I’ve given this a lot of thought, public speaking that is. Not only public speaking, but public speaking about a very taboo subject, domestic violence. How do I reach out? How do I teach what I have learned? How can my message be different from others that have spoken before me, and those that will speak after me?
I remember when I was going to court for my ex-husband’s arraignment: I was alone, no advocate, no emotional support, just me and an officer from our county’s domestic violence task force. I sat in the back of the court room, my black eye fresh (and visible for about six months after the incident). At the time the officer told me that approximately 7% of women in my county actually leave for good, and that many of those that returned would die at the hands of their abuser. I wanted to be one of those 7%, and beyond that I wanted to make a difference in my children’s lives.
Now, 14 years later, I have made a difference, my children are just about grown, with a few of them successfully entering adulthood. Through out those years stories have emerged, the truth of what happened when I thought my abuser was the best father in the world … the abuse that my children also endured during this horrific time of our lives.
With big dreams and a little encouragement, my plan is to tell our story, through writing my memoirs and public speaking, to make others aware of the psychological make up of someone willing to beat on anyone smaller than him.