Zondia Gaddy spent 24 years in a domestic violence relationship, and is ready to finally share her story in hopes of helping others.
Gaddy, now a Wadesboro resident, said that at first, her relationship was lovely.
She first met Samuel Hudson at Anson County Hospital, and Gaddy’s sister gave him their number.
“I felt like I had to have him,” Gaddy said.
Gaddy said she and Hudson later separated, and she fell in love with someone else, and had two children.
While she and her sister were at Chocolate City in Cheraw, South Carolina, Gaddy said she saw Hudson again.
“We started visiting each other after I broke up with my good man, the father of my oldest two children,” Gaddy said.
One day, Gaddy said Hudson came in the house under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, her son, and tried to jump on her. She was was pregnant by him at the time.
She said she got herself and her children out of the house, and waited for her ride. Hudson followed Gaddy’s friend she said she had to jump in the moving car.
“After that, he stalked me for a while, harassed me, told me he would shoot up the apartment, and claimed that he seen me sitting with another man through the peephole,” Gaddy said.
She chose to marry the father of her oldest children, but shortly divorced him.
One Saturday, Gaddy took her child to see Hudson because he wanted to start keeping their baby every other weekend.
“I let him (keep our child) because I thought it would change him,” Gaddy said.
Gaddy gave custody of her first two children to her ex-husband, because she chose to be with Hudson.
“Thinking “He has stopped,” we got our own place,” Gaddy said. “He started hitting on me, accusing me of stupid things.”
She said Hudson beat her while she was pregnant and also beat their oldest son.
“He used to threaten me by saying that he would tie me to his car and drag me,” she said. “He had a thick stick wrapped with duct tape and used it to beat me.”
Gaddy added that Hudson would curse her out in front of people and call her all kinds of names.
“Oh, but I loved this man,” she said.
Despite the abuse and cheating, Gaddy stayed with Hudson.
“That was just how low my self-esteem was,” she said. “He had me thinking that nobody wanted me.”
Hudson also blamed Gaddy for a fight that he had with another man, and he blackened her eye.
“I told him that if he ever put his hands on me, I would call the police on him, and that he would go to hell or jail,” she said.
Gaddy said Hudson stopped the physical abuse and resorted to mental abuse. He also began to accuse her of having an affair, she added.
“The only thing I have ever did was work, go to church, and take care of my grandbabies,” Gaddy said.
The last incident occurred on Sept. 1, 2016.
Gaddy said Hudson — under the influence of alcohol and drugs — came home with their son and the two got into a fight because the boy was protecting his mother.
“No, daddy, no,” she recalled hearing her son say — but she didnt’ hear the gunshot.
Hudson then walked into the other room and shot Gaddy in front of her grandchildren, she said.
“He called 911, told them what he did,” Gaddy said. “I did not even know he had shot my son, nor that he called 911, until I called them myself.”
Gaddy said that over the years, he would always threaten to kill her, and point guns at her, but she never told anyone except her family.
“He shot us with a .357 handgun; I am paralyzed, and the bullet damaged me badly,” Gaddy said. “I was shot in the abdomen, and if my son wouldn’t have stood up, Hudson would’ve shot him in the face.”
Hudson was convicted last March of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.
He is scheduled to be released from prison in 2024.
“It is alright,” Gaddy said. “I left it in the hands of the Lord.”
Gaddy said that if anyone is going through any type of abuse, she suggests that they get out of it as fast as they can.
“I am a living witness,” Gaddy said. “I am against domestic violence — not only because of what I have experienced, but my family members, as well as my mama.”
Gaddy said that the doctors looked at her, after coming out of the Intensive Care Unit.
They [doctors] said to her, “You are a strong woman, because you’re not supposed to be here.”
Gaddy said that she is not that strong, but the God inside of her is.
She also said that domestic violence might start out as verbal, but that can lead to mental abuse, but it always ends up physical.
“Yes, it’s hard to leave them when they say I love you, or I’m sorry, or the sex is good,” Gaddy said.
Gaddy said that these things, and anything else your abuser says to you is a lie, because he will always do it again.
“I’ve never thought things would get this far, or he would do this to me, because he was once good to me,” Gaddy said. “It’s hard for me right now, because I am used to doing things on my own.”
Gaddy said that victims should always seek help, and that she is available if they want to talk to someone who understands what they are dealing with.
“I just wish I could turn back the hands of time,” Gaddy said. “I was with him for 24 years, and I stayed because I loved him, the sex was great and for our children.”
Gaddy said that she now sees that her life is more important than being abused.
“If your mate embarasses you by putting you down, controls what you do, stops you from being with friends and family, takes you money or threatens to kill you and your family, you need to seek help,” Gaddy said.
Gaddy said that it’s important that victims know that they are not alone.
“I wish I could’ve contacted someone when I was going through abuse,” she said.
Gaddy said that there are several programs can help, includingthe Anson County Domestic Violence Coalition.