Category: Forget Me Not

Believing Survivors. Men of CODE. Gratitude.

News Highlight: Increased Sexual Assault Allegations 

Click On the Image Above to Listen to a Survivor Addressing #MeToo and Domestic Violence

For every 1000 rapes: 230 are reported to the police, 46 reports lead to arrest, 9 cases get referred to prosecutors, 5 cases lead to felony convictions, and 4.6 rapists will be incarcerated (RAINN). Domestic violence affects all of us and it’s time we change the conversation around gender-based violence and speak out as one. Stand with us in amplifying the voices of survivors and activists.

Event Recap: Anchyi Wei X Mindy Lam Collab Collection Reveal

It was great seeing all of you at The Moxy for their opening weekend and for the exciting collaboration between fashion and lifestyle influencer Anchyi Wei, and couture jeweler Mindy Lam! A portion of the proceeds from the weekend went to Becky’s Fund! You can continue to support our work through the purchase of Mindy Lam’s “Victim to Victor”collection located at mindylamcouture.com

#TogetherWeCan

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Thank you for helping us reach our fundraising goal this Giving Tuesday. Together, we raised over $20,000 that will go towards expanding our programs and continuing to support survivors.

Be A Part of Changing the Conversation on Domestic Violence

Are you interested in mentorship and working with Men of CODE? Join us on Tuesday, January 22nd for our first informational session for Men of CODE Mentors. Find out how you can be a part of our journey in ending domestic violence through mentorship, and supporting a young man in his development and his journey to become an ally to women and girls.

Please email info@beckysfund.org to sign up and to get more information.

Save the Date: February 23

 

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.

Through our “Becoming Your Own Heroine” Program, we train and educate young women from 9- 18 years old on healthy relationships, self-empowerment, artistic expression, and self-defense. Stay tuned for more details on our first workshop of 2019 on February 23rd!

Email to sign up, volunteer or sponsor the workshop at info@beckysfund.org.

Make your Holiday Shopping Go Further

Don’t forget – an easy way to support Becky’s Fund this holiday is to shop through Amazon Smile where a portion of your sale will be donated every time you shop!

We hope that you will consider making your year-end gift to Becky’s Fund and joining us in our mission to end and prevent domestic violence. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent as allowed by law.

 

Giving thanks to you in advance,
The Becky’s Fund Team

Anchyi Wei + Mindy Lam Collection Reveal at The Moxy Hotel

Join the MOXY for their opening weekend and the reveal of fashion and lifestyle influencer Anchyi Wei and artist and couture jeweler Mindy Lam on their new collaboration!

Experience DC’s trendiest new hotel while shopping Anchyi and Mindy’s show-stopping collection of statement jewels, perfect for this season’s holiday parties.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Becky’s Fund in our efforts to end domestic violence.

Save the Date: Giving Tuesday 11.27.2018

This #GivingTuesday, we invite you to join Becky’s Fund in our effort to end and prevent domestic violence. Your donation will make an impact whether you give $5 or $100. Every little bit helps.

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. 1 in 3 women have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking by a current or former intimate partner. Will you help us change these statistics?

Support Becky’s Fund this upcoming #GivingTuesday, November 27 & help us raise critical funds to continue our youth prevention work through Men of CODE and support survivors and their families to leave safely and permanently from abuse.

Starting at 8 am EST on Nov 27, Paypal will generously match all donations – up to 7 Million – made on Facebook to Becky’s Fund. So please consider donating AND your gift will make twice the impact to #enddv 🙌

Please DONATE through this fundraiser this Tuesday, November 27 for Giving Tuesday or you can donate on our website if you do not have Facebook.

Thank you in advance for your support in ending and preventing domestic violence.

**Note this is an online event.

Climb To End Domestic Violence!

Get ready to sweat! Join Becky’s Fund at PULSE House of Fitness for a workout that will bring you closer to your fitness goals, and bring us closer to our goal to end and prevent domestic violence by supporting our Men of CODE program and bringing Men of CODE to four more schools in 2019.

