The fact that South Carolina is #1 in the nation when it comes to domestic violence is definitely a necessary conversation. On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending Love Shouldn’t Hurt-A Safe Relationship Conversation, a domestic violence awareness conference in Columbia, SC. This very informative and moving event featured skits, a powerful keynote speaker, a panel discussion by community leaders, and more.
Love Shouldn’t Hurt was the brainchild of activist, author, and playwright, Kiwan Fitch. Kiwan, a native of Jersey City, NJ is also the founder of the Empowerment Corp, a community organization created to educate, enlighten, and empower women and families to achieve personal access with civic responsibility in mind (as stated on the organization’s Facebook page). Meeting Kiwan was a pleasure. She is a dynamic change-maker and it’s obvious that she is passionate about the well-being of women and families. Hence, this awesome event…
“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is one of the statements made by the event’s keynote speaker, Melissa Holmes. At first glance, she appears to be (and is) a strong, focused woman who’s taking care of business. I would have never guessed that she is a two-time survivor of domestic violence. I listened, with a lump in my throat, to her emotional story of surviving two life-threatening relationships. She spoke of enduring, and eventually escaping, brutal physical abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse. Melissa will tell you “I am no longer a victim. I am a victor!” Melissa has become a domestic violence awareness champion, sharing her story for the purpose of saving the lives of other women who may be enduring violent relationships. I’m sure that anyone who hears her speak walks away feeling empowered. I know that I did.
Here are some of the take-away lessons that I gleaned from Melissa’s story:
Thanks to Melissa Holmes for her transparency and for being a light to women who may feel that they are in a hopeless situation.
Contact Melissa Holmes
The final segment of Love Shouldn’t Hurt was a panel discussion. The panel was comprised of male and female community leaders in fields directly and indirectly related to domestic violence awareness. Unfortunately, I only witnessed the first few minutes of the discussion, but I’m sure that valuable information and ideas were exchanged during the discussion.
I was excited to learn about Damsel In Defense, a direct sales company that aims to empower women with safety and defense products. Kiwan is in the process of becoming a rep, so we will soon have Damsel in Defense rep in South Carolina!
Follow Empowerment Corp on Facebook! HERE
Until next time, let's continue to claim our Charmed Lives!
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Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!