Women in the Arena

Empowering Survivors: Symone Fairchild's Mission to End Domestic Violence

June 29, 2023 Audra Agen Season 5 Episode 26
Women in the Arena
Empowering Survivors: Symone Fairchild's Mission to End Domestic Violence
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What would you do if you found yourself trapped in a cycle of domestic violence? In this week's episode, we were honored to have Symone Fairchild, a screenwriter, actor, director, executive producer, and founder of Eye on DV, join us to share her incredible story of survival and advocacy. Symone opened up about her experiences with domestic violence and how it inspired her to create a powerful platform dedicated to eradicating this devastating issue.

Together, we took a deep look into the common patterns and subtle control tactics present in every abusive relationship. Exploring the power and control wheel, Simone helped us understand the insidious nature of coercion, threats, and love bombing as part of grooming someone for domestic violence. We also delved into the long-lasting effects of psychological abuse, highlighting the importance of supporting survivors and recognizing the signs of domestic violence in those around us.

In our conversation with Symone, she emphasized the incredible resources available to survivors, from housing to counseling and legal aid. With inspiring strength and advocacy, Symone is making a real difference in the lives of domestic violence survivors. Don't miss this powerful and eye-opening conversation with Symone Fairchild, as we learn together how to better support those affected by domestic violence and work towards its eradication.

Go check out all of our episodes on our website: https://womeninthearena.net/


If you are ready to tell your story or want to refer someone, please email me at audra@womeninthearena.net

***Last thing- I'd love to interview the following women:

  • Joan Jett
  • Dolly Parton
  • Viola Davis
  • Ina Garten

Maybe you can help me get there****


Thank you all for supporting this show and all of the Women in the Arena!!

Audra:

Before we get started, i'd like to take a moment to thank the sponsor of today's show, dr Michelle Sands. Dr Sands is the creator of Glow Natural Wellness and Fixed Hormones, and she has a healthy hormone club that offers monthly bioidentical hormone replacement therapy delivered to your home. What sets her apart from other programs is she provides access to physicians for you to ask questions and get support. She also provides routine testing to monitor and adjust your hormones as needed. In addition, she has a free hormone class to help you understand more about your hormones. You can sign up for this class at freehormoneclasscom. Forward slash arena. Thank you again, dr Michelle Sands, for your support. Welcome in everyone and thank you so much for joining me again this week. This week, i am joined by such an amazing and remarkable woman. This week, i am joined by Simone Fairchild, and she has such a list of accolades that I can't wait to share with you. First of all, doesn't her name sound like a movie star? That's because she is. She is a screenwriter, an actor, a director and an executive producer, and she is the founder of Eye on DV, which we're going to talk about more today. It is both my pleasure and my honor to introduce to you, simone Fairchild. Simone, thank you so much for joining me today and welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. So let's first talk about your career, how you have used your career and the opportunity that has presented to itself to put good in the world. Tell us a little bit about your career, your background as an actor, a director, what are you in this industry?

Symone:

I came to understand that the gift that God gave me to be an actress and be a storyteller, that that platform had a greater purpose. I wasn't supposed to just be famous. I wasn't supposed to just have bling in cars and Christian Louboutins and all that flashy stuff. I am supposed to use that platform to be able to help other people. That makes a lot of sense for me as an individual, because I have always been that type of person who advocated for other people, even as a kid. I can remember I was a very, very quiet child, but I would always befriend the kid who was getting bullied or the kid who was sitting alone at lunch or the kid who just looked sad or just wanted a friend or just wanted to talk. I've always been that person. I've always advocated for other people. I'm not myself if I'm not helping other people. I'm not myself if I'm not putting good into the world. So once I came to understand that natural pull inside of me to help other people and how that intertwined with my passion, which is acting and storytelling, it clicked. I've been on that path ever since and I'll never, ever stop.

