“Face Forward works with community leaders around the nation to identify victims of violence who are legitimately working toward recovery and who carry the physical evidence of past abuse,” namely, the kind of abuse you see in the mirror, every day, that reminds you of your abusive past. I like this charity because it reaches out to domestic violence survivors who are changing and healing themselves so they don’t fall into another abusive relationship.
Domestic violence includes the abuses that do not leave bruises on your body. Please reach out to the Survivors’ Mentoring Team no matter what your experience with domestic violence. If you need support to get out or get over an abusive relationship, our mentors can help you think more clearly and find the answers you need.
I am extremely proud of our Mentoring Team! These survivors volunteer their time to help you, the current abuse sufferer or the survivor who needs some support to progress in your healing. We do not know everything, and we are not licensed counselors, but as mentors, we have extraordinary wisdom that comes from experience with domestic violence and abuse and we have all left abusive relationships. If you need someone to talk to about past or current domestic violence or abuse, send your request at Help With Domestic Violence and Abuse.
The Verbal Abuse Journals Mentoring Team
Moyo A advocates against domestic violence. She feels empowered by her reputation of experience, credibility, and momentum, and she transforms through integrity. The suffering, fears, and the emotional loss/instability that she passed through during her years of her abusive marriage is valid, shocking and deserves acknowledgement and expression to heal, encourage and transform other victims and survivors.
Laurie E works to bring attention to abusive behavior and how to recognize it for what it is. She was married for almost 30 years and wants to help and educate others about abuse. She wants you to know that you must learn to do what is best for you, first and foremost. We are all, each one of us, deserving of a life free of control, anger and abuse, whether it is physical, emotional, or both. Laurie keeps a blog called The Past to The Presentabout her experiences with domestic violence from her MS afflicted husband.
Don R is a (soon to be) twice-divorced 46-year-old Marine Corps Veteran. He has two beautiful children (son, 8 and daughter, 9). His harem of pets includes a rabbit named Thumper who kicks and thumps his feet when he’s pissed off (sort of like Don), a cat named Bella who is still pissed off about his new dog, a German Shepherd named Sable. Sable seems to be an incarnation of his ex-wife because of how Sable destroys Don’s stuff, pounces on him similarly to the way his ex initiated her beatings, and generally wreaks havoc in the house. Being a man and Marine Corp Veteran, it troubles Don to admit being a survivor of domestic violence. He feels rather lost in his ongoing legal and medical problems, but he is here and willing to help anyone to understand why and how we got here. Don says, “I have a charming personality (my Mother laughs when I say that), I’m brutally handsome, (I humor myself with my ego) and enjoy laughing rather than wallowing in self-pity and despair (which I am very accomplished in doing). So bring it on!”
Kymberlye C is a survivor, free of her abusive relationship for over ten years. She knows what it’s like to feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time, and she wants you to know that you don’t have to feel this way. There is better waiting for you, and Kymberlye wants to help you discover it! She lived with an alcoholic drug abuser who thought it was his right to break her spirit. She suffered depression and physical illness as a result of living with the toxic relationship. She went to counseling and discovered that she stopped listening to her inner voice – the one that warns us about danger. It was then she realized in order to save herself and her girls, she had to become her own hero. She stopped listening to him, and more to herself. She started to listen to her inner voice more, and now she’s ready to listen to you!
Lucy K survived domestic violence during her marriage of three years but feels the damage will last a lifetime. Her ex-husband physically, mentally, emotionally and financially abused her. She struggled through the court system for restraining orders from him and moved homes, states and jobs to hide from him and his family. She attended therapy for 3 years after leaving and, although she no longer attends formal therapy, her new husband and friends provide support and encouragement. She pulled herself back from the edge, from poverty, from depression, from shame – and is proud or herself today. She wants to be a mentor to be the support that she needed all those years ago.
Janet B is a survivor of domestic violence. She stayed with her abuser for 15 years and has three children with him. Fortunately, she has custody of her children. She separated from her abuser about three years ago and participates in individual and group counselling to heal from the abuse and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder it caused. Janet experienced nightmares and flashbacks due to PTSD and learned many ways to cope with the disorder. Janet looks forward to sharing what she learned and helping others on their journey.
Stacey Porter is a survivor of sexual abuse as a child,but also suffered severe abuse from not only her mother but later domestic violence by her children’s father. Now, because of those experiences, she suffers from severe depression and anxiety. But through the midst of it all, she owns and operates her own small transportation company and wrote a book about her life. Why Me? The True Story of My Survival describes the turmoil she endured and how she survived. Stacey now offers her story to other abuse victims as well as mentoring young women.
Cindy K is a survivor of domestic violence. After 33 years of abuse she has learned how to live not just exist! She has written her autobiography entitled, Behind The Smile, and is now a passionate crusader in the war against DV.
