I have lived it, I have studied it, and I have worked it 2013 VOF Week 2
Born into a family with traditional values and two blue-collar, hardworking parents, I grew up in a rural Midwestern small town. I have an older brother. We always had a cat or a dog as a family pet. I actually lived in the house with a white picket fence! I never planned for my life to turn out the way it has.
20 years ago, I was a broken-hearted, depressed, and divorced mom with four teenagers. I had no job, no income, no car, and was living in a house with a mortgage payment of $1000 per month. Despite the overwhelming odds stacked against me, I have worked my way through the dark days of trauma to living a joy- filled life! Motivated by my passion to prevent and/or eliminate not only domestic violence but all forms of violence, I earned a graduate degree while developing my career simultaneously.
I have accumulated a vast collection of various experiences in domestic violence through working closely with local, state, national and international agencies/NGOs with their concerns, issues, questions and problems related to domestic violence (and all forms of violence). My expertise culminates in a wealth of information and knowledge, along with skills and strategies, which I am willing and ready to share with the world.
I have lived it, I have studied it, and I have worked it! Domestic violence, that is….
• I survived a 17 year abusive marriage, and lived to tell about it.
• At the age of 52, I earned a Masters of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies degree studying gender, culture, and history. I intensively studied gender, culture and history in order to better understand the how and why of domestic violence.
• For the past 20 years, I have developed a career working in an empowerment theory based, community non-profit organization whose mission is to serve anyone affected by domestic violence.
This work has enabled me to meet the most wonderful and interesting people and to travel to the most wonderful and interesting locations: from Forks, WA (yes, the Twilight Saga Land!) to Vermillion, South Dakota, to Atlanta, GA, to Minsk in Belarus. I really have become a globe trotter! Everywhere I go, I find other women who have lived similar lives, have had similar experiences, and have similar aspirations. This motivates me to meet more people and see more geographical areas.
Entering World Pulse and the Voices of Our Future Citizen Journalist Program was so appealing! It creates a collaboration of my desire to combine my writing with my professional expertise and my personal passion to prevent, intervene, and eliminate all forms of violence against women in connection to the global world of women. All aspects of my life are synchronizing, all the stars are aligning, my intuition is vibrating, my voice is singing, and my body is dancing!
I am living my mission: Inspire others to live free of violence, with joy and out loud!