APOLLO BEACH, Fla. - Six months after the attack, a woman finds strength in facing her estranged husband, the accused abuser, in court. Her story's been told several times before.
Yet, 27-year-old Audrey Mabrey says she actually finds strength in telling others about why she has scars all over her.
"You just feel released," she said.
But, she's not yet ready to show those scars on her face on camera.
It was a Tuesday, six months ago, Nov. 17th, 2009.
Audrey was at her Apollo Beach home when her estranged husband, Chris Hanney, showed up.
She says he hit her on the head with a hammer, doused her with accelerant, and threw a candle at her.
She is still recovering from the third-degree burns that are on 80 percent of her body, and said, "It's a long recovery for burns."
For three months, she was hospitalized. Now she's home, but small things to most are big accomplishments for Audrey.
"I was able to, for the first time, open my prescription bottle, by myself."
When Audrey saw Hanney in court for the first time Thursday morning, since the attack six months ago, it was a big milestone.
"And he wouldn't even look at me," Audrey said.
"He wouldn't look at the judge, he wouldn't look at his attorney, he wouldn't look at anyone. And he just looked like a coward. He looked pathetic. It just felt like a victory, you know. I felt empowered and, you know, I wasn't afraid."
She's still healing, going to therapy and a burn clinic, but Audrey is hoping the strength she's found in sharing her story will somehow empower domestic violence victims.
"The fear that festers inside of you doesn't have to be there, because you're the one that is allowing that fear to control your life, and you've got to stand up, say something, or this could happen to you, or worse."
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.