Audra:

I think that that is. I want to highlight that for a second, because your passion is acting and entertaining and storytelling and using your voice. Like you said, you could have stopped there. That would have been okay, but you decided that your gift was more likely suited if you expanded it a little bit more and you expanded it into advocacy, and for you, your advocacy is now focused on domestic violence, which is where we're going to start our story today. As the founder of IonDV, you are providing a space for individuals to reclaim their voices and to reclaim their lives. So, like I said, let's start our conversation there today And first of all, tell us what is this foundation and what inspired you to start this platform.

Symone:

Eye on DV is a nonprofit organization that I began, and it is the movement to eradicate domestic violence. When that statement popped into my mind, it was perfect, it was true and it was real. I also understood that taking the world into consideration was a very lofty goal. What I came to understand about domestic violence is that it is a pattern, and it is a pattern that is present in every single situation. the same pattern, every single situation. So if it's a pattern in every single situation, then it's going on in the same way throughout the world, so it definitely can be eradicated. It's just a matter of the right people banding together to do something about it. I came into this space because I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, or domestic abuse, however you might want to label it. Going through the earlier part of my healing, i was going to counseling sessions. I was going to counseling sessions both group and individual at a couple of different organizations. I'm a naturally observant person, so I was paying attention to the other survivors that were in my group sessions. One organization that I was going to was in for lack of a better word a more affluent area, and then the other one that I was going to was in a more inner city, lower income area. Despite those differences, the situations, their bare bones of each situation, with each survivor, they were the same. I was going through these group sessions for a couple of years. It takes a while to heal and grow from trauma. in that way, i started to put the pieces together. In doing that, something clicked in my head and said, okay, something has to be done about this. This has to stop. I got so passionate about it that I couldn't not do anything about it. And that also ties back into how I am as a person, how I was as a kid, advocating for, you know, i guess you might say the underdog or the person or people in need. I couldn't sit in that space and not do anything about it. So that's how IonDV came to be. And you know what interesting story Like. my first inclination was to make IonDV into a docu-series. But the more I thought about it, the more I built it out. it became a nonprofit organization. during the time when everyone was sequestered, during COVID And those two years where we were basically locked in our houses, i built the nonprofit.

Audra:

I've said many times that COVID allowed all of us to slow down and start to focus on what is important, and there's been some amazing things that have been created because we got that opportunity. So you never know where and how the opportunity will present itself.

Symone:

Absolutely.

Audra:

And we're going to get into some details that may be difficult for those to hear, and so at the end of our conversation, we will be pointing you to some resources if you need them. It is not our intent to trigger any emotions and then not have a place for you to go and seek help. So that's what we're going to do today, and one of the reasons why this conversation is so important is because the majority of domestic violence victims are women. They're not only women, it's just the majority are. So that is why we want to have this conversation. We want to talk about Simone's organization and some resources to get help. So the first thing let's talk about, let's recognize what domestic violence is. You shared with me a graphic, which I'm going to share with all of you, about what it is and what it isn't, and it is the power and control. Simone, tell me what this means. What is power and control And what is this wheel of control that we need to look at and maybe observe and realize that there might be issues out there for ourselves and or for others. What?

Symone:

everyone, whether they be survivors or everyday people. everyone needs to understand about domestic violence, domestic abuse, interpersonal violence or intimate partner violence. Those are terms that are all used to describe the same thing. It's completely about power and control, 100%, totally, and I actually have a couple of definitions here as well, if you'd like me to.

Audra:

I'd love them yes.

Symone:

