Today, I attended Forsyth County Community Forum for a Family Justice Center, hosted by Family Services, Inc. OMG.... can I just say my heart is filled with so much joy to be a part of the impact of change, in our community, in the way Domestic Violence is seen and handled in the near future. Today was so enlightening, to see the vision breaking through and our community showing up for the change. To hear Casey Gwinn, speak his message of hope and the founder of this movement across the country, gave me, “lots of HOPE!”
Through the developing stages of our own Forsyth County Family Justice Center, this is a HUGE win for victims/survivors, and families affected by DV. I am so honored to lend my voice to be a part of this structural change, not only to be heard, but implemented into the process through a platform, to share our stories, our needs, and improvements. I truly believe many lives will be saved and domestic violence deaths and assaults will decline tremendously with this program.
Who said, our stories can’t change lives for the better. Thank you, Jamie Gadson for sharing your story of DV Survivor, today, very powerful and impactful.
Later that evening, I arrived to Family Services, Inc. to participate in a DV Focus group and to my surprise, Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack would be amongst our present. This was a great experience and opportunity to share our voices and opinions 1 on 1 on the development of Forsyth County Family Justice Center, with them. This may sound a little a selfish, but tonight I was glad there were only a few us present because we were able to have a more intimate and honest conversation/discussion about the problems that plaques the Domestic Violence Community; especially the loop holes in the judicial system (In which, I will be discussing my own frustration pertaining to my sister's case, in a later blog post).
I used to wonder how did I fit in to all this Domestic Violence dilemma amongst DV survivors, but I am learning everyday, sharing my sister’s story is so important and appreciated.
I have so many people tell me, “your sister’s story reminds me not to go back, I must live, I remember you and your story is powerful, keep telling your sister’s story, keep her memory alive, I know she is proud of you, you are helping so many women, you have a voice and a lot to share, you are courageous, strong, and beautiful to share such a tragedy with others, and you give strength to others.”
I thank God for allowing me to see there is purpose and vision, in the pain, me and my family has endured and Cheryl "Neecie" Bethea’s death has not been in vain.
If you live in Forsyth County and you have been affected by Domestic Violence in any shape or form. Please get involved in this conversation; you have a voice and a story that needs to be heard and implemented into this planning of the Family Justice Center. There are focus groups being held monthly for DV victims, survivors, families, etc. They want to hear from you. Don’t let others who have not experienced your trauma be your voice or deciding factors for the needs of the Domestic Violence Community. This Family Justice Center is going to be a huge game changer for DV, so let’s make the difference.
“It is through our stories and voices that victims can become survivors.”
~Sound the Silence in Domestic Violence (STSIDV)