I am not sure there are enough words of thanks to express my gratitude for the generous gift from this organization. COVID-19 restricted my income and the bills for my daughter and I began to pile up. We were able to secure some help for food and qualified for WIC but assistance in covering other day to day expenses are scarce. BTSADV is truly a blessing in aiding those of us who are still recovering from our past abusers. When I received the confirmation that a payment towards my rent was made I was crying tears of joy at the act of generosity. In this crazy world it is comforting to know there is still some good.
I love all that this organization has to offer! DV can affect not only the victims but families of victims as well so I am glad that BTSADV offers help for victims, families of victims and survivors! It really feels good to be able to contribute with helping people know that they are not alone!
I have been a volunteer with BTSADV for just over 2 years. I love the fact that I can use my story of abuse for good. It is such a blessing to be part of the process and see people break their silence and find their voice again. BTSADV is such a special place with a very special group of people. I couldn’t imagine volunteering anywhere else.
I am currently a full-time blog writer for BTS. I have been with BTS for almost a year, and plan on staying for as long as they will have me. The team is wonderful, everyone is tight-knit, welcoming, and passionately work together towards a common goal... breaking the silence against domestic violence. Kristen, the founder of BTS is inspirational, hard-working, and somehow is able to juggle so many things, all while maintaining a relationship with each volunteer. BTS has made a difference in my life, and the life of so many others. As both a survivor and a volunteer- Whether you are in need of support or want to provide it, have a survivor story to tell or would like to write someone else's, or simply want to take your experience and use it to help others in your same position, I highly recommend getting involved in BTS.
Thank you to Break The Silence for Domestic Violence for the BTSADV Scholarship. This scholarship will help me explore who I am and find my strength. Writing the scholarship essay was emotionally difficult, but helped me work thru more of my struggles and issues and gain perspective on where I was, where I am and where I want to be. Thank you for the support and recognition. Sean
BTSADV is doing amazing work to help support women change their lives. I am a living testament to this. I am a non-traditional student and survivor who has received a scholarship thanks to their generosity. They are committed to helping people break their own cycles of violence. I am honored to be a part of such a strong community and hope BSTADV can gain momentum in their goals of breaking the silence. Thank you BTSADV you have helped me tremendously!
BTSADV has been a god send. After our daughter died we struggled to move forward and with BTSADV they help us connect with families that understand what we are going through, the pain and the understanding that assisted us to move forward through this most difficult time. I appreciate all that they have done to reach out to us and give us support throughout these last couple of months. Our daughter has not Received justice at this time so it has been amazing to have BTSADV just a message or call away for support. Our lives have changed and everyday has been a struggle since Shaina Bigby’s death. There aren’t the right words to convey our appreciation to Break the silence Against Domestic Violence. Thank you the Bigby Family ❌⭕️❌⭕️
The Survivor Retreats are amazing! They help survivors to connect with other survivors. The Survivor Retreat was the missing piece in my recovery process. I believe so in the mission of Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, Inc., I became a volunteer myself!
This is the most amazing and beneficial nonprofit organization I have ever seen!
BTSADV is a wonderful community with supportive members -- they go above & beyond by providing services such as scholarships, holiday drives, healing retreats, and other programs! I'm grateful to have found BTSADV through their Angel Scholarship program and am thankful for having the opportunity to volunteer with them as a writer and to join them in a lifelong sisterhood!
This organization literally saved my life. The emotional support and care they gave after losing my daughter to domestic violence was life saving. The Angel family retreat helped jump start my healing and has given me a purpose to live. My daughter's legacy lives on because of the work they do.
It was two years after my 22 year old daughter was murdered on Thanksgiving night. I was struggling to exist in a world without my child. I stumbled across this Facebook page with a young woman sharing her story of abuse and how she would not be silenced ever again. She had so many things in common with my daughter. Everything from her love of pageants to making others laugh and smile. I shared my daughter's tragic story with the founder. Little did I know that we were meant to meet, we were meant to become family, we were meant to join forces and change the world ...one victim at a time. She held my hand and led me out of the darkness of grief and helped me begin my healing process. And now we share our Angel's story with the world and empower victims to begin their own personal journey to healing. My daughter thought she could leave tomorrow but her tomorrow never came. Love, hugs and prayers from Mama Tammy
I loss my sister to domestic violence & have been so loss without her. I needed support. To be around others that had been through the same loss to be able to share my sisters story without judgement. BTSADV held an Angel retreat and I feel they have save me tremendously. It was the best decision I have ever made. The retreat has made a positive impact on me. I could get past the horror of what had happened to my sister. I was very depressed. The pain will never go away but talking openly about it was therapeutic. It’s the beginning of some type of healing. BTSADV support and love was amazing. I highly recommend it. Best group out there. Thank you so much for what you have done. Words are not enough describe the impact BTSADV has made in my life. Had I not found this group I don’t know where I would be.
As a full time teacher, part time graduate student, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend; I find myself stretched thin. However, I often remind myself that while I was married to my now ex-husband and abuser, I was not able to be a full time teacher, attending graduate school was not an option, nor being a sister, aunt, daughter or friend as he did not allow me to contact and/or reach out them or allow others to reach out to me. So, despite feeling stretched thin, I am grateful that I have an opportunity now to spend time teaching, attending graduate school, and being there for my family and friends when I am needed most. The money awarded to me through the Angel Scholarship has been used to cover the cost of one graduate class. One graduate class among the 18 classes, not including internship and practicum, that are required for my graduate program in School Counseling. The power of one class that was covered is truly a remarkable gift. One class that someone felt I needed to begin my journey as graduate student. Therefore, ensuring that my experience as a domestic violence victim, now survivor, will be asset to a future school district and the student's there by continuing my education beyond teaching in the classroom. In fact, one of my professor's said it best - "You are an Ambassador of Hope." We can all be an Ambassador of Hope. As I continue to work hard and save the money I need to continue my graduate program, I will be able to graduate. I am grateful for the extended financial generosity.
Have you ever found yourself in the darkest abyss of abuse and did not know how to get out. Your eyes search and search for light for a hint of any hope when suddenly there is a pinpoint hundreds of miles away. You stretch, reach and feel yourself rising and you kick a swim your way towards it. As you draw nearer towards that pinpoint it seems to get bigger and bigger. Suddenly you break the surface of the water and bump into a little lifeboat. You drag your body over the side and feel a sense of gratitude for the safety of the boat--for now. But you keep your eyes focused on the pinpoint that has now turned into a beam and you paddle towards it. The Beam is strong and is guiding you towards a safe harbor. You feel REAL hope and light and love. You are free from the Abyss of Abuse and now can see the full Beam of Light--the Beacon of Light! You are safe. You are welcomed. You are surrounded by hundreds of people who have an unfortunate commonality of abuse but together have a fortunate sisterhood. This is Break the Silence Against DV sisterhood. Thank you for standing and breaking the Silence. We all must--thank you for helping us to lead the way.
