Thursday, October 28, 2010

White House Commemorates DV Awareness Month

Hello Friends.

I know it's been some time since I've blogged. Things are moving fast, but Ido find it therapeutic to blog -- get my feelings out in the air. But, as always, I am happy to see 17 followers. I always say that one is appreciated because one counts. I am grateful.

Yesterday, at the White House, I watched an event unfold. President Obama and Vice President Biden commemorated Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

As I sat there, I could not help but think about the countless victims and survivors who struggle everyday with devastation resulting from violence.

I also thought about my mother, brother and God-sister Tiffany. I knew I was giving them a voice by sitting there, humbled by the invitation.

I sent a letter to the White House this morning stating how thankful I truly was. I remarked that from a bloody room and an empty refrigerator to a room in the White House where victims and survivors were honoured was humbling and signaled hope.

The Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Crime Act wasn't passed until after my mother and brother's death in 1984. Both laws did not do a single thing for us in 1984. We were not compensated as victims and in fact, my grandmother said that she was denied funding because we were not her children. We have come a long way since then.

Secretary Donovan (Housing and Urban Development) has a program that would help victims maintain their housing so that the choice to leave or stay for victims is their choice. They are not simply put to the streets. The President also remarked on many other avenues his administration is taking to make it easier for victims.

In 1984, we lost everything. I never returned to my house, at least on the inside. All of my toys, my clothes, my bed, simply gone. I was forced to walk away. The last memory I had was watching my mother and brother bleeding on the ground. At ten, that was a difficult moment and to be silent for three years (no therapy) and very little social services, was taxing on our me and my family.

Today, I am more hopeful than ever. We are paying more attention to domestic violence. We are paying more attention to sensible gun laws, thanks to the Brady Campaign and Brady Center where sensible gun laws are the order of the day. Thanks to the work of the William Kellibrew Foundation for their tireless efforts to make people aware and educate youth on the issue.

We cannot stop here. The road is tough and long and everyday starts anew.

I am more than committed to ending violence against women and children and anyone else who is being violated physically, sexually, emotionally, mentally and economically.

Please take a stand with me and influence someone else to take a stand.

Ask yourself, What am I doing to end violence against women, children and others? Sometimes it just takes a listening ear.

The next time you encounter someone, think about their lives. Just consider for one moment. This person could be 1 out of 4 women victimized, beaten, or hurt by their spouse, partner, or loved one. This person could be 1 out of 6 who are sexually assaulted each year in America.

Look beyond the exterior. It just takes you caring.

To see video from the White House Commemoration event go to

You will catch me on the third row, directly behind Secretary of Health Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, Victor Rivers and Joe Torre, Former Manager of the New York Yankees.

To learn more about how you can become a part of pushing for more sensible gun laws that keep people like Marshall Brent Williams, my family's killer, away from guns and how you can help close the Gun Show Loophole visit

You can also visit for more information on the William Kellibrew Foundation.

And, if you are in need of help call 1.800.FYI.CALL (National Center for Victims of Crime).

In an emergency, please call 911 immediately.

These and other acts of reaching out can save a life and possibly save lives.

Thank you for your listening ear today and I wish each one of you the best today and beyond.

Til next time...