A local woman is getting national attention for the physical and emotional pain she endured in an abusive marriage, which ended in her murdering her husband. The woman has turned her tragedy into a success by becoming an advocate for abused women and children and is a paneled guest on Oprah Friday.
One of Oprah's staff members saw a public service announcement about the affect domestic violence has on children that featured the woman's daughter. That's how they found Kimberly Bliss, and now Bliss is using her appearance as a venue to help stop the cycle of domestic violence.
Kimberly Bliss, a professor at Thomas University, says the pain of domestic violence can't be spoken better than from the mouth of someone who endured it. Bliss survived three years of domestic abuse.
"That escalated to where he also abused our daughter and that's one of the most important things about domestic violence is that people think well my children aren't affected and that's not true," says Kimberly.
Bliss admits her fault in the murder of her former husband and served five years for it, but she says she's guiltier for not leaving the situation earlier, which is why Bliss' co-workers say her appearance on Oprah is so important to her.
"Professor Bliss uses this as a an opportunity to say this is the real issue not that I'm on Oprah but that we have these problems with women in domestic violence situations and we need to change that. On that issue she never stops caring about others. It's amazing," Amy Smith said.
Bliss says her nationally televised message is that through the tragedy she faced, she found inner strength and now wants to share her glory with others who may be in the same situation.
"They can get their family back together and they can be valuable and productive and successful," says Bliss.
Kimberly Bliss will appear on Oprah at 4:00 Friday on WCTV6 and the title is Domestic Violence and Women in Prison. She was pardoned in 1993 by Gov. Lawton Chiles for the murder of her husband after he molested their daughter. She was actually the first woman to be granted clemency through the program that was started by the former governor.