I met my abuser in 2009, nd I have to say he fooled me, I was so blind until January 2018, he had beat me so bad inside and out I turned to a suicide attempt. And because I came from a broken home, I was almost use to it (my father beat me, until I was put in CPS custody) I was so numb from the world I never saw my kids cries for help, but when I lost my 3 kids to CPS for domestic violence, I knew it was god giving me another chance at being a MOM, but i knew it was going to be rough, 9 years of my life and i was completely trapped even after I decided to leave, I felt trapped. I didn't know my left from my right, never had money, no sitter, no friends, no transportation, no one to turn to, homeless with 2 girls and a bby boy, but I could say this I have never seen a smile so big, on my kids face, you couldn't tell us nothing, we were free. Until I finally asked for help, I was so scared and nervous, all my life, I've had the short end of the stick, but I refused to feel sorry for myself any longer!! With assisstance from CPS me my kids got housing and I got a job, but then came bills, and again, I had no clue what to do!! I had no money management skills, but I figured it out....that was until my job lost all funding and couldn't pay us no more, unemployment here I go! Really didn't get much, bearly made enough for the bills, I had no work experience, so finding a job, was really hard, and my communication skills were shy. My kids saw the stress, It was going to be my kids first Christmas with NO fighting, arguing, and I felt like I ruined it! My oldest sat me down and told me not to worry, as long as they get a Christmas tree and some peace and quiet, they'll take it! But it only made motivated, I didn't know how to work the internet too much. Im just glad I took the time to learn. I didn't know how I was going to make things happen for my 3 kids. But I did know god was leading to tell my story, then the perfect words were right in front of me. "BREAK THE SILENCE" thats just what i did! I also asked for help and guidance and thats just what me and my kids got, they helped me, Christmas day, I was the BEST MOM in the world. But it wasn't just Christmas, it also gave me some breathing room, to take care of our bills, and most importantly, myself!!! The stress of it all was a tremendous weight off my shoulders. Lastly your staff is amazing, they actually care, the calls not to check in with me about statuses, but to check on me, the late night emails (due to me only having time at night) I could never repay the amount of time they put in, but me and my kids just like to say thank you for everything HOLIDAYS OF HOPE!! You rock! Now, I still have a long road of healing, but this time, IM IN CHARGE...and all it took was for me to BREAK THE SILENCE
I had the honor of being chosen for the Grants of Hope program through BTSADV this year. There are many programs and resources that help victims of domestic violence leave. But none like BTSADV that truly understand how hard it is to pick up the pieces long after you're out. For 13 years I endured physical, and devastating mental and financial abuse. I left the relationship with three children by my abuser, in debt and with nothing to my name. For 7 more years after that I continued to struggle. This year I turned 40 years old and became deeply depressed about my financial situation. I have a job. I survived domestic violence. I got out. Why am I so stagnant? My mindset, my confidence, my decision-making skills had all been damaged. I was still living like I was a victim. I was just surviving to get to the next month or week or day. When I applied to the Grants of Hope program I knew I needed help, and not just financial help. I needed to change the way I thought about myself, and my children's and my future. The program made me face my financial situation head on, week after week. I am so grateful for the grant and all of the tools and support this program gave me, and most of all the wonderful people that run and support this organization.
Here's my story:
On the night of November 15, 2011, my children and I were standing on the doorstep of my parents’ home with a few garbage bags and laundry baskets containing everything I was able to grab from our home. I almost turned around and went back. I was so ashamed of my situation. I had been quiet about my abuse with my family, friends, coworkers, and had tried my best to hide it from my children until the night I left.
My ex-husband was excessively jealous throughout our marriage. He was envious of the relationships I had with friends and family, and over time worked to sever every one of them. He downplayed anyone close to me, was quick to point out their faults and flaws, constantly made me feel like people were against me, and ultimately succeeded in making me feel as if no one else really cared about me at all. He outright lied about friends and family to discredit them in my eyes. I met him when I was 19. By the time I was 23 my entire circle of family and friends was broken.
In the beginning, we argued constantly about his controlling and jealous behavior, behavior I did not recognize was not love. I had never been exposed to any type of abuse growing up, and I had no idea how to deal with it. I felt it was something that could be fixed. When the physical abuse started, I fought back. I never thought of myself as a domestic violence victim. In my mind it was a fight, not abuse. He was 6’5” and over 200 hundred pounds. I lost every time.
During these fights, there were days I succeeded in making him leave, only to wake up that night to him at my bedroom window, or sitting outside of my apartment for hours waiting for me to come out the next morning. He would pop up randomly where I lived, at my job, anywhere he knew I would be. I slowly began to realize that this was not going to be a relationship that I was just going to simply walk away from, even if I wanted to. Instead of reaching out for help, I withdrew further into myself, and closer to him. I was spending all of my time with him, not going to class, and even failing school. In my head, I became an island.
My abuser didn’t physically assault me every day. In fact, there were long periods, sometimes months at a time, with no physical abuse. He did not physically assault me regularly because he did not need to. He had numerous ways to control me and physical abuse was just one of his many tools. I was financially and emotionally manipulated early on, and it didn’t take long for me to stop challenging him in any way I thought would lead to physical violence. I had objects thrown at me, my hair pulled out, and was often held behind closed doors with my mouth covered until I couldn’t breathe or call for help. Violence was always followed by dramatic, seemingly sincere apologies and honeymoon periods that made me feel the relationship was getting better. Although I forgave him many times over, none of his apologies took away the permanent fear that was planted in me from these episodes.
I am sorry to say this lasted for 13 years. I had three children with my abuser. During that time span we moved 10 times. The most devastating move was when I followed him to another state hundreds of miles from my family. Every day with him was unpredictable. Sometimes I would come home to notices on the door for utilities and rent that had not been paid that he said he had taken care of. Other times he would disappear for days with no contact, using the only car we had and leaving me without transportation. His return from these hiatuses again resulted in arguments and physical altercations.
It took a long time for me to accept my marriage was not salvageable. When I did, I had no idea how I was going to leave. Where would I go? Would I be safe? If I stayed with family, would they be safe? What about my kids? I didn’t have answers to all of these questions, but I knew I had to go.
The first few months after I left for good were some of the scariest months of my life. I received nonstop threatening text messages and phone calls at work. Even after securing a protection order my apartment and my parent’s home were broken into and burglarized several times. Things were stolen off of my front porch. I woke up to flat tires. I made police reports but I could never prove it was him. When a warrant was issued for his arrest for harassing communications, he left the state, and I was finally able to breathe and stop looking over my shoulder. It has been a long road to recovery from those years with him, but I have been able to slowly work toward a much happier, healthier and more stable life. Most importantly, I am safe, and living free from domestic violence.
