Woman pushed onto RR track hopes to help other abuse victims

Nicole Pongonis, domestic violence victim, pushed onto train tracks in July 2014.

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — A Naugatuck woman gets more than 300 stitches, after police say she was thrown onto train tracks by her boyfriend.

In an exclusive interview, Nicole Pongonis said she thought she was going to die, after she was pushed off the platform at the Waterbury train station.

A broken arm, a broken nose, black eyes, 300-plus stitches — the raw reality of domestic violence for Pongonis.

“I was split wide open, right down through to  the skull and they had to literally suture me up by layer. I had one surgeon on this side and one on this side and they had to piece my head back together, layer by layer by layer,” she said. “I should have died on that train track, they said I was very lucky to be alive.”

Her memory is foggy but what happened is clear in her mind.

Link: Domestic Violence Laws

“He was being irate and stupid and next thing I know I felt a shove, and I stumbled. This hand hit the platform like this and I literally went head first.” Head-first onto the track below.

Then-boyfriend Christopher Norton is in jail, charged with assault, breach of peace and reckless endangerment.

She said it was not the first time he assaulted her. “It’s hard to believe that someone who says they love you would do something like this to you. That’s a part of us who are victims of domestic violence want to believe, that we are worth it, that nobody who says they love us would want to hurt us like that, but it’s not true. It doesn’t get better, it gets worse,” the victim said.

Though physically weak, her resolve is strong. “Why should I be ashamed or embarrassed about what happened to me? And that’s what happens to women and men of domestic violence. You’re ashamed, you’re embarrassed. You hide your bruises.” No longer embarrassed, Pongonis has found her voice.

“If I can help one person to say, ‘Oh my God, somebody is doing this to me. I’m going to get help,’ I’ll feel better, I’ll feel better,” she said. Pongonis says she starts counseling tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Norton is still in custody with a $250,000 bond. He has yet to enter a plea. His next court date is Sept. 9.

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