Well since I have ventured into this land called blogging I may as well tell you something about myself and what drove me to do this in the first place. As I mentioned in my ABOUT Page, I am a survivor of domestic violence and so was my mother. I married at 18 and he began abusing me shortly afterwards, it lasted 9 long years. Being a Christian I had to learn to forgive him and that was a long and arduous journey. We have two children together so; not forgiving him wasn’t an option. I made my peace with him and now many years later we can hold a civilized conversation without malice.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in this country. According to the American Institute on Domestic Violence, some 5.3 million women are abused in this country each year. This figure is frightening, and I hope to change this figure. My goal in life is to help women free themselves of violent partners. Women have a right to be safe and secure in their relationships without fear of injury or pain from those they love. Children also deserve to grow up in a home filled with love, not hate. Domestic violence can leave a woman scarred, with no self-esteem or hope for the future. I was not the only victim in my family.
When I finally freed myself of the pain and suffering, I was left physically and emotionally scarred. If it were not for a wonderful group of people, I would not now be in a position to help other women. If I can help just one woman avoid or escape what I endured, then every moment I suffered will have been worth it. Helping these women is a dream I have had for a long time. I hope to take my law degree and make a difference. My dream is to open and run a domestic violence shelter, where I would be an advocate for these women and children that are so deeply troubled and show them that a life beyond abuse is possible.
In Alabama, there are no domestic violence shelters in the rural eastern parts of the state. This means that women in these areas, in order to escape abuse, are torn from their families and support mechanisms and brought to Birmingham. These women are left without any local family contact or means of love and support. This distance can mean the difference between success and failure during recovery. More shelters are needed in Alabama so that these women can remain close to their families and support systems.
If I am allowed to become an advocate, meaning if I get into law school, I would become not only an advocate for women, but also an advocate for a change in the way abusers are punished. Women need to know that once they are free, they are safe. The laws are different in every state regarding domestic violence. Sadly, they are not in favor of the victim. Some women become victims twice, once while being abused, and second, when that abuser is freed, and they then take the life of someone who once loved them. This violence occurs far too often and needs to change.