I seen the ad for grants of hope on Facebook one day, decided hey what do I have to loose. I filled out the application and weeks went by never heard anything. Then all of a sudden I had an amazing conversation with Sheila, we clicked instantly and the process had started. Now I am trying to figure out how I can ever repay you for the amazing knowledge and kindness everyone has shown my family and myself.
Here is my story:
It was late and I woke him up, I knew I should not have done that, but I needed the sixty dollars I loaned him so that I could pay the eclectic bill tomorrow. A huge fight started and we ended up in the hallway with his hands around my throat. That is where it all began and how I wish that is where I let it end. Of course days go by and he acts as if nothing happens, brings me flowers and even bought me a ring a few months later. I was so young and naïve I had no idea this is not what love was supposed to be like.
Weeks go by and we find out we are pregnant! How exciting, we start picking out names together and we both know it is a girl. Just a hunch I guess, we picked the name Zayna, it means Beautiful. This is where things really start to go south. I was so tired during this pregnancy, and any time I would take a nap and did not respond to his text right away I would wake up to horrible nasty ones. Calling me names like “Stupid C*nt” He thought that I was cheating on him or I don’t know what.
Later that month we had gotten into a physical fight and he had tried taken the ring off my finger. I ended up in the Hospital. He was arrested and stupid me, let him come home after he got out of jail. I even called his PO begging for him to be able to come home for the holidays. Sometimes I still think back and wonder if I had stayed away from him if our baby would still be alive.
The end of January it was the worst it had ever been, I replay it in my head all the time. It is like a movie and I cannot find the remote to press stop or the cord to unplug it. I was basically a rag doll that he just tossed around the whole room, lifeless. Once I finally got him locked out of the apartment he sat outside the front door and slit his wrist from his hand all the way up to his elbow. Texting me the whole time saying that he was bleeding for me.
The next few weeks were sort of fuzzy for me at this point, but on Valentine’s Day we had a doctor’s appointment to hear the baby’s heart beat for the first time. The doctor could not find it, Okay no worries we are going to do an ultra sound and see what is going on. The look of DOOM flushes over the technicians face. She did not even have to say anything. They were able to give me an approximant date on when the baby’s heart stopped beating. Guess what? It lined up with the huge fight where I was tossed around like a rag doll.
I let this monster back into my life and now our baby is dead, what have I done?
The doctor wanted to schedule a DNC, but I wanted to go home and allow my body to do what it was meant to do naturally. Finally on February 22nd, I woke up in horrible pains, Labor was starting. I went down starts to wake my abuser thinking maybe he may have even the slightest amount of sympathy in his body and he could help me through such a hard time. Unfortunately, we ended at the same place we began, with his hands around my throat. Then all of a sudden I feel a huge puddle at my feet, my water had broke.
I grabbed my son, who was two at the time, and we locked ourselves in the bathroom. I called my mom and a friend who was going to help me thru the process of delivering my baby. My mom called the cops and they came to deal with Mykel, my abuser. Originally I was supposed to put a trash bag on the toilet to catch everything that came out, but I was bleeding so much I ended up getting in the bathtub. It was like a scene in a horror movie, my horror movie. The cops kept asking me questions and wanting me to come downstairs, at first I was able to do that, but finally I told them if you want to talk to me you can come up here and see what I am dealing with.
Once they all left I had to collect what I had passed and give it over to the coroner, who was also parked outside my door. I never got to bury her, never really got to say goodbye. That was ten years ago and to this day I still wonder what I could have done differently to have my baby in my arms. But that also means she would be able to be in his arms as well. She is safer where she is, as much as it hurts me.
Mykel never really got more than a slap on the wrist for anything that he did to me. Unfortunately, that is the way things worked ten years ago with Domestic Violence. I think that is why I kept quiet about so much of it; nothing was ever taken seriously so why should I keep reporting it. Things seem to be looking up for women who speak out now, and that makes my heart happy. It is why I went to school to be a social worker. My situation made me realize I wanted to help woman in the same situations that I was in.
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing me for the Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence Scholarship! Having been chosen helps me to remember that God will bring beauty from my ash heap. Plus, it gives me fuel to keep pushing forward to acquire more skills to help prevent women from entering into violent relationships.
Here is my story:
It all happened when I fell in love with a man I met on E-Harmony. We met, dated, and fell in love. Everything seemed perfect until the honeymoon night when I first saw his violent side. From that point on, I was scared for my life. I was beaten, suffocated, kicked and nearly died. I stayed because I blamed myself for his violent outbursts. "I thought to myself, if only I were nicer, or if I kept my mouth shut." These were the thoughts that kept me in bondage. Month after month the abuse grew worse, until one day I looked in the mirror and saw the bruises that covered my arms. Not only was I bruised on the outside, but my soul was destroyed. How could a man that pledged to love and cherish me, beat me? Was I really that bad? After that one morning, I left. We went through counseling, but he grudgingly resisted help. In my heart, I wanted that happily ever after ending, but I knew it was not going to end that way.
Three years later, after more therapy, I felt called to pursue counseling with an emphasis on premarital counseling to help women understand how to avoid violent and unhealthy relationships. Students hold the keys to success in helping fight domestic violence by gaining an education. With the right tools, they will be equipped to combat domestic violence by coaching women before they enter life-threatening situations.
Domestic violence kills the soul and shatters the life of an individual. Through proper counseling and healing can they become whole again. As a student, I am ready to gain the necessary education to help combat domestic violence and recreate the happily ever after that was stolen by the man who promised to love me. I will live happily ever after knowing that I spared young souls from a domestic violence situation.
I knew I was being verbally “abused” but I just thought I deserved the way he talked to me. I didn’t cook supper right, the car broken down again, the cat way dying, I didn’t make enough in pay.
I used to want him to just hit me so I had a reason I feel the hurt I was feeling. That is, until he beat me unconscious twice and had no recollection of it. His family knew he had been cheating on for years with both men and women. They chose to accept the fact that he was abusing me and it was ok.
I was ALWAYS the problem according to them.
Police told me that verbal abuse was considered as bad physical abuse. But I didn’t hear them all I heard was he gets away with everything and is NEVER charged.
He got everything in the divorce because his family paid for his lawyer and I couldn’t afford one.
I got rid of the guns he would threaten me with.
I finally fled when he told me he’s was going to kill me and THIS time I woke up and fled for my life.
6 months later I’m still homeless, jobless (because of my looks) and my car is in need of repair.
With having pets shelters won’t take you which is ok as I wouldn’t do well.
I’m still searching for a way out of this rut, but I’m keeping my faith, or trying to.
There are no simple answers and I’ve found unless victims have cold hard cash, they’re on their own. Sure there are agencies that can help with counseling, temporary housing, etc it’s just not enough.
