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A Letter to My Ally

 

One of my girlfriends had been in the hospital several times, but I didn’t know it was because of domestic violence. She said, “I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my daughter. I never know what’s going to happen one minute to the next.” She was shot in the head. No one helped her. She died that day.*

You and I are connected. We are connected by a common cause, a mutual purpose. We are allies in our shared commitment to ending domestic violence. I thank you for your commitment to this serious issue and ask you to continue that commitment and support by making a financial contribution to A Woman’s Place (AWP) today.

I found AWP after the loss of my best friend. Some might say that I found AWP too late, but I know that I found AWP right when I was supposed to. I found AWP when I was full of self-blame and have been able to realize that I hold a story and an experience that is much too valuable to waste. My story is not only a story of loss. It is a story of hope – for the many lives that can be saved when we know of, support, and partner with the resources that are available to each and every one of us. Like so many other victims of domestic violence, my friend was frozen in shame – in the shame of dreams not achieved and expectations not met. She needed to know that she did not cause the abuse she was experiencing. She needed to know that she was not responsible for the violence she feared. She needed AWP. If we are going to build a healthier community, defined by peace and safety rather than violence and shame, we all need AWP.

I welcomed the opportunity that AWP gave me to tell my friend’s story… Brenda’s Story.

I still mourn for her today, but I know she is watching me and is proud of me for sharing her story. She would want others to know that there is help. That there is a place and there are people for them to turn to. She would want us all, as allies, to share our commitment and to tell the stories.

In AWP I found strength. I found a community of allies that would help me to heal and would join me is spreading the news that there are caring people and a caring place where victims of domestic violence can go for help. In AWP I found a place to tell Brenda’s Story and allies eager to hear and share that story so that others might be spared Brenda’s fate. Thank you again for being an ally, and thank you for making a contribution to AWP today.

I just blamed myself for so many things I could have done… should have done. A friend of mine at work said, “You know, there’s a place. It’s called A Woman’s Place…. You need to go.”

That’s where I needed to be.*

Sincerely,

Leona Brewington
A Woman’s Place Volunteer

* Excerpt from Leona Brewington’s remarks in AWP’s recent video. To watch the video, visit www.awomansplace.org and click on “Watch Our Video” on the right sidebar. You can find Brenda’s Story on AWP’s homepage.

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