A friend and I recently had a conversation. We were talking of past relationships and sharing our likes and dislikes. We talked of how we desire to constantly be a better person, first for ourselves, which in turn, helps us be better people to others. I love my friend. He is raw and unapologetic about who he is, as well as his views about life. Although we differ in our views on some things, domestic violence is one view that we both share the same sentiments about.
I never knew there was an entire month dedicated to Domestic Violence Awareness. What started as a “Day of Unity” in 1981 quickly evolved into an entire week of events, to what we now know as Domestic Violence Awareness month. I find it rather ironic that in school we all learn about the celebrations that education outlets think we must learn and celebrate. At 15, I became a victim of domestic violence, and at just a few months old, my own daughter was witnessing it firsthand. No one talked about domestic violence, and therefore I hid my embarrassment hindering me from the possibility of escaping the situation I had found myself in.
Before I traveled to Washington, DC for the United State of Women Summit I wondered if I would be star struck by being in the presence of the President, Barack Obama and the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Then I found out that Oprah would be there too and I knew that I would be very excited because I would be in the same space as the woman I have had a desire to meet since I was sixteen years old.
Sisterhood – is it real, is it possible? Today, we continue sharing the writing of young women as we again call attention to the existence of the silent epidemic of violence against girls and young women raging across the United States – one that injures, demeans, oppresses and marginalizes girls from coast to coast. And yet, somehow, pushed by their will to survive, the courage to conquer another day and the resilience, grit and fortitude that is born out of determination to thrive they stand tall.
Today, we continue sharing the writing of young women as we again call attention to the existence of the silent epidemic of violence against girls and young women raging across the United States – one that injures, demeans, oppresses and marginalizes girls from coast to coast. And yet, somehow, pushed by their will to survive, the courage to conquer another day and the resilience, grit and fortitude that is born out of determination to thrive they stand tall.
The greatest privilege of my role as President of The National Crittenton Foundation is the opportunity to be led by young women and women whose journey as children began marked by the kind of exposure to violence and adversity that most would deem unimaginable. If seen in a movie you would think it is fiction and yet, it reflects the real life experience of many many girls in this land of opportunity.
On Monday March 21, 2016 I spoke at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Meeting (UN), at the United Nation’s New York Headquarters. Me, the girl from downtown Charleston, SC, who at one time did not believe in herself enough to share her voice with anyone.
Sometimes I can’t believe this is life. I think it finally came together on a Saturday night when I was introducing BOLD to the folks at the 5th Annual National Crittenton Fundraiser in DC. It’s such a lovely event and being there put our last meetings in perspective:
We have a long history as advocates for young women and girls
- 135 Stories
- 135 Years
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
- BOLD Program
- Commercial Sex Trafficking
- Crittenton Family of Agencies
- Foster Care
- Girls at the Margin
- Guest Post
- Juvenile Justice
- National Girls Initiative
- Opportunities for Girls
- Two Generation Approaches
- Young Moms