In this powerful blog, one survivor shares why she walked with us at this year’s Stand Up & Stride. We are grateful that she and so many other survivors joined us to create domestic violence awareness and to celebrate their bright new beginnings.
WHY I WALK by Lauren Musielak
I walk for myself. I keep my head up, knowing what I have overcome. My past doesn’t define me. I am a lot stronger. I am a survivor.
I walk for my perpetrator. I stand up and stride, letting him know that I am no longer scared. It is my body and I decide what happens to it. He is to blame, not me. No means no, but most importantly yes means yes.
I walk for my ex. For I am strong, independent and free, free of his words, which no longer haunt me. I walk hoping he got help, that he is a better man.
I walk holding hands with my daughter. I hold tight, hoping she will never have to go through what I have. I know that I can’t protect her from everything, but I can raise her knowing what a healthy relationship is.
I walk for her. She was just a child, her innocence stolen. She is now an adult and did what seemed to be impossible, she got help. She now knows that she is not to blame and it wasn’t right. She will have to face him in court, but she won’t be alone.
I walk for the ones who aren’t able to. Every day three women are murdered by a current or former male partner in the U.S. Out of the 1,095 killed each year from domestic violence, only 4 percent of them had used a domestic violence hotline or shelter within the year prior to being killed by an intimate partner.
I walk for the 1 in 3 women and the 1 in 4 men who have been physically abused by their intimate partner. We walk together, to stop the epidemic. We walk to inspire people to help and inspire victims to get help.
Most importantly, we walk for you. You are not alone. You are not to be blamed. You do not deserve to be abused. You too, can rise. You have rights. Your body has rights. You can get help.
We walk to stop domestic violence. We stand up and stride with Hubbard House, because we are survivors.
Hubbard House 24-Hour Hotline (800) 500-1119 or (904) 354-3114
Hubbard House is a full-service certified domestic violence center providing prevention and intervention to domestic violence survivors and their families in Duval and Baker counties in Northeast Florida.