I remember being threatened. I remember being slapped in the face. I remember being punched repeatedly. I remember a knife being pulled on me. I remember the night I tried to fight back but gave up and ran all the way home - all the way from 23rd & Vanpelt to 32nd & Euclid. I remember when he came to my job at the phone center store and threatened me in front of my coworkers. I remember the security guard, Mr. Smitty, coming to my defense. And I remember being stalked when I broke up with him. I remember it all as if it happened yesterday. Thankfully my horror story ends there, but it could have been different. If it wasn't for God's grace and mercy, it would have been different. Though my heart was far from Him, God was still watching over me. [Share your survival testimony and win a free book!]
Inspired by my mother, a DV survivor who advocates in the church and community for women and children in crisis, in 2007 I completed a training course with the NJ Coalition to End Domestic Violence and became a certified Domestic Violence Response Team Advocate. Several years later I published The Writing Was On The Wall (The Early Warning Signs of Dating Abuse) and Words Will Never Hurt Me (Childhood Memories of Domestic Violence). [Your story must be 300 words or more and must begin with the words "I remember."] My mission is to spread awareness about dating and domestic violence by sharing resource & referral information, as well as my own story of survival through poetry readings, workshops, lectures, and one-on-one.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The National Hotline for Domestic Violence is 1-800-799-9090. The National Number for Dating Violence is 1-866-331-9474. You can also text "loveis" to 22522. Find out more at www.ncadv.org, www.loveisrespect.org, www.njcedv.org, and www.womenagainstabuse.org.
And I am always here if you need me. [Post your previously unpublished testimony* in the comment section below.]
*I DIDN’T KNOW THE SIGNS
He was big and dark like a teddy bear,
I fell for all his lines,
I thought he really loved me,
I didn’t know the signs.
The first time that he hit me,
He quickly apologized,
He even cried and his tears were real,
I didn’t know the signs.
Next time around I’ll be careful,
I’ll be patient and I’ll be wise,
I’ll think with my head and not my heart,
Because now I know the signs.
From THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALL, Page 23
Poetricia Publishing © 2013 www.ncadv.org
[*No book excerpts please.]