Victim to Victor
Advocating against Domestic Abuse & Helping to Break the Cycle of Violence
When I wrote Little Fish, I did so in hopes that at least one woman would be helped by me sharing my experiences. Perhaps one teenage girl would read Little Fish and be able to recognize signs of impending relationship abuse before she's mired in it. Or maybe even one woman trapped in her own abusive situation would be able and inspired to follow some of the steps I took to break free.
As it turns out, I had more to give than just my written word. Through organizations such as Deaf Unity and People Againt a Violent Environment (PAVE) I've been able to help not only through writing, but also supporting and inspiring victims more directly. Over the past few years I have been fortunate to have continued opportunties to make a difference, both with victims and those who surround them.
Most recently, I was named PAVE's 'Person of the Year' for my efforts, both with victim services and my efforts to raise awareness. At their annual 'Sweet Thanks' fundraiser I was presented with an award. To be recongized by the amazing group of people who work at PAVE and support victims of violence every day, in countless ways - it was amazing and humbling. It's when I the term 'victim to victor' occurred to me. Seventeen years after escaping my abuser, I feel victorious through helping others.
When I was presented the award, I wanted to let the supporters know just what their presence meant. I told them about how my first time attending Sweet Thanks was a few years ago and how I remember being moved to tears as I thought about what it would have meant to me, back then, to know that people cared. I was being beaten and abused in my own home and the people who surrounded me didn't seem to care, how could I ever have imagined there was a room full of people who did?
That event was what set me on a path of advocacy and until there are no more women with spirits too broken by abuse to recognize their own rights or self-worth, no more children doomed to emulate the violence they witness, I will continue to advocate against this. Even if I have nothing more to offer than a genuine "I understand."
I plan to continue updating this page, posting more facts and statistics that many would find shocking, along with tips on escaping and rising above abuse, as well as how to support victims on thier path to recovery and independence.
Below is a link to PAVE and a link to Deaf Unity. If you or someone you know needs help, please, please contact them. Even if you don't leave right away, I promse it will help to talk with someone who understands.
You are not alone and the violence is NOT YOUR FAULT, no matter what your abuser says.
There are many ways to support these worthwhile organizations, please click the links and explore how you can have a difference. I'll leave you with just one statistic for now:
One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
Think about 4 women who are important to you...
Now imagine one of them being BEATEN and ABUSED in her own home.
IT's closer to you than you think.
This is what breakfast looks like the morning after a dessert auction... Andes Candies Cupcakes (with chocolate cream center!)
right: The Person of the Year award, presented to me by PAVE for my work against Domestic Violence.
below: Thanking all the amazing people who support PAVE with the efforts and donations throughout the year (trying not to cry!)
Sweet Thanks ~
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