Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Domestic Violence Project

domestic violence
One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.

I am the “one in four.” When I was nineteen, a boyfriend violently attacked me one night and it changed my psyche forever. Yes, I did leave him after the incident, but it was only because someone intervened and told me, “If they do it to you once, they will do it again.” As time went on, I managed to put the incident behind me, but I still bore the scars. When a future beau and I would get into an argument and his voice got loud, I immediately would think, “Is he going to hit me?” That fear stayed with me for years as I traveled from one boyfriend to the next. Thank God it hasn’t happened again, but those scars never heal.

In 2009, I wrote Zaire’s Place about three women whose lives converge at a domestic violence shelter in Baltimore, Maryland. Zaire’s Place will be published very soon and I’m counting down the days. To find out more about my novel, click here.

I am a staunch advocate in the fight against domestic violence. I just started the Domestic Violence Project in which I am collecting six-word responses on what people think about domestic violence.

I got the idea for the Domestic Violence Project from Michele Norris, the creator of the Race Card Project. She collected six-word “essays” about race in America from people all over the country. It is my hope that I will build upon the Domestic Violence Project to start a conversation about this pervasive subject all across the country.

So far, I have collected five responses (in addition to mine). Hey, you have to start somewhere. I’m thankful to those who have contributed to my project thus far. May we keep the conversation going to combat this disease.

Of course, I’ll be providing you with updates on the Domestic Violence Project as time goes on. To submit your response, please send an e-mail to tcgalltin@hotmail.com or leave it in the comment section.

The Domestic Violence Project
Your Thoughts in Six Words

Hitting women is a damn shame. ~Jonnelle Galltin-Otero

It’s easy to fight the vulnerable. ~Monay Gunn

WRONG – regardless of the victim’s gender! ~Zoë Davis

Emotional scars last longer than physical. ~Kenneth Weene

Relationships don’t give right to abuse. ~Trish Brown

The scars will always be there. ~TC Galltin


  1. Thank goodness for the person who helped you see the light! Too often friends and family are complacent and ignore what's right in front of them.

    I'll definitely be sharing this!!! Do you mind if I spotlight on my blog and through my non-profit?

  2. Hey Michelle,

    It's great hearing from you! I most definitely do not mind if you share it! Share, share, and share some more! I just want to get the message out so we can end domestic violence!


    P.S. And thanks for your support!

  3. My contribution: Friends don't just ignore it - REACT!

  4. Michelle, that's WONDERFUL! Thanks!

  5. Okay so I avoided this but Michelle is persistent:-) I am thinking this is the 3rd time I have seen this post link. The 1st time from you T.C. in my blog stream, the last 2xs in Michelle's. I avoided it because my life has been dramatic enough I think I pushed it aside did not want to deal with the emotions of this subject. I was also a victim of domestic violence. And really the memories of that time in my life I buried. I was also 19 when this happened. He was 27-old enough to know better. That age is a time in our lives when events like these can severely change our course. Amazing this topic is put here for me to deal with my emotions. That is how God works. Things--emotions rise to the surface again so they can be healed. I thought I was done with this but God says no there is more to clean up. Thank you for shining the light again T.C.

    My 6 word essay is: "He hit me. My soul shattered."

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  7. Dietta,
    I was moved to tears when I read your story. I'm sorry you went through that. Unfortunately, too many of us have gone through this experience. Too many. Thank you for your wonderful contribution. Here's to confronting our past and mending our souls.

  8. I am a persistent little bugger, aren't I? Thank you for sharing your experience, Dietta! Do you mind posting your 6 words on my blog for the contest as well? Or I could post it as an anonymous entry if you'd prefer.

    It's amazing the things we think we've dealt with but have only pushed them to the side. While I've never been a victim of physical abuse, I have dealt with emotional and verbal abuse. At 19, I was involved with someone almost twice my age and while our relationship really only lasted a year - it seemed like I aged a lifetime. I have no serious regrets, because my oldest son is a product of that relationship. My quest is to have him see his father's shortcomings (on his own time and not by me bashing him) and become a better man, husband, and father.

  9. Michelle,

    Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical. Most of the time they go hand in hand. Nineteen must be the magic number or something. I'm sure your son is going to grow up to be a lovely young man.