When I started the Beginning Over Foundation in 2005 in memory of my sister Robin who lost her life at the hands of her abusive husband, I never imaged I’d spend so much time inside a courtroom.
My vision was to provide a place for healing and support to women struggling with domestic abuse, but I quickly realized that we needed to do more.
I saw women drawn into long courtroom battles, fighting for their kids and their livelihoods after struggling for so long just to stay alive.
So I dared to do something I never imagined I could do: stand up and give them a voice.
I’m not a lawyer and I don’t have any legal training, but I got my hands on every law book I could find and spent hours researching what role I could play.
Now as a peer advocate, I’m doing more than just talking about supporting these women; I am there with them, standing shoulder to shoulder on the front lines.
I’m proud to say that in every court case where the Beginning Over Foundation has argued, we’ve won (and I’ve gone up against some really powerful attorneys!).
And as the 2012 Local Lady GODIVA Honoree, I now have the opportunity to empower even more women so that they can start to heal, because our work isn’t confined to the courtroom.
We help embolden women before they testify by helping them prepare physically and mentally. And help women afterwards return to living a life they want to live.
Domestic violence is not a “pretty” issue. But the more we talk about it, the more people will accept that it cannot be just a private family matter. If we don’t talk about it, we’ll never change it.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I would like to invite you to join us in remembering some of the women who inspire the Foundation’s work every day.
Thank you listening to my story. I hope you’ll share how you’ve ‘dared to’ in the comments below.