Warm Springs, Ga. (WRBL) – Sarah Holiday’s abuse at the hands of her husband ended when she pointed a gun at him and fired twice.

The date was January 7, 1995. Sarah, estranged from her husband, Darryl Prather, was preparing to drive from her parents’ home in Warm Springs, Georgia to Columbus. She felt her sons, ages 8 and 3, deserved  an outing at Chuck E. Cheese. They never made it. The boys’ father, under a protective order, showed up demanding to spend time with his sons. Unbeknownst to Sarah, Darryl had brought a gun with him and would take Sarah on a harrowing ride that would lead to rape and ultimately his demise. Sarah’s father would not survive his son-in-law’s wrath that day either. 

Sarah says the abuse began a year and a half into her marriage. 

“He began to yell and then it escalated, and then he slapped me. He slapped me. It was just like, I was just stunned.”

She would leave her Manchester, Georgia home for two to three weeks at a time, she and her boys, and seek refuge at her parents’ home in Warm Springs. She called these trips “cooling off periods” for Darryl.

During the fourth cooling off period, Sarah decided she would not return to her husband. She filed for divorce and obtained a protective order. The longer she stayed away, the angrier her husband became.

“Then seven weeks, eight weeks, as the time increased, he really began to become unhinged.”

His anger exploded that day into an act of violence against Sarah’s father, Frank Bussey, Jr. Darryl shot him in the chest, twice, killing him in front of Sarah, her sons, and her mother. 

Bussey’s last words to his daughter, Sarah were “Run, baby run.”  She took off. Darryl pursued her, shooting her three times. When she fell, he dragged her to her car, drove her to Pine Mountain, and threatened to drive the car over the bluff, until she said she’d come back to him. He then drove her to their home in Manchester where he raped her. He left the room, but left the gun on the bed. His reign of terror ended in that bedroom when Sarah says he came back and lunged at her.

Sarah has become a staunch advocate for victims of domestic violence. Here’s what she wants those being abused to know: It’s not your fault. You have nothing to be ashamed of, so tell someone. You don’t deserve this kind of treatment. 

Her father’s last words, “Run Baby Run” she used as the title for her first book that details her life of abuse and the tragic explosion that took two lives on January 7th, 1995. 

If you or someone you love is being abused, in the Chattahoochee Valley area, on both sides of the river, you can call Hope Harbor at 706-324-3850. To learn about the services they offer, click here.

1 in 7 men, and 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence. Outside of metro Atlanta, Columbus has more domestic homicide deaths than any other place in Georgia.

                                    SIGNS OF ABUSE

                                (Source: Hope Harbor)

  1. Too much too soon: Abusers can be charming but also attempt to move the relationship forward too fast.
  2. Avoiding Responsibility: Perpetrators of domestic violence may blame others for their abusive behavior instead of taking responsibility.
  3. Isolation: Abusers seek power and control over their partners. This tends to result in pulling their partner away from family and friends.
  4. Controlling Behavior: Perpetrators of abuse may question your whereabouts, disapprove of anything that limits their ability to maintain control over their partner.
  5. Financial Abuse: Perpetrators may attempt to control the funds of their partner or even coerce them into taking on additional financial responsibilities.
  6. Negative Impact on Work: Abusers may show up unannounced to their partner’s workplace, causing a scene or excessively calling their place of work.

The book “Run Baby Run” by Sarah Holiday can be purchased through Square at Sarah-Holiday.square.site. Sarah can be reached at Survivor4Life95@gmail.com.