Now that Domestic Violence Awareness Month is over, things have quieted down for me. From the first week to the last week of October I was speaking at two events a week, participating in multiple awareness walks, symposiums and workshops. I created an awareness video and photography project, Domestic Violence Unmasked, featuring a photo a day for 31 days. The project focuses on the myths & social stigmas surrounding domestic violence, victim blaming, prevention, resources for domestic violence victims, and survivor solidarity.
By mid-October, I was burnt out and when friends and family members asked me about upcoming projects I told them that I was “all dv’ed out”. Although I love sharing my story with others, hoping to inspire other survivors to speak out, I was overwhelmed. I vowed to take a much needed break from my advocacy work from November to January 2014. In the first week of November I realized that I was bored out of my mind and when you are passionate about your mission, it is hard to sit idle.
I started brainstorming projects and event ideas for February 2014, National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.So far I’ve come up with two projects, one focusing on teen dating violence statistics and a fundraiser for Break the Cycle. Break the Cycle is our national teen dating violence agency that have programs like the National Dating Abuse Helpline and "Love is Respect".
Break the Cycle has a fundraiser party theme, "Valentine's Day Anytime", which I thought was very fitting for the February holiday. I have everything planned out before having the location, date and time set. I have reached out to local restaurants and lounges in the Harlem, New York community hoping to secure a venue soon. I plan to reach my fundraising goal with raffle tickets, a silent auction, selling awareness trinkets, and donations. I want to make this a fun and educational event.
Hopefully the next time I post something up it will be a flyer with details for February's fundraiser!