carolyn_thomasCarolyn Thomas is known as the woman without a face.

Thomas, a 34-year-old former track star, was shot in the face by an abusive ex-boyfriend who also killed her mother.

The domestic-violence survivor travels across the country telling her story. She's even sat next to Oprah Winfrey and Larry King to talk about her ordeal. And at 6 p.m. April 21 she will be at Florida State University's Alumni Center on West Tennessee Street, courtesy of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.

"This is Carolyn Thomas' first visit to our state, and she is so excited to be coming here," said Michelle Johnson, council co-chair. "It will be great for her to see that people support her journey and that her story is truly incredible."

The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council works to educate and bring awareness to the community on domestic violence, as well as to ensure that there are no gaps in the services provided to domestic-violence survivors. It also facilitates collaboration between the agencies that offer services.

"In our society there are still a lot of people that say that what happens in the home should remain in the home, that it's their issue," said April Hofmeister, council treasurer. "We still ask the question in our society, "Why doesn't she leave?'

"We don't ask the questions, 'Why does that person hit, why does that person abuse the other, why is this behavior OK?' "

In 2008 the Refuge House reported 484 women and children sheltered, 1,046 petitions for injunctions filed, 2,523 hot-line calls answered, 1,173 outreach cases and 42 children who received counseling.

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