When she woke up in the hospital bed, both of her eyes were swollen shut and her eye socket was broken.
Single mom Maritza Marquez was allegedly attacked, chased down the street and then beaten by her ex-boyfriend, she told PIX11 exclusively. Sincere Gaskins was meant to just pick up his belongings from Marquez’ Queens apartment and leave the September night of the attack.
Marquez called out for help as she frantically ran down the street. She was eventually able to call 911 herself, but she Gaskins allegedly punched her even as she called police. At that moment, she thought to herself that she needed to get out of there; she worried Gaskins might kill her.
September’s attack was the last time Marquez was abused, but it wasn’t the first, even though she had numerous orders of protection, she said.
Police arrested Gaskins Sunday on assault charges.
The NYPD has responded to more than 9,000 domestic violence complaints as of Sept. 19, 2021 compared to 8,200 complaints in the same period in 2020, police said.
Marquez and many other survivors of domestic violence say restraining orders are useless. Advocates agree they may not work for everyone.
Maureen Curtis, vice president of the Criminal Justice and Court Programs for Safe Horizon, wants survivors to know about services available 24/7.
“They’re not alone,” Curtis said.
Fallout from the abuse Marquez has suffered is ongoing; there’s pressure from her landlord to move out and constant fear.
“I feel like I got to leave, because I can’t sleep,” she said. “I don’t know what’ going happen next.”