I went from looking like the first photo to this.
I reached to BTS on Facebook for help with my 20 y/o daughter. She was 14 hours away from me and in a very abusive relationship. She’d want to leave when things were bad but would change her mind when my plans to rescue her became to real. I asked for help and was connected with Cathy, who gave the best adive and it worked! I was able to get my daughter away from her abuser and she is safely 14 hours away from his reach. I’ve since spoke with Cathy and she continues to be a valuable resource in navigating on next steps. This organization is amazing and is doing so many good things. I look forward to being apart of it in the future. Thank you BTS!
I was 18 when I first met my abusive ex husband and stayed married for more than 20 years for the kids sake. At first, he was charming and friendly, a shoulder I could cry on. But it changed quickly especially after I ran off with him and got pregnant. The fist slap was before we got married and I was 3 montns pregnant. I, too, like so many women believed that the kids needed their mother and father together to have a "normal upbringing." My son and daughter are both successful adults and great people I'm very proud of, despite of it all, and are my silver linings through the dark clouds. However, the manipulation, verbal, mental, physical abuse that I went through as a naive, helpless, trapped young woman was too much to bear. Yet, I stayed and took it all in silence for years. I didn't know my rights at the time, did not call the police at all as I was both ashamed and at same time protecting my abuser thus becoming a victim who was complicit to her own abuse and misery by being silent. No one deserves to be abused nor anyone has any right to strike another person. My advice is to leave, report the person to the police, and get the proper help/support as it is not gonna get better by staying and being silent. Such silence just gives more power to the abuser believing that you will never leave nor do anything about it as my ex had taunted me with for years. So it was a shock to him when I did finally leave. He begged and harrassed me for more than a year. He was not just a coward but also a manipulator who was afraid to lose what he thought he can control.
My life has never been more peaceful since I left that dysfunctional marriage and my relationship with my son and daughter is also better. Living the life I want to live drama/abuse free and with zest. So take control and break the silence!
One year ago my abuser dropped dead at my new apt . It was the best thing that could of happened to me . My friends always told me I would never get rid of him unless he dies . I couldn't of asked for a better miracle. This may sound insensitive ,but I suffered 9years of hell verbal abuse to its max . This person had the power to ruin my life ,and my inner spirit as well . Now that he is gone , The after affects are worse . I am on multiple anxiety medications , I have flashbacks, I am paranoid, I can't sleep , and I keep thinking he is coming back . I cannot focus .it's a life I would not wish on any woman . People say leave . Not as easy as yu might think . And if that person states that he is going to kill yu . Believe him , because he will . Get out . Your personal belongings mean nothing compared to your life . Having your life as your own back ,is the greatest gift yu will ever be thankful to get back .
Break the Silence (BTS) changed my life. I attended the sisterhood retreat, and I left feeling empowered, loved, blessed beyond belief, and a lot of my anger was left behind. Now as a volunteer, I can help bring BTS to my community and help other survivors.
I have only interacted with BTSADV online but they have a great support network, providing resources and education as well as a platform for victims and survivors to come together in a safe place and share experiences.
The education and support received is top notch. I was in a grant program that offers financial services and they helped me purchase a car. I have never felt so supported and loved by an entire organization.
I cannot even begin to express my gratitude!! BTSADV was there for me when no other nonprofit was. I reached out to several and BTS is the only one who responded. They honor my Angel's all year long. Love you all sisters/brothers of BTS!
I recently attended the 1st Angel Family Retreat. I was a little nervous about going because I felt like I would be alone. I was so wrong! I've felt so much love from everyone. I addressed my hurt and pain that I haven't really addressed because I have had the strong one in my family. The 4 days we were there we bonded as a family. I highly recommend anyone who has lost a loved one to domestic violence, attend this retreat. Everyone there understands your pain and is dedicated to helping you heal. I love my BTS family!
Volunteering as the Holidays of Hope Coordinator for Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence (BTS) is fulfilling and an absolute honor! Not only does BTS strive to provide victims and survivors with services and resources, but also families who are affected by domestic violence. Additionally, what makes BTS so special and sets them apart from other organizations is their unconventional services and true dedication to victims, survivors, and families during times when they feel no one in the world could possibly understand or relate.
After the loss of my daughter to domestic violence Break the Silence stepped up and bought Christmas gifts for my grand daughters to ensure that they had a great Christmas!
Losing my daughter to domestic violence has been so very hard for our family. My daughter left behind two young girls ages 10 and 8. They miss their mama so much. This Christmas we received a blessing from Break the Silence by way of gifts for the girls! They were so excited to get what was on their wish list and so much more! Thank you so much Holidays of Hope for helping us make Christmas extra special for our grandaugters.
As a thriving survivor, BTSADV was the first organization that gave me a platform to use my voice to tell my story of verbal and psychological abuse. Since that time, I have become the Director of the Angel Run 5k. The Angel Run allows us to honor those that have lost their lives at the hands of those that commit domestic violence. BTSADV gives a voice to those that no longer have theirs or are isolated from doing so. Thank you, BTSADV.
I became aware of BTSADV the fall of 2015 after the demise of a verbally & psychologically abusive relationship. I was searching online for answers and came across their Facebook page. August of 2016 BTSADV published my survivor story. I first met Kristen and other survivors in the fall of 2016 after I was invited to a meet and greet in Colorado Springs, CO. By January of 2017 I decided to become a volunteer and was tasked with coordinating the Angel Run in Colorado Springs. The support I have received and the connections I have made have allowed me to feel confident sharing my story so that others can feel confident, too. BTSADV and the programs that are provided to various communities are so beneficial to so many. Kristen is a motivational, inspiring leader and I am proud to be associated.
As a survivor, you know the shame and secrets that come with a lifetime of scars that no one can see but that you always feel deeply. All I’ve known is blips of good marred by memories of pain, bruises and sadness. No one should ever endure violence - emotional, sexual or physical - but no one likes to talk about those “dirty things” either. Until I met Kristen, I hadn’t openly talked about the details of my abuse publicly. Kristen and BTSDV have helped me find strength and hope among the wreckage. I’m far from whole but I know now that I have sisters for a lifetime, no matter what anyone else sees or thinks. I found a place where I wasn’t pitied and I wasn’t shunned. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I am a survivor of domestic violence. The reason I love this organization so much is because the help you get is from ANOTHER SURVIVOR. We all "get" what the other is going through. LOTS OF LOVE FOUND HERE!! All of us volunteers are survivors! We want to support others going through what we have gone through ♡♡♡
Volunteering as a graphic designer for Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence (BTS) has been nothing but a blessing. Their mission is so beautiful and easy to get behind, that supporting and building their brand comes naturally. On top of making an amazing impact on the victims and loved ones of victims that we support, the people I work with never cease to amaze me with their genuine enthusiasm for the cause and their gratitude for the team. We all see the need for the work that we do, and despite how humbling the stories of our Angels and Survivors can be, we do our best to transform it into fuel for our cause. BTS is a vibrant organization overflowing with compassion and creativity, ensuring that all our voices are heard no matter who tries to silence us.
