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Debra Puglisi Sharp

2007 Special Courage Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Debra Puglisi Sharp | Special Courage Award
Puglisi Sharp Enterprises
Lewes, Delaware

On April 20, 1998, Debra Puglisi Sharp's husband was killed in their home, and his murderer abducted, assaulted, raped, and held Sharp hostage in his house for more than 100 hours. On the fifth day of her abduction, while the perpetrator was at work, she was able to free herself and find her way to a phone. She called 911 despite not being able to read the numbers on the phone without her glasses. An enhanced 911 phone system in her area was able to pinpoint her location, allowing police rescue. 

Since the crime, Sharp has not only worked to move on with her life but has dedicated herself to helping other crime victims. She actively supports Sexual Assault Network of Delaware and participates with Contact Lifeline, the local rape crisis center in Delaware. For 5 years, Sharp served as the public representative of the 911 Enhancement Board, which was an appointment by Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner. Sharp believes in public education and awareness, reminding citizens that they need to remain informed of Global Positioning System capabilities in their particular area in case of an emergency. 

Debra Puglisi Sharp was nominated by Diana David Bratton, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Greeley Police Department, Greeley, Colorado.