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. Clearwater man shot, seriously injured


    CLEARWATER — A shooting Sunday morning in unincorporated Clearwater left one man seriously injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

  2. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  3. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    MINNEAPOLIS — Times columnist Tom Jones gives his report card from the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday:


    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]