I attended the 2018 Survivor Retreat in Colorado Springs and WOW....it was incredible. Seriously, life changing. It was so well run, and I've never heard of anything like what they put on. There was so much healing and hope and encouragment. I could not recommend Break the Silence enough to anyone - if you need help, turn to them. If you can help, give to them - they are so worth it!
Tonight I share my story while tears roll down my face. I’ve been silent for a while as my children’s father passed away a year and half-ago. The silence was out of respect. But the ashes and memories of abuse don’t disappear. In the past year and a half I’ve had to deal with the following- my abuser getting a brain tumor and finally coming to terms with his abuse and admitting it to me, having full custody of my children after a 12 year court indused- abusive custody battle with him, him dying unexpectedly in a freak boating accident, my son almost dying in front of my eyes the same night we return from his dads funeral in a drug overdose and spending the next 3 days in the hospital staring at my sons face thinking I just watched him jump out of 3 story building and live. I’m tired. I’ve done everything to make my kids life better and keep them safe. I packed up my entire life 2 weeks after this incident and moved us to a different state to better his life. He is doing much better. You are you hang around. Yet, people keep being unkind. I’ve watched my exes insurance money go to his mom. He NEVER paid child support. I’ve watched my family throw me under the bus. I continue to have women in my company gaslighting me. My children have NO IDEA what I’ve been through with their dad or my family... Every other week some made up story to the court- he was sooo angry I left and so abusive- he needed to win- at any cost. He didn’t care about the kids or co-parenting but certainly made the courts believe that. As soon as we left the building it was back to bullying and gaslighting me. It was relentless. The courts never took the records from another state where he had punched me in the face or harrasssed me at night and broke in to my apartment. (I know you’re asking yourself then why did I have kids with him- that’s when you ask about my childhood and why I’m so f*** up). I finally threw my hands in the air and said I can’t be this stressed out and unhappy anymore. I asked the universe to keep my kids safe and took a job back in San Diego. That same year their dad called me and said, “my marriage is failing and Jake is the reason. You can have Jake but Max is staying with me.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing but knew he was finally breaking down. I knew it was my only hope. I said ok. Knowing that I needed to save Jake (he had already ran away 3 times from his dads house and called me) and let Max know he could depend on me. I played the “game” with their dad and got Jake all set up. Rented a u haul, got him enrolled in school and let Max know we would visit every month ( which I made happen). The following months were interesting. A man (their dad) that acted so strong and sure of himself became increasingly disturbing. Their dad called me one night claiming, “Jennifer was a sl**” He went on to say how she had an affair with her sons baseball coach, etc. I just listened. Therapy had helped me how to deal with him. I thought to myself, “weird, you told everyone the same thing when I left you, yet I never cheated on you and you actually threatened to end my life.”
I immediately went to the the courthouse and pulled his divorce records and found a restraining order from his second wife (Jennifer) for similar reasons I had one. I used this and other evidence such as the juvenile attorney that referenced interaction with my children and their father and myself in interviewing. It was enough to make their dad finally after 13 years of fighting admit he was down. He had lost his job, his second marriage and his eldest son. The boys were in my custody after a court Oder, a psychotic breakdown of their dad in front of police when he tried to keep them from me in his apartment, and my sons attorney writing a letter to the judge of the fear my children had with their father. After the years of things I endured- being strangled, slapped, told I was a piece of s***, told no one would ever want me, had the remote flung to my head, was forced to have se*, wasn’t allowed to be gone from the house too long, had my clothes torn, the list goes on....and I was expected to suck it up, get to work and stay silent.
Part of me felt sad when he died because for the first time in 13 years he was nice again. The tumor, loss and his new girlfriend, Anne Marie had changed him. I mean truly changed him. I couldn’t believe it. Then he died that same week we laughed and cried about our kids for the first time in 13 years.
But everyone expects me to act like I experienced nothing. I can’t take it anymore. I’m sorry. I experienced my husband telling the courts I did drugs. I wish I had! I was a total fitness freak and drugs are gross! But because I’m skinny and fit they believed him. I experienced my ex-husband making up stories about me every time I took I breath. He gaslighted me. He took advantage of me knowing I was loving and had a big heart. He knew I wasn’t capable of dealing with a manipulater and knew I would become emotionally distressed. He knew I am an incredible mother. He said when I left him- “you will never have these kids and live in a cardboard box.”
Who says that to their kids mother? I stayed home, breastfed, doted on my kids. They are my WORLD. And he took that from me.
I’m not playing victim. I’m tired of being silent. I’m tired of acting like this never happened.
The retreat help me a lot I have been in group counseling and therapy a year before the retreat but I was still ashamed of the things my ex forced me to do and I had only told my therapist about it but in the retreat I opened up to some ladies there and they were supportive and caring and i never felt judged because it was never my fault
They have reached out to me so quickly to share my story and get involved you have women willing to. Listen and get you help with the situation your IN this is my first time hearing about this program and I hope I can get involved I've been a domestic survivor all my life and I think this program can help me and other women like me who have been in horrible accidents I do have a voice and it will be heard graphic photos below trigger warning but I'm a survivor thanks for this group listening and reaching out
I am a fifteen year old who is a child of domestic violence and the daughter of a Grants of Hope recipient. I was excited and surprised when I found out that BTS wanted to send me Christmas gifts this year through their Holidays of Hope program. I did not want many gifts this year, I just wanted one thing that I had been needing for a while: a laptop. I knew my mom could not afford to buy me a laptop and I needed one a lot for school. Though I asked for a laptop in any condition, even a used one, I did not expect BTS to be able to provide me with my lofty request. I was shocked when a big box showed up on my doorstep! It's size and the letter attached suggested it was a laptop, which had shown up just in time, so I could type up a essay that was due in a few days. Words cannot describe how thankful and touched I am for such a generous gift from my sponsor Jamie and this wonderful organization that supports families like mine. When you support BTS, you support kids like me. Thank you!
