July 29, 2014

Elyria
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Brunswick domestic violence victim deals with physical, financial troubles after ordeal

Rahna Fahringer, of Brunswick, stands in Ely Square during a silent vigil for victims of domestic violence Tuesday evening. Fahringer is still dealing with injuries from a domestic incident during which she was shot. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Rahna Fahringer, of Brunswick, stands in Ely Square during a silent vigil for victims of domestic violence Tuesday evening. Fahringer is still dealing with injuries from a domestic incident during which she was shot.
KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Her abuser is dead, but domestic violence victim Rahna Fahringer’s ordeal continues.

“How do you survive if you survive?” Fahringer asked before a downtown domestic violence vigil at Ely Square on Tuesday.

Fahringer was shot in the right leg by ex-boyfriend Terrence Abel during a Nov. 30-Dec. 1 police standoff at her Brunswick home. Abel shot himself in the head and was shot in the chest by members of the Southwest Enforcement Bureau SWAT team attempting to rescue Fahringer. Police accidentally shot Fahringer in the left palm and right forearm.

Fahringer’s right fibula was shattered, the ulnar nerve in her right arm was destroyed and her left thumb was shattered. A nerve was removed from her left leg and grafted into her right arm to get feeling back in her fingers. Fahringer, who experiences burning, numbness and tingling in her hands, is hopeful of getting most of the use of her hands back.

102213_DOMESTICVIOLENCEVIGIL_KB02However, Fahringer, who had just been hired to do data entry for an attorney, can’t type and said it may take two years before she can work again. Fahringer, who receives food stamps, Medicaid and federal taxpayer money from the Crime Victims Fund, said it isn’t nearly enough. Fahringer said she is four months behind on mortgage payments and hopeful Save the Dream Ohio, a state program that uses federal money to aid financially distressed homeowners, can help her.

Fahringer, who turned 47 on Tuesday, said she’s grateful to be alive and to friends, family and the public for their support. Yet Fahringer said it’s difficult for people to understand the emotional and physical trauma she’s enduring.

“The first thing they say is, ‘You look fine.’ Or, ‘You look great,’” she said. “It’s so difficult dealing with that.”

Fahringer said she was emotionally vulnerable when she began dating Abel in August 2011 and he moved in a few weeks later. Fahringer said she was aware Abel, 39, had convictions on burglary and theft charges. She said she didn’t know he was a crack cocaine addict for 14 years who was violent.

“I became the new drug when he got out of jail,” Fahringer told about 20 people who attended the vigil sponsored by the Purple Lotus Project, a domestic violence prevention group. “He became obsessed with me.”

Fahringer said Abel began hitting and shoving her about seven months into their relationship. Four days after she had police remove him and obtained a protection order against him, Abel returned with a pistol and took her hostage. Fahringer said she begged Abel to spare her during the 29-hour ordeal.

102213_DOMESTICVIOLENCEVIGIL_KB04“I told him I had two kids to raise,” Fahringer said referring to her son, Brock Fahringer, 17, and daughter, Blair Fahringer, 13.

“She’s very strong,” Brock Fahringer said before his mother spoke at the vigil. “Just her personality and who she is and what she’s been through the past year has allowed her to keep going.”

Fahringer told the crowd there needs to be more money available for domestic violence victims and courts need to delay releases of arrested domestic violence suspects to allow for a longer cooling-off period.

Fahringer said she hopes the story of her survival will inspire victims to leave their abusers before it’s too late.

“We all know what the outcome could possibly be,” she said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

Victim Assistance

  • A fund has been set up for domestic violence victim Rahna Fahringer. Donations can be made to the Rahna M. Fahringer Benevolent Fund at FirstMerit banks. For more information, call Mark Fahringer at (440) 309-0276.

  • Jennifer Williams

    Love the Purple Lotus and what they are doing for these people!

  • LAB1660

    NEVER date anyone until after you do some internet research on the person. Those criminal records are out there for everyone to see. Love doesn’t need to be blinded anymore. You can protect yourselves with the information that is so widely out there. My heart is with those ladies who survived domestic violence. May it never have to happen again.

    • Sue Hixson

      She stated last night that she did do an internet search on him. only the burglary and theft showed up. Nothing about drugs or violence. He told her had just gotten out of a 14 year relationship. She later found out he was speaking about the Crack addiction
      .

      • Joe Smith

        So burglary and theft were not enough? Really?

  • Bonnie Pickett

    Another case of a woman moving a complete stranger into her home around her children after days of knowing him. Children are put in danger every day by parents that move people they know little about into their home. Anyone with anger management problems puts you and your children at risk. It is my hope that women wake up and make their children a top priority. Women need to pick boyfriends from church, not jail. I hope she heals and can use her voice to wake up others to the dangers. She is so fortunate to be able to continue to raise her children, others have not lived through the terror she experienced.

    • Lisa

      Bonnie, have you ever heard of the saying, “A SHEEP IN WOLVE’S CLOTHING”? Well, those “SHEEP” can be found in MANY CHURCH’S, just WAITING for a VUNERABLE WOMAN to give a SINGLE INDICATION that they are going through a DESPERATE TIME in their life…. If YOU, my friend, were a “GOD FEARING” women and you BELIEVE that going to CHURCH will PREVENT ALL EVIL and that there are NO EVIL people that attend church, then that’s fine. I, on the other hand, KNOW BETTER… Furthermore, if you’re a “CHRISTIAN WOMEN”, you wouldn’t JUDGE…. BTW, Rhana is a friend of mine and you are right about ONE thing, “others have not lived through the terror she experienced”. She is out there, raising awareness and can hopefully PREVENT other Women, (and sometimes Men) from making a “bad decision”, (which we ALL DO))… Ps… Perhaps you could volunteer your “WISDOM” at a Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, or better yet, ask your “Church” to OPEN a Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims????