News Release

Laurie E. Bick-Jensen
Director, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
(302) 295-1164

Wilmington University Welcomes Author, Victim Advocate Debra Puglisi Sharp

Debra Puglisi Sharp does not let tragedy define her.

Instead, she travels around the country, teaching audiences how to reclaim their lives from unspeakable trauma as she did.

Ms. Sharp is bringing her heartbreaking and inspiring story to Wilmington University’s Burlington County College campus on September 17, as part of a Criminal Justice Information Session and signing of her book, titled “Shattered: Reclaiming a Life Torn Apart by Violence,” co-written by Marjorie Preston.

The event is from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at BCC in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

In April 1998, Ms. Sharp was in the garden outside her home in Newark, Delaware, when a man entered her home and waited for her to come inside. When she did, the assailant shot her husband, Nino, and then attacked and raped her before putting her in the trunk of his car and driving off. For five days, Ms. Sharp was held captive in this man’s house, during which time she learned of her husband’s death from a radio newscast. She finally escaped after convincing her captor to use handcuffs to subdue her instead of rope. At the hospital, she was found to have suffered 42 physical injuries.

The attacker was arrested and eventually convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape. He’s serving multiple life sentences.

It took years of therapy for Mrs. Sharp to overcome the terror she endured and the loss of her husband of 25 years. She has since remarried, and she serves on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Victims in Action. On April 20, 2007, she was presented with the U.S. Attorney General’s Special Courage Award through the Office for Victims of Crime in Washington, D.C.  

She currently lives in Lewes, Delaware, with her husband, Bill Sharp. To learn more about Mrs. Sharp, please visit her web site at or her book page at You can also view a video of one of Mrs. Sharp’s previous visits to Wilmington University at

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit university committed to offering flexible and career-oriented undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs while maintaining small class sizes, individualized attention and affordable tuition. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636) or toll free 877-967-5464, via email at or visit our website at

Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - Mt. Laurel, NJ