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In Power (and Purple) We Stand: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Haunted houses and deadly decorations indicate October is among us. While October harvests Halloween, it also highlights the all too real nightmare of domestic violence, honored by the color purple. The brutality of domestic violence impacts 1 in 4 women in their lifetime, a number on the rise during the pandemic.

"Why didn't she do more to fight back?" whispered some. "I don't want her here, she could bring drama." was the attitude of others. The isolation and judgement resulted from stigma both enables the abuser and makes it increasingly difficult for the one being abused to get out safely.

Violent relationships impact women in the 20 to 24 age group the most, with recent cases like headliners Gabby Petito and Maya Mercado ending in death at a tragically young age. My twisted fairy tale turned nightmare began in college, where I was wooed and won over by a seemingly sweet student in my Advertising class. Little did I know, lavish throws of romance and love would turn sinister, escalating to police and school involvement.

I share my story via poem below to dismantle stigma and provide a voice to the millions of women impacted today.

"If one has courage, nothing can dull the light that shines within."

- Maya Angelou

Big brown eyes

Dark secrets lie

They don't see the pain

The obstacles I overcame

They don't see where you choked me

Most see a polished pedigree

Or how you pulled me by my hair

God I wish I wasn't there

Or the time you threatened to burned my house

But begged to still be my spouse

First love gone dream to nightmare

Violence erupted sending me into despair

What glitters isn't always gold

Love doesn't put you in a choke hold

I hid in closets cowering in your presence

You evoked a most monstrous essence

I no longer fear you or any man

My strength no longer gentle as a lamb

I am much more than meets the eye

If I stayed with you I could have died

Another woman slain from the hands of a crazed coward

You used your masculinity as a deadly power

Not to protect your princess

But to send her into distress

Thrown into a wrench finishing school

But my mama didn't raise a fool

I overcame the pain and crossed that stage

Now you are merely a dark phase

Abuse ensued after my Miami trip for spring break

But I live here now, boss moves I'm proud I did take

I am not sure why God spared my life

When millions of women continue to suffer a similar strife

Now the past is a faded but present scar

A subtle reminder I have come very far

No valiant prince at the end of this story

Just an independent woman basking in her glory

Integrity, strength, and resiliency are what this situation has bestowed in me

Never again will I let someone dull my light

Try as they might, I will eternally fight

I am too beautiful and bright to diminish

Your reign of terror has officially finished

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