Last week I wrote about upcoming concerts I have with VocalPoint Chorus out of St. Paul, Minnesota. I'll be singing two pieces, however I'll also be there as an advocate for domestic violence awareness.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I'm proud and grateful to share with you that I've written a blog post for the National Domestic Violence Hotline about how I #SeeDV (how I see domestic violence).
Most days, but specifically in October, I am reminded that my life could look drastically different. My life and my awareness changed when I left a violent relationship--one in which there was not much fun at all, daily tasks were tainted with misgiving, mistrust, and insults.
I would wake up to criticism and crazy-making behavior that left me feeling worthless, terrified, and helpless.
Then I had one chance to leave, and I left because I knew I couldn't stay. It was in my weakest moment, the most terrifying time of my life that I had to make the strongest, most courageous decision I will ever make. And given the very unique opportunity I had to leave, I've chosen to speak out on behalf of other victims and survivors who cannot or choose not to speak out.
I can no longer count the emails, messages, and phone calls I've gotten from friends asking...
- My friend's husband beat her up...what do I do?
- I can't stay here any more, I'm terrified all the time. Where do I go?
- Can you help me?
Or simply saying...
- I read your personal page and I'm happy to say I also left.
Because as horrifying as it is to hear the stories that are coming out in the news right now, it is even more horrifying and terrifying to live in that situation.
If you or someone you know needs help, find a safe place and call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You can speak with an advocate and get help.
And yes, it does get better. Much, much better.