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In the March 26 edition of The Calvert Recorder, we profiled the courageous and heart-wrenching story of how Teena (Weaver) Umphries survived a brutal attack by her ex-husband in 2012.

Umphries had driven to meet her ex-husband in the Berwyn Heights area of Prince George’s County, under the assumption she was going to pick up child support money he owed her. When an argument ensued in the car, her ex-husband pulled out a steak knife and proceeded to stab Umphries 20 times in the face, hands, arms, throat, neck and chest. She fell out of the car and lay in the street, bleeding profusely until help finally arrived. Her ex was convicted of attempted first-degree murder and is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence.

Umphries knows she was lucky to have survived the ordeal, and attributes it to turning the car left into a neighborhood and not right into an abandoned park on that day in June 2012. Now, she shares her story with other victims of domestic violence in the hopes they will escape the cycle of abuse before something similar happens to them. Umphries now lives in Chesapeake Beach with her children and works at the Calvert County Crisis Intervention Center.

Umphries survived a vicious attack. She says she should have escaped the volatile relationship long before it escalated to that level. She spent 20 years in an abusive marriage before finally getting out. It is a miracle that she is alive today, and we appreciate her continuing courage in sharing her story with other victims in the hopes they will escape bad situations before they reach tragic levels.

Calvert County’s murder rate remains relatively low, averaging about one per year. In recent years, when we have had the unfortunate task of reporting a murder, we have found that the murder escalated from a domestic argument. In January 2013, John Warren Gibson stabbed Amanda Lynn Foster to death during an argument about drugs, money and cleaning. In 2012, Frank Hayward Jr. murdered his wife, Cynthia, and their 2-year-old daughter, Natalee, before setting fire to his home, stabbing his son, Frank Hayward III, and then taking his own life. Frank Hayward III, then 12 years old, survived the tragic event.

Umphries approached us to get her story out to a broader audience and we were glad to assist her. Hopefully, someone out there in a similar situation read her story and realized help is available. The crisis intervention center offers counseling 24 hours a day through its helpline, 301-855-1075, or its teen helpline at 410-257-2216. Calvert is also home to Safe Harbor, a domestic violence shelter for women and children. It is operated through the Calvert County Health Department and can be reached at 410-257-7225.

We have said it many times in this space, but it bears repeating: Don’t be a victim.