Both Survivors of Violence, Woman and Pit Bull Form Unbreakable Bond


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A Florida photo shoot brought together two very different victims of violence to remind the world that neither of them would be silenced.

First there’s Melissa Dohme, who was brutally stabbed over 30 times by an ex-boyfriend in 2012. Despite initial fears that she may not live, Dohme pulled through. She’s gone on to become an advocate for domestic violence, and famously married one of the first responders who saved her life after the stabbing. Earlier this year, she had surgery to restore the movement in her face.

The other participant in the photo shoot was a black pitbull named Khalessi. She was rescued this past summer from a dog fighting ring, where it’s presumed she was used as a “bait dog.” Since then, she’s been in the care of Passion for Pits. The dog is missing nearly half of her face, though that doesn’t bother Dohme much.


Source: WFTS/Lisa Otto

“Her soul is beautiful. She just wants to love and wag her tail,” Dohme told local Florida station WFTS.

The photo shoot was set up by Tampa Bay photographer Lisa Otto.

“Since they are both survivors of abuse, it all came hand-and-hand,” Otto said of her reasoning.

Dohme also spoke to the station, reflecting on what the shoot and Khalessi’s story means to her.

“You can’t keep us down, and we won’t be silenced,” said Dohme. “I have a voice. I was given my voice back. We will carry on Khalessi’s voice and we will do all we can do to help abused animals and people and show that love wins.”


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