Domestic abuse survivor describes escaping as family planned her funeral

FOX Files

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Janie Shannon’s ex-boyfriend was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for domestic assault, but it took more than one assault and more than one victim to get to justice.

“It was just crazy how much time it took. It took way too long,” said Shannon.

She still has a picture of her now-ex, Juan Madrigral, when two appeared happy. Madrigal was convicted in 2012 for abusing her.

She said the key to escaping was “realizing that my family started planning my funeral.”

“My family began to grieve my loss even though I was still around,” said Shannon.

The 2012 conviction did not result in much jail time. It took a complaint from another woman to send Madrigal away for 25 years.

Shannon said there was “an instant feeling” of being free.

“Finally, don’t have to look over my shoulder,” she said. “There were times where I just wanted to be done all together and be done with all of it, but then I look at the picture of my little girl. And every single time that’s the one anchor that kept me grounded.”

Shannon said her most crucial call was to an organization called Thrive.

“I had contacted Thrive a couple of times throughout this relationship,” she said. “They were instrumental in helping me to grow beyond that relationship and grow beyond the abuse that I had endured.”

Shannon encouraged others in similar situations to never give up.

“Never stop, because you can get out,” she said. “You can make it above those clouds and break that ceiling. made sure my daughter made it out safe.”

FOX 2 also reached out to Madrigal’s public defender to see if he wanted to comment on behalf of his client but did not hear back at the time of publication.

To learn more about Thrive, visit:

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