Local 6 exclusive: domestic violence victim speaks out
CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. — In a Local 6 exclusive, the victim in a domestic violence case against a former school principal is speaking out.
For the first time we're hearing from the victim in the assault and rape case involving former South Marshall Middle School Principal Kent Barlow.
The Marshall County Commonwealth Attorney said Barlow agreed to plead guilty to wanton endangerment, unlawful imprisonment and assault. The victim in the case asked the commonwealth to drop the rape charge.
On Friday, the female victim sat down with Local 6's Todd Faulkner to discuss the ordeal and how she's improved since the March incident.
"It was a tragedy but I just don't want it to define my life. I don't want it to be something that holds me back," she said. "I feel so much better and I think the first step is that I stood up for myself and I reported. That was the hardest part of all of this."
She reported to investigators that her then boyfriend, Barlow, attacked and beat her. The woman told us she forgives Barlow. In fact, she said because of her long-term relationship with Barlow, she didn't feel a rape charge was appropriate.
The victim wants to make clear to the public there are places to turn to in time of crisis.
"The Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center, they have been phenomenal. They have held my hand, basically almost every minute through every aspect of this ordeal," she said.
Following a meeting last week involving a face-to-face mediation with Barlow, the victim said she feels a sense of closure.
She said, "Being able to stand up for myself through the mediation process. Being able to get some questions answered, get an apology, was very freeing for me. I felt like I floated out of the courtroom last Thursday."
And through the darkness of this entire experience came another bright light.
"This world is full of wonderful, kind and caring people and that's one of things that's been made known to me through this situation," she said. "I just prefer to see the world as a wonderful place and not let that define my life."
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and needs help, click here or here for more information about the Purchase Area Sexual Assault Child Advocacy Center. You can also call the 24 helpline at (800) 928-7273, the Paducah office at (270) 534-4422 or the Murray office at (270) 753-5777.