Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Abuse survivors celebrate

Sharon Reynolds gets her hair styled by Teresa Williams at SerenBe Day Spa in Temple Terrace. Four women who survived domestic abuse enjoyed a day of pampering at the spa on Monday.


Sharon Reynolds gets her hair styled by Teresa Williams at SerenBe Day Spa in Temple Terrace. Four women who survived domestic abuse enjoyed a day of pampering at the spa on Monday.

TEMPLE TERRACE — The attack that nearly killed Sharon Reynolds lasted 15 to 20 minutes but felt like forever.

She had kicked her obsessive ex-boyfriend out, told him to stay away. Twelve days later, he returned for blood. He shot at her twice with a crossbow as she walked to her laundry room. When he missed, he dragged her inside and stabbed her nine times with an 11-inch knife.

Telling this story, as she did Monday from a hairstylist's chair, still makes her chest feel tight. But she got it out in a steady tone, even managed a smile.

Sitting in that chair at all was a major accomplishment for 39-year-old Reynolds, who didn't want to leave her home for a year after the 2005 attack that put her in a hospital for five surgeries and sent her attacker, Earl Metty Jr., to prison for life.

"If I don't go, then he wins anyway," she said. "And I ain't going to let that happen."

The owners and the staff at SerenBe Spa in Temple Terrace honored that spirit Monday, celebrating survival by pampering hair, nails and skin. They treated Reynolds and three other domestic violence victims selected by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office to four hours of spa treatments, plus hugs, tears and chocolate-covered strawberries by candlelight.

"We wanted to empower them, share womanhood with them, make them feel beautiful for a day," said Kelly Seeley, one of the spa's co-owners.

Female-owned businesses donated gifts and food, and the spa's all-female staff came in on its day off to provide services. Several victim advocates also came in support.

Each of the survivors, including a mother and daughter, had left their abusers. The criminal court cases had run their course. Though souvenirs of violence lingered — recurring nightmares and physical scars, among them — the women did their best to relax as they got polished, buffed, waxed and styled.

Victim advocate Manuel Gonzalez was the only man at the gathering, but his face crinkled with delight as he recalled how thrilled Isabel Guartanga, 48, had been when she was chosen to participate.

At her request, he snapped a picture of her "before" look Monday morning.

Her life since leaving her abuser had not been easy. But on this day, with her skin smooth and her black bob haircut shiny, Gonzalez knew she would have reason to smile.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at or (813) 226-3337.

Abuse survivors celebrate 10/13/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 13, 2008 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Necropsy confirms drowning as Snooty the manatee's cause of death

    Human Interest

    BRADENTON— The South Florida museum aquarium will re-open Tuesday and grief counselors will be available after the untimely death of beloved manatee Snooty.

    Snooty, the Manatee County mascot, turned 60 in 2008. Hundreds of people came to the Parker Manatee Aquarium to see Snooty at his birthday party. He was the first manatee to have a recorded birth date on July 21, 1948.

 [Times (2008)]
  2. Charlie Gard's parents withdraw legal action over their sick baby


    LONDON — The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard dropped their legal bid Monday to send him to the United States for experimental treatment after new medical tests showed it could no longer help.

    Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of critically ill infant Charlie Gard, arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice in London ahead of the latest High Court hearing in London Monday July 24, 2017. They  returned  to the court for the latest stage in their effort to seek permission to take the child to the United States for medical treatment. Britain's High Court is considering new evidence in the case of Charlie Gard. The 11-month-old has a rare genetic condition, and his parents want to take him to America to receive an experimental treatment. [Jonathan Brady | PA via AP]
  3. Restaurant review: Food and beer pair nicely at the Eatery at Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - Tampa Bay's craft beer scene is perennially in flux. New breweries open, others close or get scooped up by bigger breweries, some reinvent themselves so they can sell beer off site, and still others build on kitchens and add food to give enthusiasts another reason to sit tight.

    A Passion of the Heights hibiscus wheat ale is displayed at The Brew Bus in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017.  The Brew Bus Terminal, which houses a microbrewery and tasting room and serves as a hub for bus tours to local breweries, has opened an on-site kitchen called the Eatery. With the opening of the new casual dining concept, the brewery joins the ranks of microbreweries across the country that have asked that question: "What goes with beer? Hey, how about food?"
  4. For starters: Rays vs. Orioles, seeking to halt a skid


    After being swept by the Rangers, and losing four straight, the Rays are looking to get back on track tonight against the Orioles, and they have LHP Blake Snell on the mound.

     Blake Snell will be on the mound tonight.
  5. This 'SNL' writer is cracking up Twitter with his replies to President Donald Trump's tweets


    Josh Patten is a writer for Saturday Night Live. Earlier this month, he began responding to President Donald Trump's tweets as if they were private texts to Patten.