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Domestic abuse survivor's daughters brutally attacked

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017 at 10:22 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The daughters of a domestic abuse survivor who works to stop violence in Cleveland were the victims of a vicious Monday night attack in Cleveland.

A group of nearly 10 men kicked, punched, and beat Laura Cowan's daughters near E. 120 and Dove St.

"I probably would've been dead," said Maryam Shabazz, who was attacked.

Struggling to speak with a busted and stitched up lip, Shabazz said she believes she would've been beaten to death if her mom and sister weren't with her Monday night.

"He picked me up and he slammed me on the ground and when I get on the ground all of these guys started swarming," she said.

The 21-year-old showed her bruised lip Tuesday as she spoke through tears to a group that aims to stop violence in Cleveland. Shabazz explained how a group of grown men she didn't know kicked and punched her.

"He slammed me on the ground," she said.

Shabazz's younger sister, Tasslimah Muhummed, sat by Shabazz's side Tuesday. She was still visibly upset.

"I tried to protect her, but I couldn't help her," Muhummed said.

Muhummed was also punched in the face Monday night.

Their mom, Cowan, was there as well. She said she was in shock when she realized her own kids were being attacked.

"You're watching your children on the ground. They're being stomped, kicked by multiple people just coming out of no where, and you feel so helpless," Cowan said.

Cowan is a domestic violence advocate who survived years of abuse. She goes out of her way to try to stop violence in the city. She never thought she'd end up in a position like that again.

"We're peacemakers. We go to situations like this. Now, to be a victim of it, it's incredible," she said.

Cowan said she went along with her daughter because she wanted to talk things out. It turns out a friend they considered family set up the attack.

Despite stitches, bruises and cuts, Cowan feels thankful her family escaped alive.

"We could have lost our lives (Monday) night, I really felt that deep in my heart," she said.

Shabazz was released from the hospital Tuesday morning.

Though the family knows one of the women involved, they said they don't know the men who attacked them. The men also stole Muhummed's coat and money. Tuesday Cleveland police said they were still looking for the suspects involved in the attack.

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