence.

“It was daily abuse. It was like living in a hell,” admits Dillon.

She married into a wealthy family, but soon her fairy tale turned into a nightmare.

“My mother-in-law sat me down and gave me a set of house rules and one of them was, whatever happens in this house, stays in this house. And I couldn’t figure out why she was saying that.”

It wouldn’t take long before Dillon did. Soon the handsome man from the well-to-do-family she married into, went from being her husband to her tormentor.

“Within days I found out what his anger was like and it was within weeks that he physically assaulted me and broke my nose.”

That was just the beginning.

“It escalated to the point for me where it was safer to stay by than to leave because I knew if I left, which I wanted to do so desperately, my family’s life was in jeopardy. He would have found me, he would have found my family, and he would have killed us all.”

One day, Dillon says the endless violence reached a tipping point.

“He had taken me to an ocean to try and drown me and I remember saying goodbye to my children, but once there I decided I don’t want to die, I’m not going to go that easily.”

Dillon endured electrocution, hanging, being held underwater, and was even doused in kerosene. She has undergone nine jaw surgeries with more to come, but still she shares her story and counsels others.

“That’s why I’m speaking out today because I don’t want anybody else in that situation, you know. I don’t want another victim of homicide or spousal assault,” stresses Dillon. “Don’t be ashamed to admit what happened to you because if you remain silent, violence will continue.”

Dillon’s harrowing story of survival can be found in her book Black and Blue Sari.

News1130 is a very proud sponsor of the Courage to Come Back Awards, which will be handed out on May 17th at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Check back next Monday when we introduce you to the next Courage to Come Back Awards winner.