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Supportive Friend

Founder's Message

Founder's Message: Empowering Survivors, Breaking Domestic Violence's Grip, Overcoming Pain

Elizabeth

Hello, I'm Elizabeth.

Dealing with domestic violence in the 80s, 90s, and the early 2000s was no easy path. In a time when we couldn't rely on the instant connections of social media and had minimal community support, public awareness and education about intimate partner violence.

 

Domestic violence was normalized, and victims were expected to remain silent, fearing shame and guilt imposed by their abusers, families, friends, and the community. Survivors, particularly in black and brown communities, were expected to stay quiet and submissive in the face of their abusers. The journey was isolating. I won't sugarcoat it; it hit me hard as a teen parent.

 It did define me in many ways for a long time until I got into therapy, spoke up, and realized he was going to kill me and my children. By the grace of God, my seven-year-old daughter and I emerged survivors from the ordeal, supported by my three eldest children, siblings, best friends, and the caring members of my church family. Their unwavering support stood strong.

As time rolled on, I learned love should never be abusive. No one has the right to control you with fear or violence. It's been a journey, realizing the impact on me and my kids. But here's the deal – I'm not just a survivor; I'm a mom, a grandmother, and overcoming a traumatic experience. I've been there and done that.

It takes time, support, and self-compassion, but healing is possible, and we're proof of that. And now it's time to share our story, not just for survivors but for anyone who needs a wake-up call about the devastation of domestic violence.

I get it; society can be judgmental, but let's break that cycle. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate – it happened to me as a teen and an adult. I didn't get the help I needed initially, but I fought back, found self-love, and took my power back. Now, it's all about turning pain into purpose.

Starting "SIS" wasn't just instinct. It came from witnessing my daughters and others go through the same pain. That broke me, but it also fueled my fire. to create a safe space for survivors, regardless of who they are. I mean, who better to tell a survivor's story than a survivor.

SIS it's not just an organization; it's an initiative, and a long-ago vision. We're breaking free from the darkness, offering judgment-free zones, and connecting survivors with the support they need. It's not just my passion; it's my calling to work with communities because together, we can make a real impact, one family at a time.

Thanks for listening,

Elizabeth Monteiro, 

Survivor.

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