NAOMI Rosado was just 17 when she decided she didn't want to live with her mum anymore – and moved in with pal Charles Tenpenny.
It would turn out to be a defining decision, as the brute, now 20, trapped her in a violent relationship.
Tenpenny's abuse culminated in shooting Naomi in the head while pregnant – because she refused to abort his baby.
Miraculously, Naomi and her son both survived the attack – and she's slowly rebuilding her life.
Here the 19-year-old, from Clearwater, Florida, shares her story with Fabulous Digital…
I met Charles through my friend Kaitlyn in November 2017, when I was 17 and in high school.
She'd matched with him on Tinder and, although there was no chemistry between them, they became mates.
At the time, me and my mum, Robin, were fighting a lot, just about silly teenage stuff.
But when the arguing got too much I left and moved in with Kaitlyn and Charles.
My mum thought I was living with Kaitlyn's parents, and I kept it that way for a month. She went mad when she finally found out the truth.
But, being a typical teenager, I thought I knew best and continued living there.
Charles erupted in fury. 'If you are pregnant, you are going to get rid of it! You would be an awful mother!'
In January 2018, Charles declared he was my boyfriend, even though I'd never agreed to it.
Deep down, I was terrified of the guy.
He would ply me with booze so he could have his way with me and, although he could be very kind, I knew what a nasty piece of work he really was.
Yet I thought I couldn’t go back home with my tail between my legs, so I stayed.
This was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life.
By the end of March, anything nice about Charles was gone and he became verbally abusive.
He would call me a slut and a whore, or slap me around if he felt like it – and I was too scared to get help.
One day in April, I realised I had missed a period and been sick a few times.
“I think I might be pregnant,” I told Charles when he got home from work at our local pizza restaurant.
He erupted in fury. “If you are, you are going to get rid of it!” he said. “You would be an awful mother!”
I cried. I knew it was no use, so I put the pregnancy to the back of my head as if it wasn’t real – it was easier that way.
Meanwhile, Charles still plied me with booze whenever he could.
But in July, I realised I couldn't ignore the pregnancy anymore. I got terrible stomach pains and couldn't even stand up, so a friend rushed me to hospital.
While I was there, the doctors did an ultrasound scan. “There’s definitely a baby in there,” the doctor told me.
When she said I was expecting a boy, I burst out crying. I was thrilled, even though it was Charles’ baby.
Charles came to the hospital and I told him I was definitely pregnant. Even he seemed excited when I told him it was a boy.
Charles please don’t,” I cried. “Think about the baby!"
“I’m going to be a dad,” he grinned. In that moment, I really thought everything was going to be OK.
My mum found out about the pregnancy from a friend, but she welcomed me back with open arms.
She wanted me to come home but I refused. I knew it would upset Charles, so I stayed with him.
I looked after myself and my unborn child, refusing to touch a drop of alcohol even when he insisted.
On July 17, things took a horrible turn. I heard Charles was telling people that the baby wasn’t his – so I confronted him about it.
Enraged, he hit me in the head with the barrel of a gun – knocking me out.
When I woke the next morning, I was mad. “Why did you knock me out last night?” I screamed. “Why would you want to hurt me like that?”
“You cheated on me!” he yelled. “And the house is always such a mess – you don’t keep it nice. I’m sick of you!”
I started crying and, in that moment, I realised I had to get out.
I was sat on the sofa as he walked towards me, holding the same gun he used to knock me out the night before. “Charles please don’t,” I cried. “Think about the baby!”
As the words left my mouth, he shot me at point blank range in my left eye
As the words left my mouth, he shot me at point blank range in my left eye.
I fell onto the floor and he left me to bleed for a while, before finally calling the police.
“Somebody broke into my house,” he lied to the police, claiming it wasn't him who shot me.
I was taken to our local hospital and then airlifted to Bay Front Hospital in St Pete’s Beach, Florida, for more specialist attention.
Charles came to the hospital and stayed there with my mum and my family, crying like a baby.
“Naomi and the baby will be OK. We just have to be here for her,” my mum told him, hugging him.
I was put into a medically induced coma – with the bullet still lodged in my head, having miraculously missed my brain.
It sounds weird, but I do have memories from those few hours, and I felt terrified whenever Charles was in the room.
Sitting with me, he would whisper in my ear: “If you tell anyone what I did, I will hurt your mum worse than I’ve hurt you.
“And I will make sure she stays alive so you can see the damage you have done.”
Thankfully, my mum noticed my heart rate monitor would go through the roof whenever Charles spoke to me – and told police she feared he was involved.
They agreed, but said they had to get more evidence.
Three or four days later, Charles told my grandma Rose he had accidentally shot me.
She didn't believe him and immediately called the police, who arrested him.
Meanwhile, I remained in a coma for three weeks.
I could have died and I lost my eye, but miraculously my baby was fine.
He almost killed me and Landyn – his sentence should have been life, nothing less
When I finally come to in August, I had to have multiple surgeries and was given a prosthetic eye.
While it was a shock to lose my eye, my baby was safe and I was alive and that’s all that mattered to me. I’d been given a second chance.
Landyn was born via C-section in November 2018.
The pressure in my head meant I had to be put under general anaesthetic to give birth.
It was so emotional when I finally got to hold my son. As I looked at him, I couldn't stop crying and my family were all crying with me.
My miracle baby who could have died just a few months earlier. I felt so much love for my little boy, it was overwhelming.
Where can you get help?
You don't have to suffer in silence.
If you are experiencing domestic violence or someone you know is there are groups that can help.
Refuge runs a free, 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247
You can also visit the website or contact Women’s Aid.
I faced Charles in court later that month where he took a plea deal and admitted to shooting me in the face. He got 25 years in jail.
Looking back now, I wish I hadn’t accepted that plea deal.
He almost killed me and Landyn – his sentence should have been life, nothing less.
But I wanted to move on as quickly as possible, I didn’t want the trial hanging over me.
I thought I’d be nervous to see him in court but it was empowering – the end of the nightmare that was our relationship.
Now I'm going back to school to finish my studies.
Landyn is such a perfect, happy baby. I'm so thankful I’ve been given a second chance and I’m seizing it with both hands.
I’m planning to go into schools to talk to other teens about domestic violence.
I want them to recognise a bad relationship and know how to get out, because I really didn’t.
I’m so thankful that I’m here – I feel like I was meant to survive to make a difference.
Yesterday, we spoke to a woman whose twisted boyfriend punched her so hard she blacked out – then strangled and stamped her beautiful dog to death.
Naomi's mum Robin is now fundraising to help her get back on her feet. You can donate here.
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