So domestic violence or abuse is violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving violent abuse of a spouse or partner. Interpersonal or intimate partner violence is basically the same thing but just involves a partner. So interpersonal or intimate partner violence is used interchangeably with domestic violence and domestic abuse. It's the intentional use of a pattern of destructive behaviors in an intimate relationship by one person to exert power and control over their partner. And in normal situations, honestly, power and control is not that important and it fills us out. You have a conversation. Things get better In unhealthy and toxic situations. It goes way beyond that. It goes into emotional, verbal, psychological, mental, financial, sexual, physical abuse And one isn't anymore or any less impactful or traumatic than the other. There is a longstanding misconception that physical abuse is more damaging than, say, psychological, emotional or mental, and that is absolutely untrue Because before you get to the physical, the more you get to the sexual. The psychological abuse has been happening from the moment these people meet Because grooming needs to take place. What is it? Love bombing needs to take place in order to prime the victim into the heavier psychological abuse and the physical abuse to take place. That person, the victim, needs to be off kilter. The victim needs to be unassuming. The victim needs to be quote, unquote, stuck, basically as far as the abuser is concerned. But you did mention the power and control wheel And the wheel has let's see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 spokes on it. They are broken into categories And let's see where it should be started. I guess we can start with using coercion and threats. Making Andrew carrying out threats to do something to hurt him or her, threatening to leave her or him to commit suicide, to report to welfare. Making her her we'll just use her. Making her drop charges. Making her do illegal things. It's making someone carry out certain acts in order to barter for their safety, or barter for protection of the children, or holding the threat of homelessness over their head or the threat of losing a job or losing money or losing welfare in order to do certain things or have the abuser's needs met.

Audra:

Is it always as dramatic as welfare or a direct threat? Is it ever subtle? Will it ever start happening before you recognize what's going on?

Symone:

Absolutely, and that is where the problem really lies, because in the relationship, especially the woman, women in relationships tend to bend over backwards and try to do everything that they can in order to show their partner and their family that they're loved, to hold the family together, to do everything that they can in order to be the caregiver. We are natural caregivers. Things do begin more subtly and they have to be that way also in case other eyes or other ears are around. An abuser doesn't abuse. well, if he leaves marks, if he breaks bones. In order for an abuser to be effective in what he's doing or she's doing can't really leave a mark. They do tend to be more covert.

Audra:

You had mentioned love bombing and I know that love bombing is an initial part of the grooming and maybe a subtle case of domestic violence that people didn't even realize that it's happening. Can you tell us what love bombing is and what it isn't?

Symone:

Okay, love bombing is seemingly normal. Love bombing is making the other person, when you first meet them, feel like they are the only person in the world, always wanting to the abuser who you don't know isn't abuser, yet always wants to be with that person, always wants to take up their time, is always calling them and might be stopping by their job and announced to surprise them Oh, i missed you so much and I just wanted to see you. And when that happens with a girl, it's like, oh my gosh, i just met this guy and he's doing all these amazing things, he's sending me flowers and he just popped up today and it's so wonderful. But over time and further into the relationship, those things continue to happen, but they tend to happen out of aggression.

Audra:

Expand on that a little bit, because as female I've been married a long time, but once upon a time I wasn't been a long time, but I did date at one point and I do remember behaviors like that and thinking it was normal. You're telling me abusers, they subtly start to switch. So what does that switch look like?

Symone:

It is so subtle And I didn't even realize it was happening until years later, in retrospect, in counseling, as I was going through what had happened to me. I didn't even realize it when it happened in my own relationship, for instance. I'll give a general example. Say a married couple and the wife had had her son. She's feeling really good about herself. I mean she's trying on her skinny girl clothes and she's looking in the mirror. She's contemplating, working out in this and that and whatever. She's in her room and she's trying on her clothes, looking at herself in her mirror, and the husband is sitting there and he's just watching and he's looking at her and he's saying, i mean you look okay, but you still need to lose some more pounds. Or you look okay, but I don't know, it's not working for me. So it's really subtle and it could not really resonate with you because this is your person. And why would he make a comment like that and say that he loves you? It just the two things just don't go together. But the victim or the survivor the survivor will notice that these things start to happen more and more and more and more And it's because in the abusers mind his partner is now stuck because she's now had a child. So now his partner, who is who is, is his source, his energy source that he needs. She's now stuck so she can't go anywhere. So who he really is inside can now start to come out, because she can't go anywhere anyway.

Audra:

Interesting, because now the situation is that he thinks that she's stuck because now she has a son, now she has a child, and as women for the majority of us we'll absolutely put our children before ourselves And we will do everything we can to protect that child. So we'll put up with a whole lot, including abuse, under the guise of I'm trying to protect my child. Yes, so these subtleties are starting to now escalate. What does that escalation start to look like?