Break the Silence changed my life. I was looking for a family to be able to share what I have been through and not feel judged. The BTS retreat just did that ! I now have a sisterhood of women I can share with and I know will always be here! I am a Senior at UAlbany and now volunteer with BTS I want to help as many women as possible BTS gives me the support and platform to be able to do this with
I was in a 34 year marriage of verbal emotional and physical abuse I had 3 children and I chose to suffer in silence because I wanted them to have a normal upbringing and I am proud to say that they did. I didn't see any red flags we were both the same age when we married 27 years we were both catholic he was Irish my father was Irish it was like it was meant to be my first punch to my stomach came 3 months into the marriage it was only 15 months from meeting him to getting married but that first punch I'll never forget I was to ashamed to tell my family and the next day he said sorry and it will never happen again. For a lot of years it was all verbal and emotional I was fat ugly bellittled in front of people to make him look good I hated myself but for some strange reason I truly thought I loved him when he became physical I blamed the drink because he said sorry the next day and he really must control hid drinking but he only got worse we lived on a farm and it usually took place in the shed so the kids couldn't hear and he was so clever he bruised me where I could cover up after 15 years of marriage I still covered for him I felt so alone and ashamed I hated myself and I started to believe I was ugly fat and stupid and because he Owns a company and for tax reasons put my name on the company I couldn't work so of course in front of the children he would say I was lazy and no good to any one not like the lady next door or the lady up the road who worked to help there husbands I was a lazy selfish ugly no good for nothing to anyone and continued to tell me that no one liked me because I was lazy in the end I found I blamed myself and thought I had no friends as he wouldn't allow me and I had limited time with my family but he was right because everyone who met him seemed to be happy around him so yes if I burnt the potatoes and got hit well I did deserve to get hit because it was my fault I added water to them turned the gas low but I did go out the back and have a smoke so yes of course it was all my fault I was stupid and I couldn't leave because I had no money I only had my parents who's home wasn't big enough for me and my 3 kids so I couldn't go anywhere and bedsides I'm thinking it's what I'm meant to do in life as I'm Irish catholic so yes this is what I was put on this earth to do look after my family I think you can see where I'm going with my storyline I will end it now as if after 34 years I would as you people would imagine I would be writing a novel but on the 24 th September 2016 my life took an unexpected turn it was a Saturday night at approximately 7.56 pm I hadn't seen him nearly all day he had been in the shed for most of the time but I didn't think about him I was folding clothes and putting them away I was then 61 years old humming away to myself my 2 sons no longer lived at home my daughter did but was out for the night leaving us 2 alone in the house I was in a happy mood next he ran in the house threw a case on the bed he screamed you low lying f... c... you have 5 minutes to pack the case or I will go to the shed and get an axe and split your head in two and I will do a good job this time as your worth sitting in a f cell for you c I tried to calm him as I looked at him for the first time in 34 years I can't believe he's completely sober no alcohol maybe just a couple his eyes were black his face was red and distorted I had never well I have but only once before but my daughter pulled him off me but this time we were alone and now he's screaming f ... C ... 3 minutes before I get the axe your not packing fast enough now I was terrified he'd gone out to the kitchen area but I had to walk past him to get out to the garage where my car was I was shaking uncontrollably in fear I rang the only person I couldn't stand but out of desperation and she only lived around the corner I rang in my bathroom very softly his niece could she please just come and talk to him and calm him down she said NO she had 2 drinks and could not drive but with her youth and long legs I thought she would run around but no she wouldn't help me I don't know where I got the courage but I got the case car keys in my hand $5 in my purse ran past him to my car and drove to my mums house shaking so much I seriously don't know how I drove but because he was sober I couldn't blame the drink anymore I never went back he tried to get me back but from that moment on I knew he would one day kill me I am a survivor it's been a year now I'm in the family court with him I managed to get a lawyer and I have after 10 months of sleeping in my mums bed as it's only 2 bedroom and my brother lives there also it wasn't fair on my 83 year old mother or myself at 61 years but I'm now on my own in a rental unit as because he's wealthy and the company I cannot get help from the government he's paying me spousel maintenance and now it's a year we can have everything valued and I am hoping to be able in time to buy a small unit for myself and help my now 3 adult children I'm so happy now and apart from giving me the 3 kids that terrible night was the biggest favour he's ever done for me as I know now it was never normal because sometimes it would all get to me and I would say to myself if I just go back to him it will be normal it's that one word that stops me because it was never normal I didn't in 34 years of marriage once call the police and I never because he was there father and I guess self blame no self respect or esteem I never once bad mouthed him to the kids that's a problem I'm having at the moment with my eldest son and his partner to them if he was this bad why didn't I call the police why didn't I leave it's so very hard for them to understand he's almost 32 years and him and his partner have no contact with me because they don't really believe me but if my son is happy I'm happy as I know it's his girlfriend that's putting him in a situation he probably doesn't want to be in but he doesn't believe that his father would do that and my other son and his partner are fine with me also my daughter but he still is delusional I will one day go back to him No Never not until HELL FREEZES OVER I Am A SURVIVOR it's been the fight of my life but after 34 years of marriage that was emotional verbal and physical abuse I've never been happier and in a way because my children have turned out to be children I'm so very proud of I think if I had to suffer in silence for them I would but now I don't love that monster I feel absolutely nothing for him I'm amazed every day by that because I never in a million years thought I'd ever be capable of hate but I feel contempt for him now I refuse to even call him a man I call him a pathetic person and I've learned how to google and he's Narcissistic and I suffer but I am getting stronger I've been hospitalized twice this year for my nerves but yes I'm becoming stronger now but I do suffer from Battered Women Syndrome but getting abused for 34 years is it any wonder I bless everyday now and now I have a life at 62 years I have lunch with girlfriends and movies or just there house the support was absolutely amazing and my family have been supportive so say a prayer for me please whoever reads this as I still need to find the strength to fight this man in court and for giving me the strength not to go back because I know if I do one day he will definitely have killed me thanks for letting me get it out and anyone especially if your only young listen to an old woman who has lived abuse and survived please try and look for signs just when you start dating because it doesn't matter how many times the man will tell you it will never happen again well it does only it gets worse and to the point woman are dying at the hands of these evil monsters God Bless Shelagh
We lost our Alicia December 27, 2016. Kristen and I spoke just a few weeks after her murder. She was so caring and compassionate. I was given a brief history of BTS and know I wanted to do something to help against this horrid cycle, that is more rampant that the public may realize.
When we all arrived at the location of the angel retreat, we were instantly family. We hugged, talked, looked into each others eyes, all knowing every one of us understood exactly the emotional, mental and even physical trauma we have endured from not just the brutal murders, but the court cases, the family members that fall by the wayside or just flat betray you because they are grieving in their own ways and don't know how to handle it.
I will always be a part of BTS to help raise awareness against domestic violence by being Alicia's voice for the remainder of my life.
I would encourage anyone who has survived or lost someone due to domestic violence, please reach out. It is a healing experience that is full of love and amazing people who truly understand and be by your side.
Bring on Angel Run 2018!!
I am passionate about raising DV awareness. I lost my mother to DV when she was 43 & I was 23. I left my own relationship that was turning bad fast. The Angel Retreat program allowed me to meet other survivors healing from the loss of a Loved one.
