A Mother’s Grief is Harnessed for Change
On Dec. 27, 2016, three weeks after Leslie Browning moved to Murphy, her daughter Alicia, who lived in Log Cabin, TX was murdered. Alicia’s husband of 12 years brutally beat her and then shot her in the head. Alicia was 29 years old when she was killed. She was the mother of three young children.
Browning said Alicia met her husband, Daniel Scott, while in high school. She was 16 years old and Scott was 15 years old when they met. The couple married in 2004, when Alicia was 17 years old. Browning’s ex-husband provided written consent for the couple to marry. They had asked Browning for consent, but she refused. She said, “I was very against it. I couldn’t stand him because Alicia had never hidden anything from me, and had always been very open, until they met.”
The first time Browning saw signs that Alicia was being abused was when Alicia’s oldest son was nine months old. Browning popped in to say hello where the Scotts were living and Alicia had a big knot on her forehead. Browning told her daughter, “If he’s abusing you, come to me and I’ll get you out.” A few weeks later, Alicia came to her and told her about the abuse. Browning rented an apartment for Alicia and her son to live in. From December to May of 2007, they lived there until Scott found them and lured her back home. The Scotts moved to Alaska. They eventually moved to Kemp, TX. Over the years, when Browning asked her daughter how she was doing, she would talk of her love for Scott and reply, “Really good.” Browning did not know, until her daughter’s death, that the abuse had continued because he hit her in places that didn’t show.
Browning said if she could go back in time to Dec. 1, 2016, knowing what she knows today, she would have told her daughter she was taking her and the kids to dinner, and then “I would have disappeared with them.”
Scott was sentenced to 70 years in jail. He is eligible for parole in 28 years.
Before her daughter was murdered, Browning said she didn’t know the phrase ‘domestic violence’ existed. Through research, she has come to realize how prevalent the problem is. Right after the murder trial, in Mar. 2018, Browning started Alicia’s Voice Foundation. She said, “When domestic violence touched my life, I couldn’t just sit there and not do anything. Knowing what my daughter went through, I don’t want another mother sitting here telling her story.”
Alicia’s Voice Foundation has multiple goals: 1. Help victims of domestic violence escape. 2. Educate youth of warning signs of domestic abuse and teach them what healthy relationships look like. 3. Raise awareness against domestic violence.
Browning has spoken at Richardson and Brenham High Schools, participated in radio interviews and has become involved with the Help SAVE Foundation. (“Help SAVE Foundation is an organization providing programs to educate law enforcement and social service professionals about the challenges that domestic violence victims face when coming forward.” Thehelpsavefoundation.org)
She is also appealing to elected officials to pass a law for a domestic violence offender registry. This law would be similar to sex offender registration in that when background checks are conducted, this information will be revealed.
She said, “I don’t want people to understand what I went through, because that will mean they are walking the path I’m walking. If I can change one life while talking, then Alicia’s life was not lost in vain.”
Browning will be the guest speaker at the Exchange Club of Murphy bi-monthly meeting on Jan. 28. The meeting will be held from noon – 1 p.m. at Country Burger in Murphy.
To find out more about Alicia’s Voice Foundation, please go to aliciasvoice.com and/or find them on Facebook.