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Domestic violence shooting survivor and victim advocate named Teacher of the Year in Gwinnett school

Kimya Motley, a former C.J. Hicks Elementary School teacher who survived a brutal domestic violence shooting in 2011 and now advocates for domestic violence victims, was named the 2015-16 Teacher of the Year at Rosebud Elementary School in Gwinnett County, where she is an EIP and Transitions instructor.

On September 20, 2011, Motley's estranged husband shot her four times and her daughter, 10-years-old at the time, once in the head outside the Little Mountain Christian Academy daycare in Rockdale County.

The shooter, Terrance Roberson, later turned himself in to authorities and after being found mentally competent for trial, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 50 years.

Motley has founded Haven of Light International, a ministry which caters to the needs of women and children fleeing domestic violence situations.

Four years after the cataclysmic event, her family has emerged the other side. Her daughter, eighth grader Corinne, is thriving in academics and sports. Her 20-year-old son, Theron, is studying at Georgia Southern University. And Terence Roberson is behind bars serving a 65-year sentence. Meanwhile, Motley uses any spare moment to shed light. "I feel strongly when one woman gives her testimony, it frees other women."

She's in the education phase, accepting speaking engagements and mentoring other victims. Her ultimate goal is to establish a longer-term transitional home for women and children without resources after they leave the traditional 30 - 60 day shelters.

Another component she believes essential is a mentoring program for abusers. "Statistically, the family intervention counseling programs in place for men don't work. I would like to pair them with men strong in faith and family who know what it takes to have healthy relationships and marriages."

For more information on Haven of Light, visit