Symone:

That escalation can manifest in different ways, of course, depending on the individual circumstances. that escalation can start to look like more and more use of intimidation, more and more use of emotional abuse, more and more use of isolation, and isolation is key. You'll hear about other situations or like in movies, for instance, that are about domestic abuse or domestic violence, where the abuser picked up his family or took his wife and moved her out to the Midwest, completely away from family, cutting her off from any tie, ties or any support or anything like that. But it doesn't have to be moving to another state. The abuser can do that living in the same state. Just figure out a way to poison family against her or friends against her or coworkers against her. It takes a lot of brain power for the abuser to create this world, and it continues and continues and continues because this is naturally who they are. This isn't something that they do because it's a light switch that went off. This is their personality. This has been ingrained in them. So they use more minimizing and denying and blaming. They'll use the children if they have to. They'll use pets, if you have them If they have to. they'll use the whole male privilege thing using economic abuse. They'll using a spiritual abuse and anything at their disposal. Anything that an abuser sees is important to you. they will figure out a way to use that against you.

Audra:

And you mentioned earlier that it's a pattern. What do you mean by it's a pattern? Is that things that we can recognize? Or do you mean that it's a generational pattern? Maybe it's all of those things. What does that mean?

Symone:

as far as pattern is concerned, Well, it is definitely generational, But within a relationship there are four stages. The stages are tension, incident, reconciliation and calm. This is the cycle that happens over and over and over and over. It's meant to keep the survivor off balance. So I'll go into what the first one is. So tension is during the stage external stressors may begin to build within the abuser. External stressors could include financial problems, a bad day at work or simply being tired. When an abusive partner feels tense because of outside factors, their frustration will build over time. They continue to grow angrier and angrier because they feel a loss of control. There it is control. The survivor is the target of the abuse. They tend to try to find ways to ease that tension. The woman will find a way not always a woman, but the woman will find a way to appease their partner. Is there something I can do? What is it that I'm not doing? Did I not do this right? And this is to prevent the abusive episode from occurring, because at this point she knows the pattern or she knows it's coming. During this time, it is typical for the person at risk, or the survivor that is going to be abused, to feel very anxious, and that's another thing. Going through this cycle of being anxious and not anxious, and anxious and not anxious, and anxious and not anxious. It causes cortisol to build up into the body. It causes you to go into your fight or flight risk, fight, flight, freeze or fawn, the survival mode, the trauma responses, to go around the cycle over and over and over, and over and over and over and over and over, and that is extremely unhealthy for the body and the brain, especially the brain, and that over time, can lead to PTSD, which is post-traumatic stress disorder. One thing that people don't really understand about PTSD is that it essentially is brain damage. It alters the parts of the brain like the amygdala, the amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. It causes changes in those areas of the brain. Now, mind you, over time, can you alter that? Yes, but it is extremely difficult and you can't do that by yourself.

Audra:

So this is not just being done to you, it is happening to you. It is psychologically, physically being done to you, but then it's also changing your physical makeup. Yeah, it's creating damage. Is what you're telling me? Yes, absolutely.

Symone:

In fact there was a survivor that I was helping and she lived in South Carolina, I think it was, And she had endured. She had since left her abuser and I think they were separated for like 12 or 15 years or whatever it is. But them being separated did not stop the abuse from happening. The emotional and the psychological and the mental still continue to happen. Because their two boys were with the father and of course he used them at every single turn And because of the ongoing stress of that situation, it ended up causing her to develop about five or six different autoimmune disorders.

Audra:

Autoimmune disorders. So that means that her body is starting to attack itself?

Symone:

Yes, Yes, wow. She eventually passed away as a result of her autoimmune disorders that were as a result of ongoing domestic abuse.

Audra:

Wow, I had no idea that it's not just being done to you, but now your body is reacting, and it's reacting in a pretty significant way that you're telling me that it has up to the possibility of basically turning on itself. Yes, yes.

