Berkeley woman discusses her abusive relationship, push for tougher laws

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- Criminal domestic violence is getting a lot of attention after recent reports show South Carolina is the deadliest state in the nation for women. A Berkeley County woman is using her experience to help others after someone she loved was sent to prison for beating her.

"Trying to get some exercise in and get the body back to normal," said Christy Coleman of Moncks Corner.

Normalcy is what she's trying to return to after an almost deadly domestic violence case ended last week.

"Within a ten year frame, I'm his fourth CDV. So I don't think it's fair that he's only serving three," lamented Coleman.

Her former boyfriend, Tony Moody, was sentenced to 10 years suspended to three years in jail after he was found guilty of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

Prosecutors say he severely beat Christy Coleman in September 2013.

"He was over top of me and I got a lucky hit in, knocked his glasses off and whenever I knocked his glasses off, I ran. And whenever I ran I didn't look back," explained Coleman as she remembered what happened to her last year.

Coleman says she escaped and got help.

But the man she once loved caused injuries almost too graphic to show: severe swelling, broken bones near her eye, and bruising across her body show the pain she endured.

"This eye was swelled shut. And so he was staring at me in this eye. And every time he would hit me he would tell me, 'If I can't have you nobody else will,'" said Coleman.

The ordeal left her physically and emotionally scarred.

"It's like every day of my life revolved around this case."

Today, Coleman focuses on rebuilding her life and hoping lawmakers make the changes to domestic violence laws and sentencing guidelines.

"I'd like for him to have to serve his whole ten years. And I'd like for the laws to get easier for the women to be able to, you know, fight it and not for the process to take so long," she said.

Coleman says she needs surgery to fix blurred vision in her damaged eye. For now, she says she's volunteering with victims' advocates to help others who are trying to escape dangerous relationships.