 

Experience PULSE House of Fitness, DC’s first and only VersaClimber Studio! The VersaClimber has an upper-body climber and a lower-body stepper to work your whole body and all your major muscle groups. You can burn about 500 calories per class with PULSE’s challenging and efficient cardio and strength training workouts. And, their workouts are only 30 minutes long and are set to energizing music and lead by equally energizing coaches to make sure that you push yourself and enjoy your workout.

 

What are you waiting for? Climb for a cause and #nevermissabeat!

 

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Read About Emily’s Experience with Becky’s Fund

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This summer at Becky’s Fund has been unlike any summer I’ve had before and, I suspect, unlike any summer I will have again. I learned firsthand how exciting, unpredictable and consuming life at a small nonprofit organization can be.

When I was younger, I assumed that there would be a stark divide between my life and my work. At Becky’s Fund, I learned that this line blurs when you truly care about what you do. Although I was already passionate about women’s issues when I arrived, I quickly set to work educating myself about domestic violence (IPV). My work with the women, survivors and students at Becky’s Fund provided me with a crash-course in IPV: what it looks like, why it occurs and how we can prevent it. I can confidently say that this education has changed my life because I am now a dedicated and determined advocate for all survivors of IPV.

At Becky’s Fund, I did research on gun violence, IPV within the LGBTQ+ population, domestic abuse law, teen dating violence, women’s empowerment and more. I reworked the curriculum for the girl’s workshop Becoming Your Own Heroine with all the new information I was learning. I directed, produced and edited videos about these issues in an effort to raise awareness. I edited and wrote grants. I edited the Becky’s Fund website pages with updated statistics and resources. I updated the social media accounts. I took photos at Men of Code and other events. I even did statistics based on the data from Men of Code and Becoming Your Own Heroine. Most importantly, I did all of this with the intensity and zeal of a young woman who really cared about her job’s cause.

My favorite experience at Becky’s Fund was teaching the Becoming Your Own Heroine workshop. Clarissa, my co-teacher, and I stood in front of a room of 14–16 year old girls and taught them about women’s empowerment. We explored topics such as dating violence, consent, sexual assault, gender norms and digital abuse — all while laughing, sharing personal stories and bonding. It was gratifying to watch the curriculum, which Clarissa and I had spent weeks working on, come to life. I hope that the next time one of those girls confronts an abusive situation, or even just a piece of media that depicts women poorly, they think of what Clarissa and I taught them.

I am grateful to the women (and man — thanks, Andy) that I worked with this summer at Becky’s Fund. Becky and her phenomenal team have inspired me to be a better version of myself.
#EndIPV!

Forget Me Not: Taking the Leap

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It’s been awhile since I last wrote, during which time I’ve been busy turning my life on its head and shaking out the debris. In my last post, “What Controls You?,” I shared that security was controlling me. In many ways, that post was me journaling where I was at that very moment in time. It was a guided meditation of the reasons I was unhappy in my job and how I had allowed myself to get to that point. Control is a very serious issue for me, as it is for many survivors of domestic violence. Control was such a huge part of my life and something that I have worked very hard to eliminate. And yet, I found myself in a different type of controlling situation brought on by what I allowed in my life.

I heard my own words and they solidified what I had been feeling for months, if not years. And, since I last wrote, there has been a lot of change. First and foremost, I gave notice to my job. This was not any job; it was a career that I had worked very hard for. It gave me security, income, and benefits. There was little to no chance that I would lose my job, be laid off, or have to transfer. Yet, I was so unhappy that it affected every part of my life. I did not like what I was doing or how the lay of the land was. It was not where I belonged. So, I finally got up the courage to walk away. As of the end of this month, I will no longer answer to anyone.

Second, I plunged head-first into Yellow Wood Learning Community, a homeschool resource center. I get to teach and help students become the best individuals they can be. This is not a school where students come to memorize and test. It is a community where they come to grow and become all that they were meant to be as an individual. It is a place where they can blossom and live without fear and judgment. It is a place where they can just be. Being a part of this sort of program creates more joy than I can adequately express.

