When Domestic Violence Survivors Unite
Updated: Feb 12, 2021
On August 24, 2020 at Bentley's in Newark, NJ. The Beast Within hosted an event dedicated to raising awareness towards domestic violence. I decided to have it on "Kobe Day" which was a day after his 42nd birthday. It was my way of remembering him and paying tribute to how much he inspired me as a kid to be the best at what you do and there's nothing wrong with striving to be nothing less than that. I always said to myself I'm going to leave behind a legacy that meant more than money, fame and success but from the soul. I want to leave footprints on people's hearts. When I morphed media and healing into one platform - The Beast Within - was when I began to feel more complete and as I continued on the mission towards owning an organization that is dedicated to assist in the healing of survivors everywhere, I realized this is where my heart lies.
After merging the four tables once everyone was done eating our delicious dinner, we all grabbed chairs towards the last two hours of the evening and the conversation started flowing from there. Mary Love was the first to ease the tension by speaking first regarding spiritual healing and crystals while explaining what her services towards the raffle were. I did my best to read the room to see who was completely comfortable speaking before calling out a name. Tasha, who has her own organization called Women At A Stand, drove all the way from Maryland to show love for the event and introduced herself to the sisterhood where she was welcomed with open arms. I always make sure I ask newcomers if they're ready to share their survivor story. Bria, Mari, Trish and I continued adding positive commentary as we listened to every person who spoke their truth. Aliyah spoke up as a supporter and shook the block as she explained why even though she has not been through domestic abuse, raising domestic violence awareness towards the cause hits home for her. Diana then took out the time to thank her from across the table regarding being a great friend with a warm aura that women need more of.
What makes my heart the most happy is being told that I have created a safe space for domestic violence survivors. What truly fulfills my world is when survivors speak out for the first time. It takes so much strength and the ambiance has to be comfortable enough to allow women to be vulnerable with each other. When Bria and I first spoke out was back in 2017 when we decided to do an episode sharing our stories regarding what we dealt with. Fast forward and it is now 2020, 4 years later and we both have grown so much since the very first time we mentioned what we endured. I would love to get into more detail but this was such an intimate experience that majority of what was said, was not recorded and out of respect for the first time speakers, we didn't want the cameras rolling or share too much to the public.
As founder of The Beast Within (formerly Pain Into Power), I would like to thank everyone who came out, everyone who donated, everyone who spoke up. It is such an important topic that nobody ever really speaks about. I did not want this to be a sad event where we passed tissues along, I wanted to celebrate life after abuse, I wanted to celebrate freedom from narcissists, I wanted to celebrate the strength of a woman. Women who now own their own businesses, run their own households and teams, striving in their careers, finding self love and finding the other type of love. I also wanted to make sure my girls were beyond comfortable. People intentionally and unintentionally shun their friends from being able to come to them. I tell people who ask me, as a friend - what is it that they can do to help someone they know in that situation. My answer is to be patient and compassionate. Although you may not understand, make an effort to be there whenever they need you. Isolation is a very strong tactic in making women stay, feeling like they have nowhere to turn to. This is one of the main reasons victims do not come forward because they are already ashamed. Do not place judgment on anybody, do not make it seem as though you are superior or "better than" when a woman comes to you seeking help. Asking "why don't you just leave" or "why would you be in a relationship with a man that hits you" is the wrong way to go about it. Watch your words and watch how you trigger people. It is hard to open up about such a sensitive situation but that is why as the founder, I make sure I read up on ways to help, I take courses and classes to learn how to properly maneuver these events, I strategically do everything for a reason as to create an environment where everyone who attends can be themselves. We look forward to seeing you at the next event.