Monday, October 21, 2013

Realizing you are not alone

Domestic Violence occurs to 1 in 4 people. This is a scary statistic by any means.

I still remember the weekend that I realized I was not alone as a survivor of domestic violence. Another GS leader and I came up with an idea to plan a workshop where Girl Scouts in our county and surrounding counties could learn about self-defense.  I believe it was 2001 when we planned the Self Defense workshop at the Renaissance Center in Dickson.  We gathered together a karate instructor, a Tae Kwon Do instructor, Women are Safe shelter counselors, and planned clothing donations and a service project involving hygiene kits for the residents at Women Are Safe. 

All of us took part in the defense sessions by the karate and Tae Kwon Do teachers and learning how to get away from an attacker.  The Women Are Safe shelter counselors wanted to talk to the girls (6th grade and up) about date rape and how no always means no.  So, we voted and allowed that session to go forward but all adults were in the back if they wanted to observe.  What was slated to be a 30 minute session, turned into nearly 2 hours of discussion between the girls, the parents and the counselors.

I stood in the back of the room watching my troop and wondering what was going through my daughter's mind.  I remember my daughter raising her hand and asking the counselor how long does it take for people to get over being hit, because my mom is still afraid of my dad.  I started crying in the back of the room and was immediately surrounded by 2 other moms who confided in me that they were abused too.  We all promised each other that we would educate and protect our daughters. I vowed to teach my daughter as much as I could.

For a long time, I allowed the perceived shame of being abused to keep me from sharing my story.  I slowly started telling others about what I lived through.I knew that night that I had to tell my story and quit bottling it up. I never imagined I would be writing about it in 2013, but God protected me all those years and brought me through everything.  I give God the glory for sending others to stand with me and support me on my journey.

If you need to reach a local shelter or the Domestic Violence Help Line, Please visit