And, in all of this, I watched Forget Me Not Advocacy Group bloom! We celebrated our non-profit status and held our first fundraiser. Connections are happening left and right, speaking engagements are coming to fruition, and Forget Me Not is coming into it’s own as an organization bringing change to South Florida.

It is important to me that I share what I have learned in all of this. Taking the leap is the difficult part, as the fear of uncertainty often holds us back. My fear that I would lose my security overshadowed my ability to believe in myself and follow my dreams. But, just as when I finally left my marriage, making the leap is when you feel the weight lifted from your shoulders. There is no longer the fear of what you are giving up and what might be. Instead, you have nowhere to go but forward. And moving forward is a wonderful place to be.

No matter if you are considering walking away from an abusive or toxic relationship, or walking away from a toxic job or situation, know that taking the leap is the hardest part. It is only after you jump that you can learn to fly.


Read the Forget Me Not Series here and visit the Forget Me Not Advocacy Group’s website.

Forget Me Not: What Controls You?

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Over the past few weeks, I have been taking ownership of my life. I mean, really sinking deep into the root of what still controls me: security. We all know that domestic violence is all about power and control, but what happens when that power and control is directed towards someone that cannot be completely dominated — say an employee — or when you, as an individual, give up your power and allow yourself to be controlled by something, or someone, else.

I spent quite a few years rebuilding my life after my marriage. I believed that I could control my happiness by finding security, proving my abuser wrong, and keeping busy. But these things do not create happiness. Even more, finding security meant working a job that proved to be less of who I was and more of who I believed myself to be. No matter how much personal growth was taking place, the person I had to be at work remained the same. There were certain expectations, rules that had to be followed, a lot of directives, but no explanations. With each year that passed I found myself being backed further into a corner and less of the free spirit that was finally emerging in every other area of my life.

But my job gave me the security I needed. I had worked hard for it; studied hard, trained hard, and beaten the odds of getting hired in a field that many strived for. And yet I was triggered weekly. Now, I know how strange that might sound. How does one get triggered at work? For some, triggers at work come from a mean boss that yells, talks down to, or demeans their employees. Today, there are a lot of laws on the books that prohibit that type of behavior and give employees backing if their boss is acting out in that kind of negative fashion, which has likely stopped some of that behavior.

But that is not what I’m referring to. In my case, it was all about control and how those laws can be twisted by employers so that they are not breaking the above mentioned rules and, yet, still not giving up their power and control. Some call it passive aggressive behavior; I call it emotional manipulation.

It’s important to point out that there were two equally different things happening in my work life that were allowing me to be controlled by my security issues. First, I found that I did not enjoy my work. As a matter of fact, I truly disliked it and was stressed by it daily. I didn’t dislike it because I was bored; I disliked it because it was not me. I was doing something every day that put me in situations I didn’t want to be in. I didn’t like how I felt when I came home at night, I was surrounded by negativity, and I felt trapped by the numerous laws that were laid out for me to follow in my professional and personal life (trigger).

As someone who is a free spirit (i.e. doesn’t do well being told how to live their life) and someone who was emotionally, verbally, and physically abused by my husband for many years (i.e. doesn’t do well being told how to live their life), being in a work environment that was intent on controlling my actions and behaviors was not the best fit. If you understand triggers, you will understand how uncomfortable my daily life was becoming.
But there was another problem that started to rise up and affect my relationship with my job even more. As I became more and more uncomfortable with the realities of my daily interactions with work, I became defensive. I felt like a fish out of water. It was clear to me that I did not belong there, but try as I might, I was unable to find employment that was comparable. It was a two-edged sword. I could leave a good job to be happy, but then know that I would be right back to where I started seven years ago…broke. I fought hard to get this job. It took years of schooling and work, it gave me self-confidence and financial security when I needed it the most. I had become something. And he had always told me that I would amount to nothing.

