I truly believe that survivors of DV should be celebrated throughout the year, not just during the month of October. When someone in an unhealthy relationship experiences abuse on a daily basis, they are in survival mode. This mode of “autopilot” thinking can last for years, long after the relationship has ended. They get up, go to work, take care of the kids, take care of the family. Chances are, their friends and family aren’t even aware their loved one is being abused.
People that have known me for years that have heard me speak publicly about my experience, remark that they would never have known that I went through so much. They also remarked that I always had a smile on my face. In reality, what is a person in an unhealthy relationship supposed to look like? We are not always the posters you see of a woman or man with physical bruises. Hence, the Survivor Movement. This movement is made up of women and men who are brave enough to share their story publicly to inspire others to do the same.
In October, I had a really busy day with being a guest on Hot 97, as well as a “Vibe With the Author” event later in the day. It was a pleasure to join Lisa Evers on popular and nationally syndicated radio station Hot 97 as a panelist. The show was entitled, “Relationship on the Rocks – Do Reality Shows Desensitize Us to Relationship Violence?” My answer is an unequivocal “YES!”
The other panelists were an eclectic mix of people who are passionate about their beliefs, although I had some issues with what some of them were saying. But, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, right?
I found a down-to-earth kindred spirit in Kelly Ramos (4th from the left), who is a staunch advocate against domestic violence. He is also the founder of the Domestic Violence Action Group dedicated to ending domestic violence through research, education, advocacy, and by encouraging society to think critically and openly discuss the issues and causes of domestic violence. He was inspired to make a change as a result of the death of his sister, who was murdered three years ago by her abuser. It is not easy to inspire change when you experience the death of a loved one. He and his brother push forward to educate the community, inspire men to be part of the solution to ending domestic violence.
Listen to the show!
Later on in the day, I had a phenomenal experience meeting women in my community at the East Orange Public Library who shared their experience with unhealthy relationships. These women talked openly and honestly about their experiences. I was truly humbled to be in their presence.