The path that we take throughout our lives can be winding... mine has had a few bumps, many twists, a couple turns, a few yield and "watch for falling rocks" signs and 2 red lights. I ran those.
Working in the domestic violence field for over 25 years has provided me with the unique opportunity to hear personal stories from survivors of violence and men who batter. Founding the Domestic Violence Safe Dialogue (dvsdprogram.org) program was a way to give them an opportunity to share their experiences with others to help make a difference. While educating the public with facts and statistics is important, hearing the actual accounts can provide a deeper understanding of what occurs in abusive relationships.
One very exciting turn in my journey has been a recent opportunity to help share those stories on a larger scale by writing 2 books on abuse - one for adults and one for teens. Survivors and offenders of abuse are submitting their stories on this website. This collection of testimonials will help those who are currently (or have been) in abusive situations identify and relate to others who have "been there". This will reiterate that they are not alone - and with 1 in 5 being victims of sexual assault... they are realistically very far from alone. For those who have never, knowingly, been around abuse, these stories will provide a unique opportunity to learn about what it is from the heart and experiences of those who have been involved.
Journaling can be very cathartic - especially when you know that your stories will help others. If you have an experience as a survivor, perpetrator, family member, boss or friend of someone assaulted or abused, your comments can be helpful.
These books will, hopefully, be published by spring 2020.
carrie outhier banks