I have had the opportunity to get to know the people who are part of this organization. I wish there was an organization like this when I needed them in the early 90's. This organization absolutely has a passion and has compassion for the fight against domestic violence. I have volunteered with other organizations and I am very impressed by this one. BTS doesn't just help others, they empower them, they support them, they cheer people on while they learn to be independent. I am honored to be a part of this organization and to have such an outreach to be able to help others.
My daughter Audrey was only 19 when she was murdered by her ex-fiancé. She left behind her 8 months old baby. Break the Silence has helped me learn there are so many avenues of help and healing. Recently I was blessed to attend their first annual Angel Retreat and it absolutely changed my life. I had been withdrawn and had so many walls built up around me because I felt alone in this journey and was apprehensive about attending and being around people but from the second I walked into the retreat I felt loved and at peace for the first time in over 7 years. This family that we are now will forever be part of my life and has given me a new purpose to stand up and break the silence!
Break the Silence ADV has had a huge positive impact on my life. In 2012 I was attacked and sent to the hospital by my abuser, leaving me with some serious trauma. When I came back to California I seeked help, support and services online.... and came across BTSADV. In May 2017 I attended the Survivor's Retreat and immediately felt the connections and support I was needing. I obtained the strentgh and courage to share my story and be able to break my silence. I am now a DV advocate and help this nonprofit organization in any way that I can.
Thank you BTSADV!!!!
I attended the Women's Revitalization Reatreat in May of 2016. After almost losing my life to my abuser in Dec 2009, I had already come a long way in my healing - however, I knew I would still get something out of going. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is an indescribable feeling to be around 35 other women who have been through what you have. I always had a large support system of family and friends, that being said, no one really knows how damaging it is to be in an abusive relationship unless they have been through it themselves. To have the support of so many others who understand you without having to explain yourself is an incredible feeling. I realized then that BTS is so much more than an organization, it is truly a family of survivors helping and supporting each other all over the country. I believe wholeheartedly in the mission and values of BTS and knew it was an organization I wanted to stand begind 100%. I now am an admin for the Facebook page, am co-chair of the fundraising committee, and serve on the Board of Directors. BTS has inspired and empowered me in more ways than I thought possible and I couldn't be more proud to be a part of such a phenomenal organization.
I am a survivor of domestic violence who endured all forms of abuse for over four years. By the time I was able to find a window of opportunity to escape my abuser in 12/2012, he had become so physically violent that risk of fatality was a certainty. While I have worked through so much of the damage that waited for me, I still occasionally struggle with PTSD triggers as well as recurrent health issues directly related to injuries sustained during the abuse.
When I left, I had not yet connected with Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence. I connected to the organization and its amazing founder, Kristen Paruginog, through Facebook in 2014. From the beginning, I noticed something special about her and BTS and became a regular donor. Recently, I was invited by Kristen into BTS as a blogger and social media admin. I feel blessed to have been able to witness not only the growth of BTS but how its passion touches and improves the lives of so many.
Not only is BTS committed to helping victims break free of abuse, Kristen has also made it a priority to provide continued support for survivors and invests herself fully in our healing and progress. Beyond that, BTS is actively involved in community outreach in terms of education and awareness of domestic violence. All the advocates and volunteers are bonded by the same passion to make sure we all can live lives free of violence. Kristen's enthusiasm, energy, and compassion are contagious, and we are all blessed with her and the collective group's passion to end domestic violence.
How can I put Into words what this Organization has done for me? I pray that my words do justice because this was the beginning of a major life change for me.
As a survivor of childhood neglect and abuse as well as a survivor of domestic violence in my adult life, I stumbled on BTS by chance on Facebook.
For the first time I didn't feel alone in my feelings, overnight I became part of a "family" of survivors who understood me! I no longer felt alone because I never really was.
With the support of this new family of mine I opened up my broken heart and got real healing for the first time! I broke my silence.
I have attended the last 3 years of women's revitalization retreat. Last year as a leader to help others and will doing the same in 2017.
I went from being a broken victim to an empowered survivor/thriver.
I realized I am not my abuse, that is just a part of my story that doesn't have to define me. I was able to get the counseling I needed and work on breaking the cycle of abuse for future generations. As a family we have openly talked about and actively worked on our healing together.
I am in the process of writing my story in a book for healing and will actively be touring the country this year to speak to others about my transformation as an effort to empower others to break free of the chains of abuse.
Without BTS I never would have learned to love myself and found my true healer Jesus Christ along the way!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
BTS is an organization who truly cares for their members and their communities. It is an organization who makes you feel like family. As a survivor of domestic violence, you often feel alone. BTS removes that feeling of loneliness from those who have been through these tragic issues and embraces them as part of their family.
They not only help survivors through their retreats, grant programs, support groups, etc., they take proactive measures to help educate others so that domestic violence can be prevented.
The founder, Kristen, and her team are some of the most kindest and genuine people you can meet. They are not only passionate about the cause...they have lived it and understand what it is to be victimized and survive.
This is a great organization to get involved with and help support. You will help save lives!
On May 22, 2016 a day before my niece Nevaeh turned 11 years old my older sister, Nevaeh's mother was murdered in her presence. Our family has been greatly affected by this tragedy. My sister was a victim of domestic violence and was unable to free herself from the situation. She was abused daily and felt like she was not worth anything but she was and is still worth more than she could ever imagine. My sister left behind five beautiful girls and two of them with disabilities. We have been blessed to have been able to have these wonderful people wrap their arms around us. I could write so much more but my heart is still aching at this moment
Hi!! I'm BTS Sister Meg :) I am a DV survivor of 15 years. I have been a survivor since 4/2014. I also have multiple sclerosis which makes me tired and quite sick often, along with physical and emotional DV trauma I live with daily. I am a disabled, single mother of 2 beautiful girls, Kylie and Zoey, ages 7 and 3. Their smiles and laughs light up my life. I have remained strong throughout everything I have been through thanks to BTS and continue to be an inspiration to so many through BTS and in my hometown in upstate NY. I am an admin of the BTS FB page, posting on Thursdays and the BTS NY/NJ page. I am also gearing up to be on the BTS survivor hotline soon. I went to the BTS retreat this past May and loved the experience. I found a loving sisterhood for life. They are truly like family to me. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I was a survivor speaker twice, once in my hometown and again in NYC for BTS this past October. It is my passion to help people along their healing journeys. BTS has made me not feel ashamed to tell my story or be hesitant to post anything DV related. I have found so much support and encouragement with BTS. I feel good that I broke my silence and BTS has been there for me all the way, which in turn encourages me to be there to help and heal others, as they did for me.
Break the Silence fills a very unique and much needed place of belonging for domestic violence survivors like me. My interaction with other survivors has been healing, but it is even more rewarding to know that my investment of time and money is literally saving and changing lives.