Symone:

Wow. And the thing is is that the body does give off cues, it does give off clues Before it gets to the autoimmune response. It's giving off little signs, like the anxiety or the sweating or maybe having memory issues. Your body is going to be giving you signs that something's wrong, but the thing is is that we, as a society, we don't talk about them, we don't stress them. The vast majority of people don't know that these are warning signs that things are going to get a lot worse. So you need to get out now.

Audra:

So the body is telling you there's something wrong. Yes, and if you're ignoring your brain and we can all talk ourselves in and out of all kinds of things If you're ignoring your thoughts and your brain, your body's not going to allow you to ignore. It is what you're telling me, right, right, interesting. Yeah. So there is this entire level of and I shouldn't say level, but there's layers, multiple layers upon layers upon layers of what abuse looks like and its effects on different individuals. So now your organization comes in and is providing services and assistance to these survivors. So you are out there trying to help these individuals and, like I said at the beginning, the majority of them are women. They're not only women, it's just the majority are. How do they come to you? It?

Symone:

takes an enormous amount of courage to reach out and ask for help Enormous, because you have been brainwashed into believing that any word to anyone outside of the situation and your abuser is going to kill you Or there's no one out there for you, nobody cares, nobody is going to help you, you have no resources, you're stuck. So it takes an enormous amount of courage to reach out. Some come to me and they are just overwhelmed for the need for someone to. Now, every last one of them, i will say every last one of them have come to me and they have the overwhelming need to be heard, just for someone to just give them to space, just to feel comfortable enough to just sit, because I would conduct interviews with survivors and the first thing I would say to them is this is your space and your time. We will sit here for five minutes. We will sit here for two hours. You can share or not share. We can talk about your trip to 7-Eleven, or we can talk about your trauma, or we can talk about your kids Whatever it is that you want to talk about, or nothing. This is your time, you are safe here and the first thing I will tell you is that I believe you.

Audra:

That. I want to pause on that for a moment, because we have inherited a history of not believing survivors, especially if they're women. We have to fight to be heard and we have to fight to be believed. So you're coming to them and saying I believe you Right off the bat. I believe you And you have shared with me that the women and men but, like I said, mostly women for this topic that you have helped, and even many more out there that you haven't yet gotten an opportunity to help, they are all walks of life. There is no discrimination, There is no zip code, there is no tax bracket, there is no education limitation on these survivors. So you have these incredibly brave individuals coming to you and you're offering them space Again from all walks of life. After that first step, what's the next step in the process for your organization? Mostly, whatever they need.

Symone:

I cater to whatever the survivor needs. There have been survivors that came to me and they really just needed a shoulder. That's all that they needed. Some have come and they need tangible things like help with housing or transportation or food or clothing. a lot I'd say almost all have come to me needing a legal assistance.

Audra:

So we've talked a lot about what the abusers do and how you can recognize it within yourself. What if there's individuals in your space, in your sphere of influence, if you will, that you are starting to suspect that things may not be exactly okay And if they're not, they're probably not going to communicate that out loud How would you gently approach that individual and offer them help? Because I guarantee you that somebody listening knows somebody that something isn't quite right and you want to do something, to step in, but don't know what to do. Can you guide us on what we can do?

Symone:

I have a habit of checking on people. In general, i'll just text people and say, hey, you just popped into my mind, just want to say hi and see how you're doing, how's everything going, and a lot of times, just that right there can open the floodgates, and it's just timing. Every so often. Just check in with people. You might have someone that you haven't talked to in months and you check in with them. So and behold, they reach out and they say your timing couldn't have been any better. I really needed someone to talk to. I don't know if you can help with this, but I need this and this and this is happening and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You just never know. So just asking people, genuinely asking people how they're doing, and having the courage within yourself to allow space for them if something is going on. Now you might not have the resources to help them, but you might know someone who does or something, or some organization or some company that does. So I think that us as a society, we've gotten away from really caring about other people, and that's because we have so much trauma going on within our own little, within our own world, that we, as individuals, we are so overloaded with how things are going on in this country. To be quite honest, we're just kind of full up to here with everything. So although it is hard to make space for other people, we as human beings do have the capability of expanding. Every so often, just reach out to the people who are in your lives and just say, hey, how are you doing? That really means a lot to have someone care enough to just ask you that.

