(WMC-TV) – Millions of men and women are assaulted each year in this country. And stalking is an even bigger problem than once thought.
About one in every 12 women has been a victim of stalking and one in every 45 men.
Dale Wells was shot five times by his ex-girlfriend. One of the bullets pulled from his body now hangs from a gold chain around his neck.
Here is his story - in his own words.
"And I turned to the right and I'm looking down the barrel of a 357 Magnum," said domestic violence survivor Dale Wells. "She said if I can't have you nobody can..."
"…bullet hit me in the chest…"
"The second one went through and shattered this arm in two places. I fell to my stomach, she walked up on me shot me twice in the back and then laid the barrel on the bridge of my neck."
Wells' ex-girlfriend had saved the last bullet for herself. She died, but he pulled through, he believes to tell us that love shouldn't hurt, and more importantly, to warn us to look for the telltale signs of abuse.
"One thing that stands out in my mind, she would come to my place of employment and she would sit at the counter."
"She would come if I got here at two she would come at two oh one, two oh five and stay my whole shift and we thought that was cute."
"But hindsight that was actually control. Domestic violence is about control"
"One day I was going to work and she didn't want me to go to work. She said I want you to stay home. If you don't I'm gonna kill your dog."
"I purchased this chicken sandwich for her. The sandwich was not correct and the rage that came over her..."
"I can see the chicken sandwich going past my nose as she threw the chicken sandwich back in the window."
"Over a chicken sandwich."
"I had to have her removed from my home."
"She called me on March 15th, my birthday and asked me to come to the Motel 6."
"My phone rings and she says I'll be right down, and she says you're the luckiest man in the world. I came here to kill you on your birthday and kill myself. She couldn't get the gun then."
"But I dismissed it because she was on her way back to New York."
"Three months later, hiding out in my neighbor's bushes trying to trick me to come outside."
"There's still three bullets inside of me right now."
"Love doesn't hurt. You have to pay attention to all the signs dealing with domestic violence. Love yourself enough to say enough is enough."
Help is available if you're in a violent relationship.