My daughter was murdered along with the man she was dating by her ex boyfriend. She left behind her son Caleb. I'm raising him now. He is such a blessing to me . I reached out to BTS after finding them on Facebook. They continue to remember not only my daughter, but also her son . They have helped us in continuing to live life and know that they love and care about us. No one else, let alone a large organization like BTS has shown us that kind of caring. Kristen Paruginog, the amazing person that started this is always working on new projects. Many of these include our angels that didn't make it and our families. I can't say enough about this wonderful, life changing organization!
I have enjoyed volunteering with BTS. From the beginning I have seen the founder, Kristen Paruginog, be concerned that no one else will find them self in the same situation that she was in. She tirelessly educates all will listen about red flags in relationships, what to do if you need to get out of an abusive relationship, and the organizatioin is help to reach out financially to help those wanting to be free, or who need help after they walk out of these relationships. Her vision is huge and she has a caring and compassionate heart. She has found others just like her to stand beside her and further her vision. I am amzed at what she has done in such a small amount of time.
I'm so grateful and fulfilled to meet Kristen owner of BTS. The organization is so amazing. There are women from all over the states who emotionally, spiritually support my kids and I! BTS REALLY backs up every word they speak of. Definition of love, support, and healing!! I really was able to release pain I've been carrying for 13 years. I shed so much pain and anger being apart of BTS only 1 month lol! Ive gained lifetime friends!! I thank God for BTS who has created a Life changing experience for me!!
BTS is an innovative organization that puts victims as their top priority. It has been a privelege to work with them and I have learned invaluable lessons along the way. I am excited to work with them for years to come and to continue to be apart of the great strides they make in empowering victims and educating the public.
If it wasn't for BTS, I wouldn't have anyone to go to when I have questions or concerns regarding the abuse I went through. They have helped a lot. These women are amazing and so inspiring. I wouldn't know where I would be without them.
Break the Silence has been a huge part of my healing process. I have tried to channel my energy into writing as I move forward into a better life, and now I'm able to do that as a part of BTS with positive feedback and support.
When I was struggling with some confusion on judicial protocol, someone from BTS even called the courthouse on my behalf to clarify some things. They go above and beyond to educate and help others. Amazing organization!
I have had the pleasure of working with BTS for over a year now. The Founder is one of my good friends and we have worked on many projects together. Kristen was a Guest Speaker at an event I put on last year, The Women Empowering Women Forum. We then partnered up to create a Mentorship Workshop series for survivors of domestic violence. This 12 week workshop series taught our mentees many valuable personal and professional skills in order to be more productive in the work place. It was an honor to work with Kristen for those months. I then participated in Board meetings, team meeting and many of BTS's events all over San Diego. I HIGHLY recommend looking into and supporting BTS. My mom and best friend are survivors of domestic violence...this mission is very important to me and I see so many opportunities to support and love women who have experienced any form of abuse or violence.
I found break the silence in the early morning of a sleepless night. I was broken in ways i didnt know how to handle. I didn't know where to go or what to do. I found an amazing support group of the most amazing people. They helped me through the worst of times and helped me become the advocate i am today. I have made some amazing friendships that will last a lifetime. Break the Silence helped me when I couldn't help myself. There is no words to express how much they helped me heal through the worst of the worst. I owe everything i am today to Break The Silence.
I'm a survivor of domestic violence. When I first connected with Break The Silence I wanted to give back as an advocate and volunteer and had no idea of the transformation I was about to experience for myself. Connecting with other survivors has been truly amazing and very healing for me. I love attending the bimonthly empowerment meetings that BTS offers, there's always something new to learn and it gives me a chance to be with other women that understand me. I was completely broken inside and I've transformed into a confident and brave woman with the help and support of BTS.
I was nearly killed in a violent attack by my husband in 2006. I continue to suffer physically. I went through life thinking I had recovered but after coming out with my own story about three years ago I ran across a post for a retreat in California. It was over my daughters 18th birthday but something told me I still needed to go. With full support of my kids, I boarded a flight to San Diego to attend a Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence retreat that would change my life forever. I have been an active advocate for BTS ever since. I regained my confidence and discovered through them who I was meant to be. I have returned to college, accepted a job as a reporter for an online news publication and work as much as possible to bring awareness to this state. I teach classes to educate the high school and college students as well as ban together women locally to find strength in each other support one another as much as needed. It is a bit difficult to juggle it all, but I know that BTS and it's founder is behind me, holding me up, and encouraging me to continue to strive for all my goals and dreams. Without BTS I would never be where I am today.
Break the silence against Domestic Violence has personally helped me to grow, heal, forgive and have an over all better understand of myself. Through the help of their women empowerment groups I learned to love myself again, to search deep within myself and truly understand and accept that what happened to me isn't my fault. The women's group has been like family. They are so supporting, caring, honest and loving. I never felt out of place or like I didn't belong. This was always my safe zone. BTS has helped me to have my voice again and to educate my family, friends and colleagues. We do the best we can with the knowledge that we have but BTS helps you to fully understand what Domestic Violence is, how to deal with it, how to heal and how to learn from it. Now I can teach my family and friends about the warning signs and give them thr correct resources. I've added two photos from the women empowering groups and what you can expect. The first one is of a vision board we did in DEC 2015. On it are my year goals and expectations. The vision board was a great way to really put all your goals for the year into one spot. They gave us two hand outs with specific sections such as love, career, self love, family etc. This was a re fun project to do. The second one is of a hand out of a work shop entitled "what's love got to do with it?" This group was about truly understand what love is vs what you thought love was when you were a child. Along with how this effected you as an adult. They gave you a hand out to take home with recommended books and resources to look at, if you wanted to learn more. They gave you great relationship advice and what a healthy relationship should be like. The last picture is of their yearly conference. Free lunch is included with great workshops, self defense classes, motivational speakers and raffle at the very end. Everything is absolutely FREE! Free women's groups and conferences.How much better can it get. All you have to do is show up. BTS is just amazing and very educational. They just want you to be the best possible you. Thank you BTS for everything you do, especially for helping me and every single person you've helped so far. I highly recommend this organization.
Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence has made a big difference in my life, when I left my abuser, I was scared nervous depressed, I have learned so much about domestic violence from this site I learned it wasn't my fault,that I'm not alone, I shared my storu I read others story's I learned the psychology behind everything I had been through. I am so grateful for BTS
I was in an abusive relationship for 3 years. It was pure torture, until I left. It wasn't easy but I did it. Although nearly cost me my life, many were there for me. Especially when I found this organization, & meeting the director Kristen. They have a way of making you feel empowered, loved, and secure. I can always get inspiration from them when I need it.
I have been volunteering with BTS for 4 years. Break the Silence saved my family! This organization is like no others, it's family to everyone who wants to heal. I am finally able to share my story after all these years.Thank you!!