Two more silhouettes were added this year to the row representing those killed in a domestic violence incident in Anson County.
The addition of those two brought the tally to 19, not including two unspoken victims and two unborn children. The silhouettes are displayed each year at a vigil in front of the courthouse by the Anson County Domestic Violence Coalition.
To Pamela Blount, the silhouettes are personal: one represents her mother.
“It has been hard,” she said. “You want to go to the store and pick a Mother’s Day card for your mom. There’s holidays. Somehow, you figure out something every month to associate with her.”
Blount was only 8 when her mother, Rebecca Burns Morrow, 27, was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1982. Blount’s sisters were 6 and 9, and her brother was 10.
Blount and her sisters were with Morrow when it happened. Her brother was staying at their father’s house.
“We were all in bed when it happened, when he broke in and stabbed her,” Blount said. “All four of us were in there because we didn’t have electricity. My mother was afraid he’d come, and he did and stabbed her. I remember her screaming and yelling. I felt her blood splashing up on my shirt.”
Morrow was stabbed 13 times.
Blount and her sisters ran to their father’s house after the assault.
This wasn’t the first time Morrow had been injured in an attack. It was her last.
Morrow had broken up with Theodore Polk. Blount thought it was because of the violence; Morrow had been to the hospital because of it many times before. Blount remembered having to help carry her mother to safety.
Polk was convicted of manslaughter and given a maximum sentence of six years. He served one year, 11 months, according to the Anson County Domestic Violence Coalition.
Blount now serves as an advocate, raising awareness about domestic violence. She schedules events through the Speakers Bureau in Charlotte, which partners with Safe Alliance and Turning Point. Last October alone, she spoke at 75 events.
“My passion is for others to never go through what we did as kids or see family members’ silhouettes,” Blount said.
She has worked to keep her daughters from ever growing through that experience, and has told her kids what happened to their grandmother.
“I’m very open with them about it,” Blount said. “I make sure they know red flags. If a guy calls 50 times asking, ‘Where are you at?’, that’s a red flag.”
Blount doesn’t just tell them, she shows them what a good relationship free of abuse is.
“I have to be an example,” she said. “I never allow them to see me in that situation, either.”
Blount isn’t the only one who was affected by Morrow’s murder. Morrow’s family members and descendants have, as well.
“My middle daughter wrote a story in school, ‘If you could go back in time, who would it be?’” Morrow said. “She said it would be her grandmother.”
Blount struggled with the repercussions of that day for years.
“I had trust issues, fears,” she said. “I had to figure out how to overcome all of that in the home; it was hard to decipher ‘What is love?’”
She has succeeded through therapy and God, she said, but it is still difficult. It is still hard for her to see her mother’s name on a silhouette at the vigil each year.
“The hardest was picking out my wedding dress and getting fitted,” Blount said. She got married when she was 25. “The girls had their moms over when getting fitted, and the woman said, ‘Hold on, let me get your mom.’ I had to say, ‘She’s not here.’ You want to have her there, to say, ‘Mom, how does this look? Am I cute in this dress?’”
Blount has no photos of her mother other than a blurry yearbook photo and a picture of her in her casket.
“This silhouette is how I picture her,” she said.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.