“A piece of my confidence was taken away from me as a child every time I witnessed my biological father abuse my mom. Sometimes he’d hit her in front of my siblings and I. Most times he’d resort to yelling knowing that the sound of his voice would intimidate her.” ~Benita Tyler
I remember the night that changed my life forever. It happened at about the age of three. Father had come home and started another fight with mama. This time it went beyond the typical chain of events. That night he pulled her to our front porch and pushed her down the stairs. She tumbled down each one like a rag doll.
I was frightened and ran to the hall closet to hide for what seemed like an eternity in the dark. Hiding until I could no longer hear the rage and commotion. Afraid that if I came out, he could do the same to me.
I never looked at him the same way again…
That same night my mother was brave enough to get us out of the situation and into a safe place. But this isn’t the norm for others who, for many different reasons, find leaving more difficult. We were fortunate to have family members who took us in and that mom had the forethought to build up our savings.
As a result of seeing domestic violence as a child, I have a special place in my heart for others who are being physically and mentally abused. My desire is to raise awareness to end it and provide financial literacy training so that there are more global testimonies of domestic violence survivors who thrive.
While progress is happening, there is still much more work to do.
This month we recognize the national Domestic Violence Awareness campaign to bring attention to the signs of abuse and resources for victims. I am proud to support programs such Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment (a non-profit organization founded by Kalyn Risker Fahie), that are in the trenches everyday providing hope through support, counseling, and training.
Thinking of getting involved? Here’s how to start:
- Click the link above to learn more about SAFE programs and resources
- Follow MSKalyn and #StopDV
- Contact 1-800-799-7233 to reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline
You can also help SAFE win $100,000 by donating to their Purple Purse Campaign here.