Audra:

What they say. this is what's going on. What do you do? What's the next best step? I mean because obviously you don't want to alert the abuser because it could escalate. It could be turned out really, really bad for that individual, so you don't want to do anything that will trigger that. How do you cautiously proceed?

Symone:

It depends on what the situation is with the survivor at the moment. If they are living in the same house, living in the same dwelling with their abuser, and when you've reached out to them that they are at home and they can't get away, hopefully they will say I can't talk now, but I'll call you or I'll text you or whatever when I can, or let's meet at such and such, or something like that. I have had a couple of survivors who have been in that situation and they have said I can't say right now, but I will send you an email or I will reach out when I can, or at this point I need this help. Can you help us get out? But in that regard, if the survivor is in a situation that is volatile, like right now, if you have the resources, give them to them right then and there, so that if they can make a move immediately they can move. You can start making some plans on your end to try to help and get them out or whatever it is that they want to do. If they just need counseling or whatever it is that they need, just let them lead you through it.

Audra:

So let them guide you for what they need and then act accordingly. So all of this sounds like a lot and overwhelming, and that I've now discovered that it is not just physically put upon you, but it's actually something that starts to change you physiologically. What does survivorship look like on the other side, boy?

Symone:

did. It take me a long time to get there. On the other side of survivorship is thriving. That looks different for everyone. To get beyond survivorship, that's a mindset. I know that most women at least most women have spent all their lives in survival mode because we are groomed to be seen and not heard. So we're essentially surviving in this little teeny space psychologically, so that we aren't shamed or degraded or whatever it is. So it takes so much You have to heal from whatever it is that your trauma is. You also, when you're unpacking that, you have to unpack probably also whatever generational trauma has laid the framework for the abuse to even take place. And so we have to unpack all that and heal all of that. And then, as you're going along healing your mindset and changing your mindset and this is a daily thing, daily And what I found in my journey is that I was banging up against this brick wall that said thriving for a long time, and I just I couldn't get through it, i couldn't get under it, i couldn't get over it. One day I was just, i was there, i was just there. My mindset was just different And I'm like how, where did I? I just felt you just know it, you spend like I spent so much time healing. I spent so much time unpacking and growing and asking questions and really in the hard scary places, hard scary times Like there was. There was a time where in my healing, where I didn't think I was going to make it because I was I was used to the pendulum going like this Up and down, up and down. One time the pendulum got stuck, i plateaued. That was terrifying for me And for me that was a little bit of control because I wasn't able I'm going to pick yourself up by the bootstraps type of person And I wasn't able to get that pendulum moving again. I was like if I can't keep growing, that's a big problem because I'm a single parent And if I can't keep improving, then I can't be what my son needs. Scared the crap out of me, eventually swung up again. I came to understand what thriving is. I came to understand what thriving was for me personally. I came to understand that what thriving looks like is individual And once I come, once I came to understand that, and once I came to understand that what it takes to get out of survivorship and over into thriving is living your greatest self through your voice. You must fully embody your voice. You must not be afraid to use your voice for women. That can be dangerous For women, that can be terrifying For women. That takes an enormous and ongoing rewiring of programming that we have been subjected to since birth And in general, people have gotten away from individually thriving. You have to be one with yourself. You have to be able to turn within yourself and deal with the good and the bad and the ugly and process it and expand. And that's a daily thing. It's really hard, but the good thing is, if you have the courage to do it every day and every day and every day, it gets easier. The last step in becoming your greatest self, which is the same thing as thriving, is that voice. That's why the most important thing that IonDV does is helping survivors find their voice. That's like the fast track. If you learn it, if you find where that voice is and how and you understand how it got where it was, you have fast-tracked your way to thriving.

