Mother turns loss into mission

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Regina Massey is on a mission to raise awareness of domestic violence, spurred into action by the deaths of her daughter and unborn grandchild.

Massey’s nightmare began to unfold on October 1, 2018. That morning, she stopped by her daughter’s Stuart home for a visit. Upon arrival, she found the front door ajar. Entering the home on Horace Lane, Massey discovered that her daughter and unborn grandchild had been killed.

Misty Dawn Blevins, 30, died of a single gunshot wound, according to Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith. Evidence at the scene suggested that Blevins’ partner shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself, Smith added.

Massey remembers her daughter as being “so full of life. She was loving, caring, funny and had an infectious smile. She loved life. Her children were her whole world. She loved animals and dreamed of having a small farm with her family. She loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. Misty treasured the great team she worked with at Pioneer Family Medical. Misty will be remembered for the love she had for her children.”

The tragedy served as Massey’s call to action. She now is on a mission to raise awareness about how serious domestic violence can be, with other goals that include seeing changes in how cases like Misty’s are handled, and ensuring that children exposed to violence receive counseling.

Massey also is a strong supporter and advocate of the Southside Survivor Response Center, Inc. (SSR Center), which helps people and families affected by domestic violence by providing crisis intervention, advocacy, safety services, and education to empower people affected by sexual assault, domestic violence and various crisis situations through community collaboration.

Massey encourages everyone to be there for family and friends, and urges anyone who may be in an unhealthy relationship to reach out to the center for help.

“The hotline is available 24/7, it’s free, and you don’t even have to tell them your name if you don’t want to,” she said. The center’s hotline is accredited by CONTACT USA, and has been available since 1972.

In addition, the center offers emergency shelter, safety planning, assistance with the justice system, connections with other resources, community education and many other services — all free of charge.

As the center continues to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the city of Martinsville, Henry and Patrick counties, its supportive services also expanding this year into the City of Danville, and the counties of Pittsylvania and Franklin.

The center will host the second “Empty Place at the Table” fundraising gala and silent auction on October 10, 2019 in Martinsville to raise money that supports agency programs. This event honors and recognizes the many lives that were lost to domestic violence by leaving an empty place at the table.

For more information, contact Executive Director, Warren Rodgers, Jr. at (276) 403-4084 or director@ssrcenter.org. The center is may be reached 24/7 at 877-934-3576, online at http://www.SSRCenter.org and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SSRCenter.

 

Tammy De Coster, independent sales consultant with Initial Outfitters conducted a fundraiser for Southside Survivor Response Center, Inc. (SSR Center) honoring the memory of Misty Dawn Blevins, a young, mother of two who tragically lost her life as the result of domestic violence.

As part of the fundraiser, De Coster sold four different styles of bracelets, each serves as a reminder of Blevins’ life and story with 100 percent of the profits benefiting survivors of domestic violence locally through SSR Center. In July, De Coster, along with Blevins’ mother and aunt, presented a check for $250 to the center’s Executive Director, Warren Rodgers, Jr. The funds will be used to support the agency’s services for victims of domestic violence.