WESTFORD (CBS) — February 1 marks a painful anniversary for Jody Marchand. Ten years ago, her husband shot and killed their teenage daughter in their Westford home. Jody survived the attack and she hopes sharing her story will help to convince other women in abusive relationships to find help.
Olivia Marchand was a senior in high school, just months away from graduation when her mother finally decided she’d had enough. Jody planned to leave her abusive husband and take her precious daughter to safety. But they never made it out of the house.
“He shot my daughter, Olivia. He killed her,” Jody said, recalling that night in 2010. “I was shot in the left temple; the bullet shattered my jaw and now sits in my right shoulder and then he killed himself.”
Ten painful years later, the physical and emotional wounds are deep and raw. “I will live forever with the guilt and shame that I didn’t get out,” she said. “That’s why I need people to know, you might be in a relationship where you don’t think this is going to happen.”
As she begins this new decade, Jody wants to help other women avoid that deadly mistake. She started Live for Liv, a foundation raising money to help support women trying to escape abusive relationships, and to help them recognize when they are in danger.
“If you are thinking something is not OK, it’s not OK,” Jody said remembering dozens of times during her marriage when she wondered if she should leave her husband. “It won’t get better.”
She’s also working with a group called Moms Demand Action, dedicated to raising awareness about gun violence. The organization also lobbies for tighter gun control laws.
On Saturday, the anniversary of Olivia’s murder, Jody will be speaking at an event in Westford to Mark National Gun Violence Survivors Week. US Representative Lori Trahan and State Representative Jim Arciero, as well as other survivors of gun violence, will also speak.
“My mission in my life now is to tell my story to anyone that will listen to me,” Jody said. “Not because I want it to be about me, but because I want my child remembered forever and people need to know about domestic violence.”