Local radio personality shares domestic violence story

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a local radio personality is opening up about her own painful story. She is taking her message of hope from behind the microphone to the stage.

Every weekday morning, Casandra McLaughlin, known to her listeners as “Cassie Mack,” brings light to the lives of many on “Great Gospel Radio.”

“It’s really ministry because it’s a ministry station. It’s so much deeper,” she said.

She’s been a confidante for her listeners and she noticed how many women were calling in privately with stories about abuse.

“One day I had the first lady of a church call me to say, 'My husband locks me in the house. I can’t leave.' And that weighed on my heart,” she said. “This lady is the leader of a church. She’s wearing a mask every Sunday, but when she gets home it’s a different story.”

Cassie finally decided to be open about her own past, which was spent in turmoil of domestic violence.

“I can’t just hear about somebody being locked in a house or drug by their hair or being threatened without doing something about it,” she said.

She created a play called, “Don’t Love Me to Death.”

Cassie said she witnessed abuse growing up and finally ended up in an abusive marriage.

“I could have lost my life. That’s how come I came up out of it. My ex was bipolar, schizophrenic. He was very abusive,” she said. “There was a journal that he had that was all about how he was going to kill me.”

The seven cast members in the play depict a story of abuse and regret.

The painful script she wrote foreshadows what Cassie said could have happened in her own life.

“I’m just thankful that God has taken my broken pieces and brought me back together. And every time I’m in rehearsal and I see that it’s heart wrenching for me because that’s part of what I felt like.”

Cassie said her ministry through this play is for people struggling now and for the next generation.

“My ultimate goal was to make sure that my daughter didn’t think it was okay for a man to treat her any kind of way, to talk to her any kind of way. And I’m married now and I’m thankful my husband is nothing like anything I’ve been through.”

She said her tears are tears of joy because God has carried her through it all.

“Don’t Love Me to Death: Taking a Stand against Domestic Violence” debuts Saturday at River of Life Church in DeSoto. The first show time is at 1 p.m. and the second is at 7 p.m.