Was I just going to throw it all away? That would be insane. So, I trudged forward. But the stronger I became in my personal life, the more out of place I was in my work life. I had true moral issues with what I was involved in. They were not illegal, actually quite the opposite, but they went against everything I said I believed in; everything I had become. And when I started to question what was going on, I was met with the passive aggressiveness that I was all too familiar with. It was the same as what my ex-husband used to use on me daily.

And with every comment that turned my concerns back on me and away from the organization, I saw that it was all about power and control. Anyone who seeks power and control, be it in a relationship or a job, is often willing to spin the story to suit them and question the accuser. It was all too familiar.

With each conversation and email, I saw a trend of putting the blame back on me, questioning my understanding of “simple concepts,” and diminishing my concerns as questionable or due to some form of brokenness on my part (I didn’t understand, this is how it is for everyone, I was too sensitive, I was taking it the wrong way, they were doing everything in their power to resolve the situation that never got resolved, etc.). There was never a time where my concerns were considered legitimate or worth looking at. And if I pushed too hard for answers, I was threatened with misconduct charges and punishment.

And each time I was triggered. Each time, my blood pressure rose, my emotions were frazzled, and I came home angrier than I was the day before. Soon, I felt like an animal backed into a corner. I needed the income and security but it was devouring me very slowly. It was stealing my joy. I found myself fighting with old demons like depression and anxiety all over again. I had left one controlling relationship and replaced it with another.

I was allowing the “need” for security to control me. I was ignoring my passion, for money. And, I was living a lie, daily, out of fear.

When I made the decision to move forward and trust my instincts, all of that faded away. As always, our growth is a process. We can chose to be controlled, live as a victim, or give up on our happiness, or we can choose to create change in our lives.

What controls you? Will you break free?


Read the Forget Me Not Series here and visit the Forget Me Not Advocacy Group’s website.

Forget Me Not: Taking on Personal Responsibility

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There comes a time in each of our lives where we have to make a choice — the choice to take full ownership of our lives. As I have stated several times over, about so many issues that arise after abuse has ended, this is no simple task. However, it is a very important one. Taking ownership of your life is the difference between staying stuck and living the life you deserve.

As survivors of domestic violence, we often come out the other end a bit lost. Well, a bit lost is likely an understatement. We often come out the other end very, very lost. As is usually the case, I can only speak to my experiences, but I’m sure many will see common themes between my story and theirs.

I started dating my husband at the age of 15. We were both young and, in many ways, grew up together. He wasn’t abusive from day one, although there were signs I didn’t see. All in all, we spent 16 years together. When I finally left, it was bittersweet. I was ready to move on, emotionally and physically exhausted, and needy for love and attention, yet I was leaving the only relationship I knew and heading out on my own. Although I was scared, joy washed over me like a tidal wave of positivity. I was high on freedom. The simplest of things, like going to bed and waking up when I wanted to, were so exciting that I could see no bad in my life.

That lasted for all of about three months. Once the initial rush of being free from him wore off, the realities of life after abuse started to set in. With each negative thing that happened, I fell deeper and deeper into a life of anger and bitterness. While I struggled to pay the bills and finish school, he was working a great job. While I struggled to form solid relationships, he was getting remarried. Soon I found myself in a routine thought pattern being run by my hate and anger towards him. It was his fault I had no money, his fault I lost so much in the divorce, his fault I was in my 30s and back in school, his fault I had no children, and his fault that I was so screwed up.

He had messed me up so bad that I was damaged goods. I was depressed and anxious, struggling to focus at work, and a mess in the dating world. My friends were few and far between and I never believed I was a priority to anyone. They had better things to do than to be with me, and it seemed that everyone around me was better at life than I was. Everything was simply falling apart.

And then I got sick. My body finally succumbed to all the stress and literally started to shut down on itself. I was sleeping over 13 hours a day, could not walk around the block, and gained over 30 pounds in less than a year. My life was falling apart, and it was all his fault.

