High school student Sophia Putney-Wilcox was the victim of a horrific attack by her ex-boyfriend. The attacker, Adam Shigwadja, broke into Putney-Wilcox’s room and assaulted her with a knife before setting her room on fire. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder, arson, home invasion, unlawful imprisonment and violation of conditional bond.
Putney-Wilcox and Shigwadja’s history began several years ago when they started dating. The two dated for 17 months until Putney-Wilcox discovered Shigwadja was cheating on her. She broke off the relationship immediately, and Shigwadja has been wreaking havoc on her life ever since.
Shigwadja first attacked Putney-Wilcox last year, when he broke into her house and put a knife to her throat. He tried to force her outside while holding her at knifepoint. Shigwadja was arrested following the incident and released on $10,000 bail on condition that he stayed away from Putney-Wilcox.
Putney-Wilcox filed a personal protection order against Shigwadja, but her request was denied.
As noted by MLive:
"...she sought a personal protection order against Shigwadja. Court records show that Circuit Judge Alexander C. Lipsey denied Putney-Wilcox's request the same day she filed it."
Most recently, Shigwadja broke into Putney-Wilcox’s room again and attacked her with a knife before setting her room on fire. Her brother heard the commotion and entered her room with a baseball bat and used the bat to fight off Shigwadja. At some point during the commotion, the bat struck Putney-Wilcox and sliced her skin open. She was left with over 20 stitches on her skull, but she’s thankful for them. Without her brother’s help, she says, she might not be alive today.
“If it wasn’t for this scar, I wouldn’t be here,” she told MLive.
Putney-Wilcox is taking the terrifying incident as an opportunity to speak out about domestic abuse. She’s all too aware that many people around the world are suffering through the same torture she did.
"I want to let girls know that they don't have to go through it. You deserve so much better," she said. "Every single person deserves better than what I went through and a lot of women are going through."