October is domestic violence awareness month. An entire month dedicated to speaking out against abuse and educating people about intimate partner violence. It’s a great start, but for Sienna Wagnon, the goal is to make this topic socially acceptable to discuss year-round.
Sienna Wagnon hopes to create so much awareness surrounding these issues that abusers will think twice before ever putting their hands on another person. “These discussions serve to educate others and shouldn’t make victims feel ashamed about the decisions of another person,” Wagnon states.
Sienna Describes the Events of that Night
I believe we all have a story – something that happens that changes the trajectory of our lives. It changes how we see the world and how we perceive other people. It can occur in the blink of an eye with one event, or it can be a lesson that takes time to unfold. My story includes a horrific event that I will never forget and serves as a lesson from which I continue to learn.
In 2016, I was on vacation in Las Vegas when I was brutally attacked by someone close to me – my husband, Damian Frantz. As the police report states, Frantz entered the hotel room where I was sleeping and woke me after having an argument that day. I didn’t want to discuss it and asked him to leave me alone. He chased me to the back bedroom, threw me to the ground, straddled my body, beat me, and slammed my head into the floor several times.
At one point, he used his knees and body weight to bounce on my biceps over and over. He then took a pillow and held it over my bloody face until I was unconscious. When I came to, he let me up. That’s when I made a run for the door to escape the room and get help. He caught up to me, grabbed my ponytail, and with full force, and slammed my body back onto the ground.
He could see that the attack had visibly hurt me. I was shaking and bleeding. Frantz sat on the couch in a bloody shirt and told me to look at what I made him do. Then, he said he would change both of our clothes to take me to the hospital. When he got up to get the clothes from the back of the room, I made a run for it a second time.
The hotel video camera captured me running down the hall in bloody pajamas with blood on my face. Strangers saw this and surrounded me. Someone called for help. Waiting for an ambulance to take me to the hospital, I collapsed next to the elevators. I remember one stranger, a girl, saying that she would stay by my side until the police arrived.
Advocacy for Survivors of Domestic Violence
It took over two years for my abuser to be convicted and sentenced for the attack on December 29th, 2016. I vowed I would learn from this. This violent act led me to tell my story and speak out against intimate partner violence.
It’s important that we hold people accountable for their actions. We all have a responsibility to report abuse. Use your voice and say your abuser’s name. Awareness is crucial for change to happen.
I had to attend court nine times throughout the course of a year. Attorneys are able to prolong a case, making it harder for the victim to testify. Staying the course is the only way to get justice.
Life After Abuse
It’s hard to explain how it felt after being attacked by someone I loved. So many things raced through my mind. It took some time to sort everything out. Domestic violence is a tragedy for anyone to endure.
Facing the hefty stress of prosecuting an abuser can best be described as a roller coaster of emotions. I’m sharing my story in hopes that it will provide others with some insight and peace of mind. Like me, you deserve justice.
Sienna Wagnon advocates for other survivors and speaks out against domestic abuse and is available for volunteer public speaking. Creating awareness about the prevalence of intimate partner violence, she unveils the truth about abusers. She ends by saying, “If I only reach one person, it will be a lesson learned to help another.”
For more information, you can reach Sienna through her social media pages:
Sienna (@sienna_wagnon) • Instagram photos and videos
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