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.

IT. IS. WRONG.

There is no other way to state this.

More often than not when the words domestic violence is spoken or read we automatically think of a man being the aggressor. We think primarily of a he attacking a she. For many, domestic violence starts at home, during childhood. Such was my scenario. With my mother playing the role of aggressor.

Being submerged in physical violence was a way of being for me. So it was no surprise that I would grow into a woman that thought that physical violence was a “normal” way of expressing love.

It has taken me many years to fully love and forgive myself for staying with my ex as long as I did. I still work through self forgiveness, because I allowed my small children to be a witness to that level of trauma at such an early age. I forgive myself for being more afraid to leave than I was for protecting my children. It was hard learning to love myself in spite of the version of me I saw every day in the mirror. Today when I look in the mirror I now see a version of me that I never could exist.

We are powerful, beyond what our minds can fathom. I like to imagine a world where mothers, sisters, and daughters begin to take captive anything that disconnects them from the truth of their power. I see our men banding together with us to help break the silence and cycles of domestic violence oppression.
 

Here’s to you beautiful woman.

The voice of your pain can be heard all these miles away.
You are not invisible.
We are here.
Waiting.
On you.
Come as you are.

For I too have felt the bite of anger.
The thorned crown of oppression.
For I too have wondered why I lingered that day.
What have I done?
What am I doing?
Shhh…
We must be quiet.

I see you in the quiet.
My spirit is seated right next to you.
We are here to encourage.
No judgment.
No shame.
For you are I, and I am you.

Tanya

 

We celebrate a deep history of supporting the resilience of girls, young women, and their families.
Read Tanya’s Story.

Survivor, Advocate, and Parent: Why Talking about Domestic Violence Matters