Boxer Christy Martin shares story of abuse and survival in new book
CHICAGO (CBS) -- She's been called the Jackie Robinson of female boxing and is a woman of many firsts when it comes to professional boxing.
Christy Martin is not just a fighter, but a survivor.
She shares her incredible story of survival in a new book after her life nearly came to an end at the hands of her ex-husband.
"Well, I felt like from the time I woke up in the hospital that God left me here for reason, and that reason was always going to be to Help other people."
International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Christy Martin, talks about her life's mission after her husband, Jim Martin, stabbed her repeatedly and shot her in the chest in 2010.
He left for dead on their bedroom floor. Christy was able to summon the strength to get up, run from the house, and flag down a passerby, who drove her to a hospital.
"A new person was able to get up and get out of the house that night and has been able to move forward," Martin said.
In 2012, Jim Martin was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder with a firearm.
Christy says her ex-husband's abuse took many forms. There was sexual and emotional abuse. He got her hooked-on cocaine and gave her a constant supply. He also blackmailed her - threatening to expose her sexual orientation to the professional boxing world.
"The whole sexuality part is really difficult because I was so intertwined. First of all, I trusted Jim Martin, and he was twenty-five years older than me. He was my coach. I felt like this was someone that I could. I could open up and bear my soul to, and tell him all about my sexuality struggles, my struggles with my family, just life struggles, and all of that was used against me. As time went on he used it basically to blackmail me, and at the time in the mid-90s my boxing career was really growing."
Martin, who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and was promoted by Don King, is sharing her deeply personal story in a new book. The title? "Fighting for Survival: My Journey through Boxing Fame, Abuse, Murder, and Resurrection". For Martin, the title exemplifies her many struggles - Overcoming her drug addiction, coming to terms with her sexuality, and leaving her abuser.
"Hopefully, by sharing my story. I can get someone else. A little inspiration, a little, a little confidence, a little boost that, hey? If Christy can do it, so can I."
Martin says that message is the reason she's taking part in a book signing and discussion at a fundraiser for WINGS and The Network this coming Tuesday. Both Chicago-based organizations are dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.
"The people that I've talked to with Wings program. It's because they care. Yes, it's a job, but it's because I, that they care, and we need to work together to make a difference in so many different people's lives, and that's what I see there them doing."
The Main Event book signing with Christy Martin is taking place Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. at Wintrust's Grand Banking Hall. Tickets for the event can be found on the Wings website.
CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot will be moderating a discussion with her for the audience that night at the event.
for more features.