10 Mar 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
It is often said that when one is in an abusive situation, all you have to do is leave. Speaking from experience, it is just not that simple. Go where? Report to whom? Domestic violence is more than physical. The emotional scarring lasts long after the physical wounds have healed.
What I’ve learned is that many people aren’t even aware that they’re in an abusive relationship. They don’t know what to look for, so they see no reason to leave. Then there are those who leave but are so broken in spirit, they are not in touch with their gifts and talents. They want to become self sufficient but don’t know how to get started.
I started a community organization – Walking Into A New Life (WIANL) – because I have a strong desire to educate others about the different forms of abuse and how to get out of an abusive situation using safe and informative measures. I want to teach women about taking their power back, assessing their talents and strengths, learning about microenterprise development and becoming entrepreneurs.
WIANL plans to implement its first microenterprise development courses this spring. I’m going into the community, talking with people in person to learn more about the concerns, needs and desires of our victims. As the CEO of my own business, JP Connections, and a domestic violence victim turned advocate, I offer myself as an example of taking some very negative experiences and turning them into a beacon of hope for others. I have obtained leadership positions in several organizations, locally and nationally, and plan to use these opportunities to assist others working within the community regarding various social issues.
(For more information on Walking Into A New Life, visit www.wianl.org.)