Audra:

I have found in my own life and this journey of interviewing women all over the world, that has been the key to everything. And not all of them are survivors of abuse, but all women are survivors of something. Yep, that's right. That is what I have discovered, myself included. We are all surviving something, and the key to going to your next highest level is finding that voice Somehow, because it gets buried under all kinds of garbage And it sounds like from the abusers of the survivors point of view, it's buried under more Yep, and there's a lot stump-pack. I had promised at the top of the hour that we were going to provide some resources. If the audience needs resources, more information, whatever the case may be, where can they turn to?

Symone:

Okay, so I have like two pages with the resources, but I will categorize them so that it's not so expansive. The first one is the National Domestic Violence Hotline And of course it's national, so you can call from anywhere and they will direct you to resources, to whatever your state is, whatever your county is, and that number is 800-799-7233.

Audra:

And for everybody listening, i will take all of this information that Simone is giving us and I will turn it into graphics that you can download, that you can utilize. Then you can pass on to those that may need it. Don't worry about taking notes right now. I will make sure that you have all of this information.

Symone:

Eye on DV, my organization. We work nationally, working on working globally as well. I have connections. Eye on DV has connections for all different types of resources, whether it be housing, clothing, transportation, legal, just a shoulder, finding your voice. We specialize in helping the individual come into their thriving space, come into their voice. So that's what IonDV does. The website is Eye on DV, that's E-Y-E-O-N-D-V dot com. You can also find IonDV on YouTube, on Facebook and on Instagram, so that's how you get in touch with moi and get resources if you need them. As far as now, i'm in Southern California, so all of my local resources are going to be in Southern California. So I'll start with resources as far as. So these next organizations have housing resources, have group and individual counseling, food resources, transportation resources, tangible types of resources also help really well with exit planning, which is key, and I have personal experience and organizational experience with all of these resources, so they're absolutely wonderful. The first one is called Sojourn, that's S-O-J-O-U-R-N. They are a program of the People Concern in Santa Monica, california. Their phone number is 310-264-6644, and their website is thepeopleconcernorg forward slash, sojourn, forward slash, and they've been open since 1977, so they are absolutely amazing, their classes and their counseling incredible. Next is the Genesee Center. Their phone number is 323-299-9496. Their website is Genesee. That's J-E-N-E-S-S-E dot org. Their hotline is 800-479-7328. They were founded in 1980. I have been through their counseling program and their legal aid is absolutely wonderful. They helped me through the majority of my court situation, so they are incredible. The next one is Project Peacemakers, and their number is 323-291-2525. Their website is projectpeacemakersincorg. They've been open 27 years. They also have a very interesting program. I received my domestic violence victims advocate California licensing through a program that they have, so they have very long standing ties within the community. They're absolutely delightful people. The next one is, oh, the Positive Results Center. Their website is prc123.org. Their phone number is 323-787-9252. I will say that their CEO, candy Lewis, has been the CEO of this company for a very long time and she has very deep-rooted connections within the community. She absolutely loves her job and anyone who needs help would be 100% safe with this organization. Now, as far as let's see housing okay, this is a rescue mission. It's called San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. The number is 818-785-4476, and their website is snsamf. As in Frank v, as in Victor, rescuemissionorg. When you think of a rescue mission or you think of a shelter, you think of something that is dark, scary and not clean, not at all Really safe, always clean, bright, more like a resort. They have incredible resources, incredible resources. My son and I were there for five months and they had speakers come in for like, say you wanted to get a job, or say you wanted to start a business? Pepperdine University sent a representative to do a talk on their entrepreneurial business licensing program. I was in heaven. I cannot speak any more highly about a rescue mission. San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission is absolutely incredible. As far as other resources in Southern California, the Department of Public Social Services. The number is 888-822-9622. The website is dpsslacountygov. They have food and nutrition services, cash assistance, job services, homeless services, health services, community services and way more. They helped with us so much and I referred a ton of people to them. There were times where I was so stressed out. I remember once when I went to go sign up for assistance there and I was so scared and so stressed out that I was standing at the window with a representative and I was lacking out as I'm trying to sign, as I'm trying to fill out the paperwork. Normally the situation the workers are so stressed out themselves they can't really get through very well, but the poor woman she had to finish filling out the application for me And it was. If you genuinely need help and you go in with the attitude that you need help and are giving them the space to help you, they got you back. They got you back Okay. So legal services Neighborhood legal services in Los Angeles County. Their number is 800-433-6251. They have DV and family services DV meaning domestic violence. They help with housing, healthcare, public benefits, immigration, clean slate initiatives, workers' rights, medical legal partnerships and so much more. These lawyers helped me through my initial phase of trying to get my restraining order And very, very compassionate, very understanding. Absolutely love them. Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution And I am working with them right now. Their website is kind of long, it's llsedu forward slash. Academics, forward slash centers. Forward slash. Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution. Their number is 213-736-1145. They are a bilingual community mediation program that seeks to help people resolve conflict. So if you're seeking a divorce or seeking child support, they help you work through that situation without necessarily having to go through court. And one of the unfortunate surprises of going through my situation was experiencing the trauma of court. Court is extraordinarily traumatic And going through that just getting out of a domestic violence situation. It was an absolute blindside. So the Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution they make this. They make going through court not like court at all. They will hold your hand, they will provide a space for you to go through the process and not have to go through the trauma, and it's wonderful people. This last one is a program. It's called Aviva Family and Children's Services, 323-876-0550. Their website is AvivaAvivaorg. I sought out this organization because they have a program called PCIT, which is parent-child interactive therapy, and, coming out of my situation, i just wanted to make sure that my son was healthy, my son was okay and our relationship between he and I because I am now his parent, i wanted to make sure that our relationship was solid and absolutely as healthy as it can be And a counselor comes in and evaluates how you and your child are communicating to see what needs to be strengthened, what where there are any problems or any issues, and absolutely warm and supportive people.

