The Pixel Project is proud to present the Survivor Stories Blog Interview Project in honour of Mother’s Day 2014. The project runs throughout the month of May 2014 and features an interview per day with a survivor of any form of violence against women (VAW) including domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, forced/child marriage, sex trafficking, breast ironing etc. A total of 31 VAW survivor stories will be featured. This project was created to provide:
- VAW survivors a platform to share their stories and solutions/ideas on how they rebuilt their lives and healed/are healing.
- Girls and women currently experiencing or who have survived VAW ideas, hope, and inspiration to escape the violence and know that there is light at the tunnel and there is help out there.
This project is also part of a programme of initiatives held throughout 2014 in support of the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign that is in benefit of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and The Pixel Project. Donate at just US$1 per pixel to reveal the mystery Celebrity Male Role Models and help raise US$1 million for the cause while raising awareness about the important role men and boys play in ending violence against women in their communities worldwide. Donations begin at just US$10 and you can donate via the Pixel Reveal website here or the Pixel Reveal Razoo donation page here.
Our thirtieth Survivor Stories interview is with Monica Day from the U.S.A.
The Survivor Bio:
Monica Day survived and overcame the trauma of a 16 year emotionally, financially, sexually and physically abusive marriage. It is Monica’s heart’s desire to save other women and young ladies from suffering in silence as she did. Monica has dedicated her life to speaking out against teen dating violence and domestic abuse and teaching women and girls the signs of an abusive relationship.
Monica Day is the author of “Praying Through Your Storms” and the founder of Daylight Awareness & Prevention Agency, Inc. She has done presentations for youth groups, Girl Scout troops and College organisations. Monica has spoke out against domestic abuse on CNN’s News Now and In Session Court TV.
1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)?
I survived and overcame 16 years of emotional, financial, sexual and physical abuse. I know what it is like to be publicly humiliated and embarrassed. I also know how hard it is to admit to yourself that you have been abused. I have travelled the journey of healing and put my life back together.
2. How did you escape the violent situation/relationship/ritual?
While my ex-husband was in the shower one night, my daughters and I quickly loaded up the car and ran. We hid the car and spent the night with a relative and then early the next morning got on the road. I was fortunate enough to have a family home to go to.
3. How did you heal and rebuild your life after the violent situation/relationship/ritual? What actions did you take?
In order to heal I first had to admit to myself that I was abused. I received counselling and began to share my story. Telling my story was very therapeutic for me. 2 years later I filed for divorce and began to submerge myself in helping other women. I did a lot of writing in my journal along the way. The more I speak out and help others the more I heal. I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed.
To put my life back together I created a list of things I needed to do and things I wanted to do. It was a slow process but I completed all of the items I needed to do and I still have a few items that I want to do. These list helped me get back to being the Monica I wanted and needed to be for me.
I have started an organisation called Daylight, Inc to speak out against domestic violence. I do workshops and presentations on domestic violence. I help other victims and survivors with safety planning and finding emergency resources. I counsel other women and help them put their lives back together after leaving an abusive marriage.
4. What would you suggest to or share with another woman or girl facing the same situation as you did?
It is not your fault. Love is not abuse. You are not alone and there are others who have been where you are. Take your voice, your power and your life back. I recommend counselling and journaling. I also think the more you share your story the more you see you are not alone and you help others as you heal.
5. How do you think we can end violence against women?
If we could help everyone understands violence is not a relationship issue. This is a community issue. Violence against women affects everyone whether at work, church, school and in public places. Once people begin to understand that this is our problem and not her problem as well as the affects of violence against women I believe we’ll be able to bring an end to violence against women.
It is my desire to work in the faith based communities to educate Church leaders and others on the types of violence and abuse against women, the affects of violence and to show them how they can help victims within their congregations and what resources they could make available or what organizations they can partner with to bring an end to violence against women.
I believe the more we get men involved in ending violence against women the sooner we’ll see the end of violence against women. If we all work together, speak up and speak out we can and will bring an end to violence against women.
6. Why do you support The Pixel Project?
I support The Pixel project because it is very important and instrumental in bringing awareness to the violence against girls and women. The Pixel Project, because it is a virtual organisation will reach more people than many other organisations. More people are able to join in and connect with the vision and mission of the Pixel Project because it is a virtually global organisation. The more people connected allows for more people to share and bring awareness to the violence against girls and women.
The Pixel Project is definitely a leader, if not the leader in bringing awareness to the violence against girls and women. Covering all of the social media sites, new technologies and popular culture and arts is a sure way of reaching every planet and every person on each planet.
I truly believe in the vision and mission of the Pixel Project.