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Domestic Violence Victim Was Strong Woman, Daughter Says

"If this could happen to my Mom, it could happen to anybody," said Linda Cerutti's daughter, Carrie Brackett.

Linda Cerutti wasn’t what people think of when they think of domestic violence victims, said her daughter, Carrie Brackett.

“My mother is by far the strongest person I have ever known in my life,” Brackett said a few days after her mother died June 10. “She was the person I would call for just about anything. I leaned on her. Now, I can’t do that.”

Cerutti, of St. Charles, died June 10 from injuries from a May 29 attack. Her live-in boyfriend, Steven Martineau was charged Friday with second-degree murder. He was charged with third-degree domestic assault on Cerutti in February.

Brackett said she was surprised to find out her mother’s relationship with Martineau was an abusive one.

“I want the message out there. If this can happen to my Mom, it could happen to anyone,” Brackett said.

Cerutti lived in Fenton for several years before moving to St. Charles about two years ago.

Brackett said her mother broke off a physically abusive relationship with Brackett’s father many years ago and moved her children away from him, she said.

Cerutti also warned Brackett about signs of abusive relationships, and urged her to stay alert for such indications in her relationships.

“She was my mom and my dad. She got (gifts for) Mother’s Day and Father’s Day,” Cerutti’s daughter said.

Cerutti's co-workers also thought highly of her.

“Linda was an incredibly strong woman with a an unstoppable spirit,”  Tammy Meyer, a co-worker of Cerutti's, told Patch.

Cerutti worked with Meyer at the Community Care Center in Lemay, a nursing home.

“Linda was the bookkeeper and really did not have to socialize with the elderly residents,” Meyer in an email to Patch. “But she did, and she loved them and brought joy and humor to the lives everyday.”

Meyer also was saddened and angered by the loss of her co-worker and friend.

“What happened to her was an absolute tragedy,” Meyer wrote.

“It is my hope that more and more women realize their true worth. No one has the right to hit you, beat you, kill you because of a problem that they have,” she said.

Brackett said she mourns the times that she and her daughter should have had with her mother.

“My mom was a good-hearted person. She did not deserve what happened to her,” she said.

If you have experienced or know someone who has experienced domestic or sexual violence, find resources through the St. Louis Ending Violence Against Women Network (SLEVAWN) or call the Safe Connections 24-hour crisis hotline at 314-531-2003.

Jodi Devonshire October 15, 2012 at 04:29 PM
As the child of a domestic abuse victim, my heart goes out to her children. I always feared this would happen to my mom. So did she, that's why she stayed as long as she did; he said he'd kill her if she left. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Carrie M Brackett October 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM
My name is Carrie, the daughter of Linda. This is the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me in my life. However there is a mistake in this print. My mother and father split long ago, around 1986-87, she was recently divorced from my Stepdaddy who WAS NOT abusive to her. My biological dad however was physically, mentally, sexually any kind of abus e there is. My stepfather Nick would've given her the world. To me he is my dad. This is sad and good at the same time. Steve Martineau is being charged for murder, but this shouldn't have ever happened. She taught me to recognize the signs of abuse early on. I will never understand this. But please DO NOT mistake my father and my Stepdaddy. Thank you.
Joe Scott October 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Carrie - The way I worded part of the article might have been confusing, so I changed it a bit. I only meant to say she moved to St. Charles two years ago. I didn't mean to relate that to her relationship with your father or step-father. Sorry about the mix up. If this doesn't solve the problem, please let me know.
Carrie M Brackett October 16, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Ok thank you
Tara Boyer October 16, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Survivors, friends, neighbors, family, and concerned citizens are invited to join the St. Charles County Chapter of the Family Violence Council of Lincoln & St. Charles Counties for our Annual Candlelight Vigil Walk of Unity on Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 6:30-8:30pm. The Vigil begins at the Bogey Hills Baptist Church (1721 Treetop Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303). October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please help us spread awareness about the devestation caused by family violence. Join us for: ■ Open Forum - a time to share stories, support, read letters and/or poems ■ Silent Witness Exhibit ■ Clothes Line Project ■ Informational Tables ■ Vigil of Unity ■ Candles Sponsored by Community Members for Domestic Violence Prevention

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