Audra:

First of all, i want to thank you for spending this hour with me and with the audience on something that is very difficult to talk about And, especially since this is your experience and I know that this is it's very, it's very raw, very real. Even though you're in that space of thrivership, those emotions still, i don't imagine that they ever completely go away. So I respect and recognize the difficulty it is to talk about this and thank you for doing that for the benefit of our audience. I also appreciate you educating us and giving us resources for those that may need it. So, once again, i will make sure that there are graphics so that everybody knows where these resources are and how they can access them and, most especially, how they can access you, because you have tapped into resources not just in Southern California, but I know that you're expanding your reach through other parts of the country and, eventually, other parts of the world. So thank you for all of that And I want to step back from the mic for a moment and give you the opportunity to leave a lasting thought with the audience.

Symone:

I just want to share with the audience and share with survivors that we are all human. We are all experiencing some type of trauma or have experienced some type of trauma. But that does not take away from the one thing that all makes us human beings We all have an inherent need for love. We all need that. We come into this world all needing that. If we can get back to the place where we offer that to one another as the number one priority, we can, one person at a time, literally change the world. Literally hands down, and it takes all of us being on the same page with that. If you want to do your part to make the world a better place, whether it be for yourself or for your children, or for the next generation, or for your friends or whomever, offer love as a priority to your friends, to your family, to your coworkers, to people on the street, it doesn't matter. Offer a smile, offer the shoulder. Are you okay? Did you trip? Did you fall? Can I help you up? Offer love. If it's a handshake, if it's a hug, it doesn't matter. Let people know that you care, simone, thank you.

Audra:

Thank you for that And, once again, thank you for spending this time with us. I appreciate it. It's been quite the experience sitting here with you, so thank you very much. You're welcome. Thank you, and I want to thank all of you for joining us again this week. I will have all the resources available to you And if you need anything additionally, please reach out to me directly and I will make sure that I get you in contact with all the appropriate resources. Thank you again for joining me this week and we'll see you again next time.

Advocacy for Domestic Violence
Understanding Domestic Violence
Supporting Survivors and Recognizing Signs
Survivorship to Thriving
Resources for Survivors of Domestic Violence
Expressing Gratitude and Providing Resources