Hope Rise Thrive
Domestic Violence Subject Matter Expert.
Licensed Master Social Worker.
Certified Spiritual Director.
I am a survivor of over two decades of domestic violence. It wasn't always physically violent. There were other forms of abuse as well - verbal, emotional, financial, and spiritual. There were years of coercion and manipulation and harassment. I endured things I cannot elaborate on here. For much of that time I didn't really know what I was living with, but that didn't make it any less real. What was it that finally got my attention and opened my eyes to the abuse I was living with? It was a mailing from my local family violence shelter with a brochure about domestic violence. That brochure very possibly saved my life because it provided language for what I was living with. It was also a friend who gave me a book about abuse. She knew what I was living with because she lived it too.
That first year after escaping the abuse was all about trying to stay safe from continued stalking and harassment. Then it dawned on me that I could go back to school because there was no longer anyone telling me I couldn't. After all I had experienced, I believed there was a call on my life to advocate for victims and survivors of domestic violence but I needed the education to support such a calling. After first finishing my bachelor's degree, I was accepted into a dual-master's program at Baylor University. Balancing four years of full-time grad school with single parenting was quite a challenge, but I managed to graduate with honors along with my Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work degrees and a Spiritual Direction Certification.
Some of the most rewarding time I have spent in the last few years is with other survivors of abuse. Their strength is admirable. Their dedication to their children is inspiring. Their ability to navigate life beyond the abuse shows just how strong they are. Life after abuse is not necessarily easy. Resiliency doesn't always come naturally. Having a support system is vital to recovering well. Helping survivors discover their own resiliency and recover well is part of my passion.
Another part of advocating for survivors of domestic violence is educating people about abuse. Education leads to
awareness. With awareness, we can empower those who are still in abusive relationships. We can encourage communities to support survivors. And we can help break cycles of violence. Faith communities, in particular, are an essential element in the work to fight domestic violence. If educated about abuse, clergy and congregations can be part of the support network that makes a difference in the life of survivors. Speaking about domestic violence or offering seminars, and providing that education is also part of my passion.
Hope Rise Thrive was born from the desire to support those who have experienced abuse and educate everyone else.
If you are a fellow survivor, welcome!
If you are someone who loves a survivor, I'm glad you're here!
If you want to increase your awareness about abuse and advocate for survivors, thank you for visiting!
I am available to speak and provide domestic violence training, both in person and virtually. Use the form on the Contact Page if you would like to talk more about that. Or visit my ministry-related Facebook page here.
Let me know how I can help. Bless you.