Or, was it? You see, I wanted it to be all his fault. If it wasn’t his fault, then I was the failure he told me I would be. If I didn’t believe it was his fault, then he was right that no man would want me. If I didn’t believe it was his fault, then that meant that I was one very messed up individual. I needed it to be all his fault.

The problem with this mentality, though, is that making it his fault did not do anything to improve the life I was living. In actuality, it only made things worse. The more angry and bitter I got, the more depressed I became and the less I lived and enjoyed my life. Don’t get me wrong, his actions did cause me a lot of grief and heartache. I struggled for years with thought patterns and beliefs about myself because of my relationship with him. There is fallout. It does hurt and affect your life. But, you can come back from it.

It took me hitting rock bottom and deciding that I could not live this life anymore before I sought help. It was only then that I learned that holding onto the past does not create a better future. I had to let go, make peace with the fact that my past was what it was, and decide to move forward. I had to take ownership of my life and start making it what I wanted it to be.

One can spend their whole life, or many years of it, blaming others (outwardly or inwardly) for their life situations. But it is up to us to own whatever is ailing us. I’m not sure how to say this the right way, so bare with me. It is not your abuser’s fault that you are depressed, an alcoholic, self-destructive, lost your job, or are struggling in life. Unless there are specific actions that lead to a specific low in your life (Abuser lies to boss = you lose your job/Abuser lies to court = negative outcome regarding child custody), then you have to let it go.

The fallout from abuse is real and we will all react to it in different ways, from substance abuse and self-destruction, depression and lack of self-care, to hurtful behavior towards others. It is up to you to take responsibility for your happiness and do what is necessary to let go of the past, place blame aside, and do what you have to do to get moving forward. You are responsible for your happiness, your success, and your wellbeing. Go out there and get it!


Read the Forget Me Not Series here and visit the Forget Me Not Advocacy Group’s website.

Forget Me Not: #MaybeSHEdoesnthityou

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The hashtag #maybehedoesnthityou is lighting up Twitter and was quite the story last week. What an amazing way to bring attention to the realities of domestic violence. I’ve talked about statistics before. 1 in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence against them by an intimate partner in their lifetime. It is important to note that these are the ones who report the abuse. Furthermore, these statistics only account for women who have reported an instance of severe physical violence. What about the ones who do not report their abusers? What about the ones who are emotionally, financially, or otherwise abused by their partner? These individuals are not counted. Which begs the question: exactly how many people out there are being abused by their intimate partner?

As I read the stories posted alongside the #maybehedoesnthityou hashtag, it came to mind that many men also suffer at the hands of an abuser. When it comes to severe physical violence, 1 in 7 men have reported abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime. But how many of them do not report the violence? How many of them are emotionally and verbally abused? Statistics tell us that men are much more likely to be the perpetrators of physical violence, but we often fall short of mentioning just how many men are verbally and emotionally abused by the women in their life. Their cries for help often go unanswered and their comments on abuse are often brushed aside. But what would happen if we added the hashtag #maybeSHEdoesnthityou? What then? Would men stand up and share their stories? Would more see violence against a man, by an intimate partner, in the same light as we see violence against a woman.

Our society tells men that they have to “man up,” “be tough,” and never admit defeat, which often leads to men feeling ashamed or unwilling to seek out help. No one should have to live a life of emotional and verbal abuse, male or female. Emotional abuse of a man is the same as emotional abuse of a woman. Yelling or screaming at your partner, name calling, treating them like a child, stalking, demeaning them, putting them down, forced control of the household and finances (“wearing the pants in the family”), and speaking poorly of them in front of others are all forms of emotional abuse.

#MaybeSHEdoesnthityou, but that does not mean that you are not being abused. Men, share your story and help educate others on this important topic. It is only by helping others to walk in your shoes that they will have a better understanding of the far reaches of domestic violence.


Read the Forget Me Not Series here and visit the Forget Me Not Advocacy Group’s website.

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Read a note from our Executive Director to our supporters on Becky's Fund COVID-19 plan.