Years ago, when I started to host fundraisers for different charities I honestly had no idea the impact of domestic violence and how it would dramatically affect what I was doing. While I tried to familiarize myself with each charity I raise funds for . I think I was naive to think I could come in , host a fundraiser shake hands and smile for pictures and it be over.
Maybe because I wanted it to be that way and didn't want to get too "attached" to a cause. But sometimes we don't choose our cause, our cause chooses us. It seemed that the moment it became one of the many causes I supported, my long difficult education started.
Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Some of the people I'm closest to and admire the most shared with me their own incidents of domestic violence. I met women who's stories were so horrific it still shakes me to this day. My education reached its apex few years ago when I had a relative killed because she couldn't walk away from a abusive relationship. Last year, while recording a podcast, my co-host shocked me by sharing her own experience.
Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
I was naive to think this was something that was isolated. It was when so many friends came out to support the fundraiser and share with me their experiences. Professional women, strong women, women who showed me that this isn't a problem that has a set demographic. Look at the face of any woman be it friend, girlfriend, sister, wife, or mother. They all represent a domestic violence victims.
This Friday the 19th , three of those friends, three women I respect and admire will be sharing their stories of how they overcame domestic abuse and what they did to transform their lives. "Voices of Victory" - An Evening of Power To Heal Domestic Violence (6:30 -`10:30 at Phoenix Gallery 1829 South Halsted.) Proceeds from the event will benefit The House Of The Good Shepherd Shelter which provides a safe haven for domestic violence victims. Admission is $25
Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.
Jennifer Bridgeforth , the owner of Phoenix Gallery created the event
"The first time I went to file an order of protection against my ex, the case worker said that I was 'too pretty to get hit.' I knew what she was trying to do, but I realized that her statement was representative of the stereotypes of abuse. Everybody is too pretty to get hit, and if sharing my story helps them realize that, then I have become effective in my passion for positive change.”
Theresa Carter of The Local Tourist (and my co-host on the Charity Chat Podcast) will be for the first time publicly discussing her experience of being in an abusive relationship and how she overcame it.
Milwaukee author and playwright Jodine Basterash has experienced physical and emotional abuse starting at age 10. She details it all in her book "Your Rubys Worth" and in her stage play "Shattered But Not Broken".
Three women , three stories , three victories. This is not an evening of sadness but of hope and inspiration.
Voices of Victory is sponsored in part by Today's Chicago Woman, St Claire Vodka and 220 Communications. Guests will enjoy great food and beverages and an amazing silent auction. Items for auction include Bulls tickets, a new laptop, a trip to Las Vegas, and more. Please come and support this amazing cause.