I am honored that WREG Channel 3’s Markova Reed featured me as the weekly Bright Spot for my work to make sure that men are included in the advocating of ending violence against women. I am a seven year survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. I have always believed that while men are viewed as the problem regarding domestic violence, I also believe they play a large roll in helping to end it.
When I started our nonprofit, Walking Into A New Life, Inc., I wanted to make sure that people knew that part of my courage for starting it in the first place was due to the support and encouragement of a man. I had spoken a few places about my abuse, but hadn’t formally put anything in place. This man did not have a yearning passion to work in this field. He didn’t have a lot of education or clinical background on the subject. However, he took an interest in helping me build a website, develop a logo and even provided input on creating the name. As I was beginning to learn more about myself, I began to question why I made the relationship choices I did. I wondered if there were other men who’d been victimized. I wondered if there were men who were regretful about the way they treated women. I questioned why the man I met had taken an interest in helping me without wanting something in return. And, if he was legitimately a genuine soul, was it possible that other men like him existed. After completing a bit of internet searching, I would find an organization and one man in particular to be intriguing, engaging and passionate about the work-Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call To Men.
After spending a couple of months of calling his headquarters, I was told by his Executive Assistant (who’d learned my voice) that he would be coming to Tunica, Ms and would make a stop in Memphis to LeMoyne Owen College. This was great news, especially since this wasn’t a part of the country that he traveled. I had no car at the time, and I had only been out of my abusive environment for less than a year. But, I rode the bus as far as it would take me and walked the rest of the way to the college. After his presentation, I made my way to him and when I told him who I was, he laughed and said that his assistant said I may coming to meet him. I told him about my desire to understand more about men being involved in this work, and we’ve been friends ever since. He has been the keynote speaker for our organization twice, and he continues to provide me with encouragement and support as I move forward in my journey.
As for the man who encouraged me to follow my passion and purpose- well, he and I got married last year! That is another blog for another time. But, I am proof that business and healthy relationships can be blended into a beautiful marriage. Now, we work together in business and in marriage as I continue to grow my speaking and writing platform.
Here’s the link for the Bright Spot feature story: Group Uses Men to Stop Other Men from Committing Domestic Violence