Each year in April (National Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault awareness month) The Crisis Center in Bristol, VA holds an event called The Clothesline Project. I was asked to speak three years ago via R.A.I.N.N.’s (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) Speaker’s Bureau. Because I am a victor over each of these violent crimes I agreed to speak.
However, with the first event, I was asked if I could bring a male’s side of the story to the table. I’m a writer by trade and love, so I sat down with a consenting young man while he told his story. They really liked what I did so they asked me to return.
This year, I spent the weekend helping, exploring, preparing, and on Saturday from 10AM until 4PM, performing for a crowd. I got stage time twice which pleased me. This year I received a plaque thanking me for participating, a flower, and a glorious memory. I was able to help people, entertain them, and share stories of what it’s like to live in fear then to excel and exceed expectations once free. The video was taken by a good friend of mine, Eric. The other woman in the video is another good friend of mine, Miss Dell.
If you are in need of assistance in a domestic violence situation or have been sexually assaulted, the resources above are linked directly to the sites where you can find phone numbers, resources for assistance, private and confidential help. You’re not alone. I believe you. This is not your fault.