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  • Survivor Stories, When Domestic Violence Goes to Work Conference


    We Need More than a Few Good Men

    May 17, 2011 --

    There are always “moving moments” at any PADV gathering. Survivors speak. We hear stories of hope recovered following tragic and dangerous beginnings. Sadly, most often, the menacing behavior has been at the hands of men – literally and figuratively. It is almost breathtaking when a survivor shares a story about a good man, or a few good men who played a role in their survival. At least it is for me. Such was the case recently when I attended PADV’s “When Domestic Violence Goes to Work” conference and heard a survivor’s story about how two male work colleagues met her at her car each morning to ensure her safe entry to work and escorted her back to her car each evening. They did this for years. They believed her. They feared for her. They helped to protect her. And, I suspect, unwittingly helped to restore her faith in “man”kind. I admit it; I […]

     

    Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Survivor Stories, Volunteering


    The Purple Ribbon

    The Purple Ribbon
    November 4, 2010 --

    Phew! What an October it was! Domestic Violence Awareness Month always leaves me feeling exhausted after events, presentations and many opportunities to educate the community about intimate partner violence. This October was no exception and by the time November rolled around this week, I was ready for a deep breath and a long nap. But then I met Kim* and was re-energized. The other morning, I went to vote at my local precinct and as I was walking in, a woman was walking out, proudly sporting her sticker and a purple ribbon on her chest. I smiled at her and let her know that I really liked her ribbon. She stopped me in disbelief and asked if I knew what it stood for. I told her that I am the volunteer director at PADV and that ending domestic violence was something I felt passionately about and she threw her arms […]

     

    Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Survivor Stories


    Break the Silence and Save Your Life

    Break the Silence and Save Your Life
    October 26, 2010 --

    This past week Christina Aguilera was spotted pumpkin shopping with a bruised lip. Of course the rumors and gossip ensued. There were several reports indicating that she and her estranged husband had gotten into an altercation. But sources close to her confirmed that there was no violence between the couple – she simply fell. Or did she? But it got me thinking. What woman wants to disclose to her friends and family, let alone the entire world, that she is a victim of intimate partner violence when our society is so quick to judge? Not too long ago, graphic photos of Rihanna’s bruised and swollen face, accompanied by reports that she was beaten by Chris Brown, were plastered all across the media. And what happened?   Maybe for the first five seconds, we were sympathetic. But then I heard the unthinkable. I heard people say, “What did Rihanna do to Chris […]

     

    Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Survivor Stories


    Daughter of Slain Mother Speaks Out About the Toll of Domestic Violence

    Daughter of Slain Mother Speaks Out About the Toll of Domestic Violence
    October 14, 2010 --

    Heather Mendenhall, daughter of Cathy Lorraine Mendenhall-McNaughton, attended PADV’s Silent No More Candlelight vigil last year in 2009, just  eight months after her mother was brutally murdered by her stepfather. At this year’s vigil held on October 7, 2010, Heather and her sister Michelle shared their mother’s story to help other families avoid the grief, loss and regret that they feel and probably always will feel — in hopes of helping other women like their beloved mother, Cathy.  Their story was incredibly moving and with Heather’s permission I share an excerpt below:    My mother, Cathy Loraine Mendenhall- McNaughton was a loving mother and friend … she was a beautiful woman both inside and out—warm-hearted with a generous spirit… and an insatiable personality.  On February 15th, 2009, my mother was murdered at the hands of her husband, Alec Bryant McNaughton. In May of 2006, my mother called and told me that […]

     

    Survivor Stories


    Survivor Spotlight: Billie

    Survivor Spotlight: Billie
    August 11, 2010 --

    My past speaks volumes about my current life. I am the product of three generations of domestic violence: my grandmother, my mother and myself. I met my abuser in high school. When I was 21, my partner changed and became a controlling and abusive man. One awful day, he took his belt and beat me with it, hitting me in the face and shattering my teeth. I thought my love for him would validate my love for myself. So I stayed – beaten, bruised but still in love. At times, I felt like the walking dead because my life was not my own. When I thought things couldn’t get any worse, God sent me a gift, the birth of my beautiful son. My son’s eyes were the windows to my troubled heart. I wish I could have stopped the violence that plagued and destroyed our home and our new family, […]

     

    Helping domestic violence survivors in metropolitan Atlanta since 1975.