Woman opens up about night she was held hostage

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A woman is opening up about the night she says her ex-boyfriend held her hostage and shot her. We told you about this almost two weeks ago.

Lamont Jackson is now facing charges for aggravated domestic battery and attempted murder. Police say he wouldn’t let his ex-girlfriend leave her house for six hours.

Madison Harper is trying to move on from the nightmare she went through. She was trapped inside her home, wondering if she’d live to see the next day. She didn’t want to go on camera with her injuries, but she still wanted to tell her story.

“Pretty sure my body went numb. I had no feeling,” she explained, recalling the events that happened that night.

Some say every day is a gift, but for Harper that reality is even clearer. The 28-year-old ended things with Jackson two years ago. They have two kids together, and they were staying with him on February 12th.

“Later that evening, he had texted me, asked me, if he got a babysitter, would I meet him for a couple drinks? And I told him no,” Harper explained. But a few hours later, Jackson broke into her house.

“I just heard a really big bang… I had no idea what it was,” she said. “All I [saw] was a red laser… from his gun coming straight at me,” she continued. “I got the life beaten out of me with his gun. He broke my cheekbone. He got two spots on my head.”

She says he shot her in the leg. Harper says there was one thing that kept her going through those hours.

“I thought about my kids, and I [saw] my kids’ faces, and I will say that until it’s my time to go. That’s the only thing that got me out,” she said.

Eventually Jackson fell asleep, and Harper was able to grab her phone and text a friend to call 911. She got out and hopes her story gives others in bad relationships the courage to leave.

“Don’t stay. Don’t try. Go. Seek help. That’s where I messed up. I tried; I stayed, and I shouldn’t have.”

Harper said her support system of family and friends keeps her going. As far as the charges Jackson will face, Harper said she just hopes he gets what he deserves, whatever that may mean. Harper is asking for help for her and her family during this time. To donate, head here.

We talked to someone with Dove, Inc. about these types of situations. That’s a group that helps domestic violence victims in Decatur. Domestic Violence Program Director Teri Ducy said there are warning signs for people to look out for when it comes to relationships spiraling to the point of abuse.

“It is progressive. Each incident in domestic violence gets worse and worse, and each incident gets closer together,” she said. Those warning signs include the victim making excuses for an abusive partner and name-calling that starts out in private and escalates to public displays. The partner may seem really interested in where the victim is at all times or demand to know why they’re late returning home. It becomes concerning when that gets to the point of controlling. Ducy explained that domestic violence relationships are based around power and control.

While it is a good idea to leave these relationships, Ducy recommends that people come up with a safety plan before they do because things can escalate quickly. Dove, Inc. can help people create those plans. They involve coming up with a place with all essentials items so a victim can stay there at the drop of a hat whenever they need to be safe.

Ducy said victims need to know there are options, and it’s not okay for a partner to mistreat you. “Domestic violence… it’s not a sickness. It’s a learned behavior. It’s a choice behavior, and there is help available. No one deserves to be abused. If it’s not feeling right, it’s probably not,” said Ducy.

Dove, Inc. has a 24-hour hotline people can call. It’s (217) 423-2238.

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