The horror of the night that changed her life and the lives of her children is always just a heartbeat away for East Hampton resident Noemi Sanchez, who was beaten, stabbed and then shot in the head with an air rifle by her estranged boyfriend in Six years later, Sanchez shares her story with Patch, speaking out to help other women hiding in the shadows of their homes, where, behind closed doors, horrifying domestic abuse is an epidemic in even the most upscale communities of the tony Hamptons.
Sanchez, 47, was Sabas Martinez's former girlfriend and is the mother of their three daughters, two of whom witnessed the violent assault; she was hospitalized, had surgery, and recovered from her wounds, the DA said — but the emotional scars linger.
Martinez, of Springs, was convicted in of attempted murder after the attack against his estranged girlfriend. This week, a task force report was unveiled to offer concrete solutions on how to crack down on domestic violence. New York State Assemb. Anthony Palumbo ed colleagues in the fight — the report is a result of five regional forums held around the state where law enforcement, victims, advocates and legislators came together to present ideas and solutions in an attempt to combat domestic violence in New York State.
This is a public safety concern, and as legislators we need to do all we can to keep our citizens safe.
I think that our findings and report are a wonderful step in the right direction toward combating this issue. Other solutions discussed included funding, providing those living with domestic violence a panic button, and allowing for temporary spousal and child suppot granted to the victim, who might be afraid to come forward to report the abuse for fear of losing her children. Two courageous women spoke to Patch this week about their personal nightmares and how they've triumphed and found their own personal strength and freedom from fear. Although the couple was estranged and living apart, the father of her children came to her in Springs and said he wanted to reconcile, she said.
But, Sanchez said, he continued to show up at her church, her gym. According to reports at the timeMartinez was waiting for Sanchez in her bedroom on Squaw Road when she came home at about a.
He allegedly shot her with an air rifle and stabbed her in the head with a kitchen knife before his daughters were able to convince him to let their mother go; he then cut his neck and wrists, police said. Sanchez was worried about her estranged boyfriend's behavior in the days leading up to the attack, she told Patch in an interview this week.
At the time, Sanchez told East Hampton Town Police Detective Jacques Guillois in a sworn statement from the emergency room at Southampton Hospital in that she had filed a police report about harassing messages from Martinez and had just received an order of protection against him. The father of her three children, Martinez, knew the victim for 22 years, since they lived in Mexico.
They had an "on and off" relationship, she said.
He had not lived with her and the children since he was released from jail in October His criminal record was withheld from the court, the report said. According to Sanchez, Martinez began sending her several text messages asking to move back in. He had been living with his brother in East Hampton, though there is some indication he had moved out. She said that one message stated that "he will not permit any other man to have me.
His brother reportedly called her to tell her she was an unfit mother and that their father wanted custody of their three children. Two days later, Sanchez filed a report with town police about his messages to her. She told police she did not want to press charges, but that she wanted him to stay away from her and their children, the report said. All domestic violence reports made with the town police are forwarded to The Retreat, a domestic violence advocacy organization based in East Hampton.
Sanchez said she met with a psychologist and a social worker at the Retreat, and the following day the social worker accompanied her to Family Court in Riverhead.
She was granted an order of protection, the report said. The night of the attack, she'd gone out alone; between and 1 a.
When she arrived at her home, a one story house on Squaw Road, she noticed the front door was unlocked, but thought one of her daughters had left it that way. She saw a long barrel being pointed at her, the report said. Her estranged boyfriend was standing about 8 feet away, she said. I screamed, 'Call the police! Daddy's trying to kill me.
She recounted for police how she had run screaming from her bedroom into her 11 year old's bedroom. Martinez reportedly followed her and the attack continued. She was then hit and stabbed. In front of their daughters, he put Sanchez in a headlock and dragged her into the kitchen.
The 16 year old "still begged Sabas not to kill me. When he heard his daughter's please — "He loved that girl," Sanchez said — he released her. Martinez released his grip on Sanchez, grabbed a knife from the sink and cut his wrists and neck. When an officer arrived, he drew his gun on Martinez, who was still in the kitchen with the knife.
Sanchez ran out of the house. Sanchez said after she was shot, some fragments still remain in her body; they could not be removed for fear she would be paralyzed. Years later, the memories still are as vivid and real as the night the terror was still enveloping her as she fought desperately to survive. He started to hit me and I fell down," she said.
My daughter was behind us, and she was saying, 'Please, Daddy!
Leave my mom alone! Her ex told their daughter that he wanted another opportunity, another chance with her, Sanchez said. When the police arrived and brought her to the ambulance, Sanchez was frantic for her girls, still inside the house.
But then a large contingent of police arrived at the home and she knew her daughters were safe, she said. The years since have been marked with the pitfalls and incredulous disbelief as Sanchez said she saw a flawed legal system that forced her to endure two trials before her attacker was ultimately sentenced to 25 years in prison, she said.
Today, Sanchez is still in therapy, but she's gained her strength — and seeks to empower other women, victims of domestic violence struggling and suffering in silence. She's found advocacy, solace and resources at The Retreat — and is involved with SEPA Mujer, an organization that works to support immigrant women on Long Island, speaking out against injustice, providing access to opportunities and services, taking a stand against domestic violence and other abuses, and advocating for social change. She said, though, that she's worried about the trauma her daughters endured, watching the abuse unfold.
The abuse began with verbal intimidation, she said. That's why, she said, stronger legislation for those who have committed domestic violence in front of children is critical. Before the night when he attacked her, he'd hit her maybe once or twice, but the verbal battering was a constant. Today, she said, "I'm strong.
And now I want to help another woman, who's in a situation like I was, become empowered. Sanchez is not alone: Domestic violence is spreading and escalating concern. The report from the Assembly's task force cites the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
The CDC also indicates that intimate partner violence affects more than 12 million people each year, the report said. In addition, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence reported that inintimate partner homicides increased 22 percent as compared tothe report said.
And according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, in28, intimate partner assaults were reported to police agencies outside of New York City; according to information from the New York City mayor's office, in New York City alone, police reported 17, intimate partner assaults during the same period, the report said. The State Office of Court Administration reported that the total of orders of protection reported to the Statewide Registry of Orders of Protection and Warrants reached a five-year high in Breaking free from a violent environment is an emotionally-draining and difficult process.
Victims are often fearful of retaliation from their abuser and anxious about dealing with the court system and social services," the report noted. For Amy, 44, an East End mom who asked that her name not be released, the abuse also began with verbal and emotional abuse. Eventually I wasn't allowed to go to the grocery store, 7-Eleven.
He'd hide the keys when he left for work so I wasn't able to leave the house. The verbal abuse escalated into physical: Once, when her ex discovered she had money — she had a plan in place of how she was going to leave the house, and had found the keys to one of the cars — the situation reached a crisis point.
I didn't know if he was going to kill me or hurt the children so, as terrible as it sounds, I scooped them up and pushed them out the sliding glass door in the dining room, and shut it. I had to get them out of the house. Next, she said, "He dragged me back in the house.
I had the phone charging on the counter. I tried to call but he ripped it out of my hand. But the emotional and financial abuse was insidious, its tentacles keeping her ensnared in a life of private hell.