Gabi K was in a marriage marred by emotional,verbal and physical abuse. She felt desperate to save her marriage and went for various forms of counselling – church, alternative,marriage – but all missed the real issue. The final crash came when Gabi was diagnosed with severe depression and saw that her kids were in unhealthy relationships. She regained her strength and left/ limped away forever.Then, a miracle happened. It clicked with her husband that he was the problem, and he went for help. He attended a Men’s Group for abuse. He read a lot and is on a road of healing and transformation. Gabi was very skeptical and only returned on a contract from the Men’s Group. She is now in a space where she reflects on her journey and feels a need to write it all down. She is keen to be there for other people on this road.Gabi needed, long ago, for someone to meet her on this crazy road of domestic violence and abuse and gently help her off it. She would love to prevent years of agonizing drama by being that gentle person for you.
Justine J decided to become a mentor for other domestic abuse survivors after leaving an abusive relationship in 2009 and taking steps to make a change in her life in order to prevent being in a similar situation in the future. Since then she has done volunteer work for multiple non-profit agencies and has re-established herself after multiple losses in her personal life and legal issues as a result of her 2-1/2 year long relationship with an abuser.She is also trained as a Medical Assistant, currently works in finance, has recently married and enjoys a peaceful and loving relationship with her husband and newborn baby.Justine has also worked with severely abused and neglected children (up to age 14) in the past and has training in de-escalation and non-violent crisis intervention techniques. She spent a month in a local Seattle women’s shelter while ending her abusive relationship and attended 2 years of individual counseling where she learned to identify red flags in potential relationships and to rebuild her confidence and self esteem.
Kellie H, Lead Survivors’ Mentor, began mentoring survivors of domestic violence and abuse in 2011 after many survivors responded to her website asking for help and advice for their relationship. She’s worked with hundreds of women and men, but now there are too many people for her to help alone. She decided to take on some trusted mentors who also endured and left abusive relationships to help. She’s very proud of the work the Survivors’ Mentors do.
Anonymous Mentors want to mentor survivors, but are not ready to expose their identities to the world. I am sure you all can understand the sensitive nature of domestic violence and that some good-hearted people want to help you without opening themselves up to their abusers, families, etc. Of course, you will know their first names when assigned an anonymous mentor, and it won’t affect your relationship with him or her in the least.
Mentoring abuse survivors is not the same as counseling. There is no certification or education needed to mentor an abuse survivor. The prerequisite to mentor a survivor for Verbal Abuse Journals requires that
you are a survivor of domestic violence or abuse and
you have left your abusive relationship and
you are as sure as possible that you are not currently experiencing an abusive relationship, and
you have excellent written and oral communication skills or are at the very least confident that you can improve them quickly.
A mentor primarily leads by example; therefore, to be a great mentor, you must be willing to share your successes and mistakes with other survivors of domestic violence and abuse. (If you are not an open person, then mentoring may not be for you. Contact us by email to see if there are other volunteer positions available at Verbal Abuse Journals or our non-profit, The Emergency Fund for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Abuse.)
Accepted mentors have access to message boards and general training. You may be subject to a national and/or state background check at our discretion. If we accept you as a mentor, we will give further information and instruction about the position. This application is non-binding. If those terms sound agreeable to you, please continue your application below.
Before we got married, I had not seen the aggressive nature of my partner. The time we spent together gave no indication of the violence I was to experience over the next 17 years. Without any warning – at the flick of an imaginary switch – my partner subjected me to vicious verbal tirades, threw hot drinks over me, smashed meal plates (with food still on) over my head. Why didn’t I leave or speak to someone? I couldn’t. I’m a man. There was nowhere for me to go. There was no one I could speak to. It seemed that plenty of charities were offering to help ‘women and children’ experiencing domestic abuse, but absolutely nothing existed for me.
At first, I tried to encourage my ex-wife to seek external help. When her anger had burnt itself out after a violent episode, I would address the issue only to be met with one of two responses:
denial that anything had occurred or
she’d say to me “You’re a man, you can handle it!”
I developed my own coping strategies. At first, I made excuses for her unreasonable behaviour. She’d recently experienced family bereavement, childbirth, more bereavement, etc. I tried to be more understanding. I felt like I was always walking on eggshells trying not to do or say anything that might trigger her abusive behaviour. When she attacked me, it was always my fault. Continue reading →
After I left Will, my husband, my desire to return to him surprised me. I thought I was above wanting him back. I felt like such a loser! I didn’t expect to ever give my abuser a letter describing what I was willing to do to take him back, but I did. (You can read it here.)
I took a plan designed for those who want to see if their abuser is willing to change from The Verbally Abusive Man: Can He Change? by Patricia Evans. The plan helped me to see that if I were to consider taking Will back, he must do not say things that showed me he wanted to make our marriage work. As you probably know, listening to an abuser’s words opens you up to their lies. Lies that, if your aching heart believes, stomp you right back into place under the abuser’s control.
But, I digress. Women often return to their abusers six times before they leave for good. Sorry men, I don’t know how many times guys go back, but I imagine it’s about the same rate of return for you, too. Many of the statistics collected for women probably apply to you because the patterns and effects of abuse are the same whether the victim is male or female. The question is why do we go back when we know our partner is poison. Continue reading →