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Domestic Violence survivor praying for missing Ashland mom

6:32 PM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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The case of missing Ashland mother, Lynn Jackenheimer, is opening up discussion about abuse. One woman who escaped an abusive relationship says the red flags are all there.

"Flashbacks hit me, of course, just listening to the story," says Laura Cowan.

The search for Lynn Jackenheimer, her brushes with abuse and now disappearance is a story that sounds so familiar to Laura Cowan. And it's a story only a certain sisterhood can truly understand.

"I was in a very abusive relationship," recalls Laura. She thinks back 11 years to a marriage that was more like a prison.

"We were beaten, the children were starved, he would withdraw food for days as punishment."

But worst of all, her husband withdrew Laura from society altogether.

"We were in a garage locked up, close to about 6 months.... Even threatening to kill me and the children. He used to say, I will bury you in the back yard and no one will ever know."

Finally, Laura carried a written plea for help in her under garments, slipped the letter from under her dress to a postal worker.

"And she contacted authorities and that's how we were rescued."

Looking back, Laura can see the red flags and she sees them in Lynn Jackenheimer's story.

"You can feel it, you can tell it, you've been through it so you know it."

The fact Nathan Summerfield took her so far away under the guise of reconciliation tells Laura that any abuse may have been premeditated.

"And make her feel comfortable. Because just taking her alone, she probably wouldn't go. And let's take the kids .. She'll probably feel more comfortable."

And the thought maybe Lynn didn't want to go on the vacation, is very telling.

"You almost had to go into survival mode. And that is you kind of agree with the abuser."

Laura prays for Lynn and her safe return. But she fears the worst.

"I don't know. I've just got this bad feeling. That's just my opinion."

Laura now volunteers at the Domestic Violence And Child Advocacy Center. She says the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when a woman decides to leave her abuser. But women can successfully leave if they figure out a "safety plan".

If you know of someone dealing with an abusive relationship or are in an abusive relationship yourself, you can get more information at the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center website.

WKYC-TV

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