I am an activist to end violence against women: Part I

UntitledI’ve always had a passion for helping women who have suffered abuse of any kind.  Why did I choose this particular passion?  I am a rape survivor.  As a young teenager, I fell victim to an older teenager who preyed upon my kindness of wanting to help him with his “demons” by inviting him to church.  He disappeared after the rape, and I chose not to report the rape to police, or my parents for many heart-wrenching reasons.  I told my best friend at the time, but my nightmares only seemed to get worse.

I did, however, make sure I got into the front seat of a police car as a police cadet soon after I was raped.  I felt safe, and I believed I could help other girls and women if I was a police officer.

As a police officer, I made every effort to handle the domestic violence calls, the reports of Untitledrape, sex abuse, or teenage girls who were being abused by their parent or guardian.  I investigated every case with a fine tooth comb, dotted every “i,” crossed every “t,” and wanted justice for girls and women who cried out for help.

What I COULDN’T do in my 20 years in law enforcement, was advocate for the girls and women who DID NOT, or COULD NOT seek help.  Police officers must remain objective, and are ethically held by the rules of law.  I did what I could to encourage these women and girls to report their abusers, but that was the extent of my power.

UntitledAfter 20 years in law enforcement, I became a private investigator, and working criminal defense cases came with this territory.  After being a defense investigator during these abuse cases, I became acutely aware of both sides of the stories.  After interviewing and representing multiple “alleged” abusers, many of them told me their family history, the abuse they, themselves, suffered as children, and the demons they fought for most of their lives.  Many of these men admitted their guilt and asked for help.  Other abusive men admitted their guilt, but showed no remorse, and believed the woman “deserved what she got.”

UntitledNow that I’m retired from law enforcement and private investigations, I was left with confusing thoughts, beliefs, and judgments, with no clear answer of why men are so abusive to women in our world.  The latest statistic from the United Nations is that 1 out of every 3 women will suffer abuse on this planet.  This is a staggering pandemic.  This means that YOU, or someone you know … a sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, best friend, or daughter ….. has suffered some form of abuse.  Maybe you are the abuser? Maybe you were a victim of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse as a child? Or maybe you are being abused now. Where do you go for help?  Who do you trust?

In the next “Part 2” blog series, I will share how Indrani Goradia, Indrani’s Light Foundation, and Brené Brown came into play for me.  Meanwhile, I’m feeling vulnerable about sharing my story this way, so I’d love some feedback about how this blog is resonating with you.   Do you have a similar story?  Do you have mixed feelings about becoming an activist?  Tell me your thoughts.

 

With deepest gratitude,

Amy
Director of Education & Training
Indrani’s Light Foundation

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “I am an activist to end violence against women: Part I

    1. I have always had empathy for those who decide not to report their abuse. I always encourage them to report, and try to help them understand the stories they tell themselves are not necessarily true. Young girls are especially vulnerable to these stories. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  1. Amy, thank you for sharing your experience of how you dealt with the experience of being raped. It is incredible the amount of energy we use to keep our stories secret from those who could help us. It’s a natural direction for us to help others in a similar situation, even if we haven’t yet consciously recalled what happened to us.

    1. Secrets are so harmful to us. I told myself many stories throughout the years to cope with the trauma. I hope my story helps others to tell their own stories. Thanks so much Suzanne.

  2. Thank you so much Amy for sharing your story,it needs so much courage to do so.Hope that other women who are in a similar position find the courage to speak out their truth as well.

  3. Amy, with heartfelt gratitude, I feel your vulnerability in sharing this. I think this is an important message and believe with all my heart that awareness is only part of the puzzle. I so appreciate that you mentioned the struggle, fears or shame of the women who’ve been abused as well as what you came to understand regarding the other side: the hurt and pain within the abuser. They’re just trying to give away their pain, even when they feel no remorse. No real change will come if the conversation centers around hate, judgment and attack for the abusers, because of course, that’s part of what shaped where they are they. With no sense of love or empathy they can’t give it and instead pass what they have inside them onto others. Then of course there are misconstrued conceptions regarding love, which also happens in sexual abuse and other types.That said I find it perplexing to conceive how to change that part of it, so certainly focusing on empowering and healing women is an excellent start.

    1. Thank you for bringing up the issue with the abusers Pam. We really need to understand their hurt and fears before we can make an actual difference. It may need to start with educating our boys NOW. Our boys are the future men, and the education starts now.

  4. Amy, thank you so much for being vulnerable and real in sharing your personal story and your story of advocacy. The world is so much brighter because of you.

    1. Amy, you are so very brave for sharing your story. Thank you. Certainly every one of those women and children were lucky to have you at such a crucial time in their lives.

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