Breaking the Cycle of Violence

This week’s summer showcase post tells a difficult but important story about how one woman is using what she learned through her own personal tragedy to make sure her children, and children like hers get the care they need to break the cycle of domestic violence.  Thanks for your bravery, Heather!  For more information about Heather’s work, visit the Generation Hope website.

On the evening of March 11, 2011 my life and the lives of my children were changed forever.

I was brutally attacked, strangled, and beaten so badly by my ex-husband that friends and neighbors didn’t recognize me. It was highly publicized by the media because my injuries were so graphic. During my ex-husband’s sentencing hearing the county attorney stated “that it was the worst beating she had seen in 11 years of doing domestic violence prosecution and that I had looked worse than some victims in homicide cases she had prosecuted.” I was lucky to be alive.

Unfortunately, our children were all present during the attack and watched their father beat me, and then kick and stomp on my face repeatedly. They could do nothing but scream in terror and beg their father to stop hurting me. They were 1, 3, and 5 at the time. At some point during the attack my five year old daughter knocked on a neighbor’s door and they came to our aid saving us physically from the attack.

We had survived….physically. And yet we were so broken emotionally that making it through the day was difficult for all of us. I was forcing myself to take my kids out to do things to get their mind off of things but inside we were all suffering. My children were exhibiting behaviors that were damaging to them and I could see that they needed help I was not able to give them so that they could cope with the damage that was caused from witnessing domestic violence. Continue reading

Shop Your Wardrobe: Breaking the Bind of Unconscious Shopping

By Jill Chivers

Thank you Maureen for creating this virtual stage and handing me a virtual microphone! I love your small voices – big message initiative!

My name is Jill Chivers and my big message is that life is to be lived – not spent. If you have a problem with overshopping, over charging and overlooking what life is really about because you have an addiction or compulsion to shop – there is a way out.

In December 2009, I started an extreme challenge – to have a “year without clothes shopping.”  A year where I didn’t buy any clothes, shoes, handbags, earrings, belts, in fact no new adornments for the body at all. This was an extreme challenge for me because I had had a sudden jolt of awareness that my shopping had started to spiral out of control. I was spending far too much money on stuff I didn’t need, and I wasn’t using all the gear I already had. Continue reading