Story by: Reggie Wells
MONROE, La. (KNOE) – October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Wellspring and Family Justice Center of Ouachita Parish honored survivors on Thursday, along with the people who work to end domestic violence.
One survivor shared her story and how she overcame her situation.
“I had been left for dead,” said Monica Moore.
Moore remembered the moment she knew she had to leave her abusive partner. Moore thanks her daughter for giving her the inspiration to put an end to it.
“She made a joke and she was saying, ‘Mommy, we’re going to have to leave or my abuser’s going to kill us,’” Moore said. “So, it was jokingly, it was comical then when she said it, but at the same time, it was real. I just made my mind up that I needed to leave.”
After seven years of abuse, what bothered Moore most was the pain her daughter went through.
“We, me and the elders, were praying with her one night and she just said it that she didn’t want a man to do her like she had been seeing me being done. That’s when we realized that that had been affecting her what she saw at such a young age.”
Moore said she didn’t have a support system when she was going through her situation. That is why she knows she has to be that voice for others by sharing her story.
Valerie Bowman, the Family Justice Center director, said it’s important to be there because there are still so many victims suffering from domestic violence.
“We know there’s lots of victims that are still out there that need that encouragement to break that cycle,” Bowman said.
She says events like these give victims and those who work with them a chance to break the cycle by encouraging victims to take a stand.
“So, we’re encouraging people that work with victims and people that are victims to let their light shine, to get out there and get out of that relationship. So, we’re trying to break that cycle and not let it continue from generation to generation,” Bowman said.
The Family Justice Center is a one-stop-shop for victims of domestic violence. They offer case management and safety plans for people in need. There’s also legal and counseling services.
There is also a 24/7 crisis line, so people can talk to a trained advocate to help victims get out of their situations. That number is (318) 411-1333.