Exalte Kickin’ it in the
Jeans for all
2014 Volume 8 Master Your Life Strategies for
Editor's Letter This month's issue faces a very serious problem in our society.... Domestic Violence. I have been working with Penelope House for years now and have produced many events benefiting them. The crazy thing about this is that while I knew how important they were to our community, I never actually met someone who had been a victim of Domestic Violence. I had the pleasure of meeting a victim that sought refuge at Penelope House and it saved her and her children's lives. After hearing Kathy's story and meeting her and her family, I realized that I knew very little about how the lives of the victims and families are really affected. I am shocked, amazed, deeply saddened and have so many other emotions that I have not felt before. These victims are truly terrified of what will happen to them and rightly so. We were able to interview several different people for this Domestic Violence issue and I hope and pray that you will find some information that may help you in the future. Whether it be yourself, a friend, family member or simply helping a stranger. Domestic Violence is very scary and very real! Please speak up if you are affected by Domestic Violence and know that you don't have to face it alone. If you need help or would like to volunteer in any way, please contact Penelope House. You can make a difference so try to be a rainbow in someoneâ€™s cloud.
God Bless You Kymberly Souleâ€™
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Proverbs 10:11
In this Issue Kickinâ€™ it in the South
Jeans for all types
Meet LaTrynnda Cunningham Hollins
10 Classics Fashion Pieces
BRAGG-MITCHELL BRIDAL SHOW
October 12, 2014 from 1-4 pm Bragg-Mitchell Mansion 1906 Springhill Avenue Mobile, AL $10 entry fee/$7 if pre-register
Colors of Fashion Awareness Calendar
Whatâ€™s Your Color ?
HIV/AIDS Homeless Adult Cancer Mental Health Autism Domestic Violence Suicide Down Syndrome Children in Need Diabetes Childhood Cancer Animal Rescue
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Colors for a Cause
Kickin’ it in the South
Photography by Elle Pictures Shot on Location at Squires’ Farm Hair by 3 G UP Do
Clownfish A Step Closer to Endangered Species Act Listing
Heather Horne Photography Tamiâ€™s Mask and Mirror Studio - Fairhope, Al www.thepetitionsite.com
The vividly gorgeous orange clownfish rose to celebrity status with the popularity of Finding Nemo, the animated film that featured a young clownfish who became separated from his family. Now Nemo and his fellow clownfish are struggling for the survival of their species. Ocean acidification, brought on by global warming, jeopardizes the orange clownfish population. The higher acid content of their habitat leaves clownfish badly damaged with lost hearing, eyesight, and smell. Orange clownfish, which reside mostly in the Pacific Ocean near Australia, need protection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâ€˜s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) found that the orange clownfish may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA and are evaluating all of the date now to save the Clownfish.
Domestic Violence Definition of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The inflicting of physical injury by one family or household member on another; also : a repeated or habitual pattern of such behavior First Known Use of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - 1891
The Victims 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults. Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence. Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner. The Families Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes. Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%). A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic. A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent â€“ which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death. The Circumstances Domestic violence is most likely to occur between 6 pm and 6 am. More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home. The Consequences According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. In New York City, 25% of homeless heads of household became homeless due to domestic violence. Survivors of domestic violence face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress. Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors. For example, chronic conditions like heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to domestic violence. Among women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence, most were socially isolated and had fewer social and financial resources than other women not injured because of domestic violence. Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults. Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation. Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies . #1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported. www.safehorizon.org
IF YOU NEED HELP ... Please call 24 hour Crisis Line 251-342-8994
Do You Need SHELTER? Emergency shelter for victims of intimate partner violence and their children is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Victims who are admitted for shelter care are provided a safe place to stay while assessing their life situation and setting goals for the future. Shelter services include food, clothing, case management, advocate services, vocational counseling, child care, and support group. An on site medical clinic is available to provide limited medical services. Transportation is provided as needed.
Penelope Houseâ€™s Service Statistics In Shelter
Adults Sheltered Children Sheltered Total Client Service Hours
400 489 10,143.50
Adult Clients Children Court Appointments with Clients
Total Nights (Units) of Shelter Provided Crisis Calls Meals Served
9,365 2,153 28,095
Clients Assisted to obtain protection from abuse or no contact orders 1,167
Victim Support Group Participants
Adult Support Groups Adult Attendees Child Support Groups
91 511 37
School Based Program (PreK-12) Total Reached 23,175
5,616 4,896 4,803
Volunteers Volunteer Hours 6,889.25 Value of Volunteers Hours $68,892.50
Penelope House Crisis Line 251-342-8994 Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-650-6522
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1-800-799-SAFE
The Power and Control Wheel below shows the many of the different tactics abusers use to exert their power.
The Equality Wheel shows the same areas and how they are handled in a non-abusive relationship.
In the preparation for this article I had the opportunity to meet with Judge Edmond Naman to discuss Protection from Abuse (PFA’s). A Protection Order commonly referred to as a restraining order is a court order issued under the Protection from Abuse Act (PFA) which provides limited protection for people who have been threatened, harassed, or physically abused. (pickens.alacourt.gov) I was given a blank Petition for Protection from Abuse for viewing purposes. There is an area in the petition for a victim to explain the abuse that has happened. Judge Naman says that he plays very close attention to this area. He goes on to say that this is such an important part, if not the most important part of the process in filling out a petition for PFA. If a Protection Order is granted and then violated an abuser could serve up to a year in jail. These terms and conditions vary and are subject to change when weapons are involved. Judge Naman expressed that just recently he had to lock up a mother of three to protect her and her children from her abusive husband. She was locked up for her own drug use, which he knew was all an attempt to numb the pain of abuse.
Judge Naman’s Confidence Boosting Tips for Victims of DV Remember to put immediate safety first Reconnect with family and friends Think about you and your personal growth Go back to school and get your education or pursue your dreams Work on making you a “stronger” you
Photography by Elle Pictures Make up by Love Make Up Hair by 3 G UP Do
Breaking the Silence
by Kathy Freeman and Audra Warren
Stop and ask any married woman on the street how they knew they had found the one and most of them will tell you something like; he was the nicest man I had ever met, he was so romantic, he made me laugh, he just got me, he wooed me with flowers, dinners, and kind words. And the list goes on. The majority of women you ask will tell you that upon meeting the love of their life, they were swept off of their feet by the charming ways of their so-called Prince. Studies prove that it is indeed these warm fuzzy feelings that another person gives us that help to form strong attachments. In a recent interview with Oprah, American scholar, author, and public speaker Brene’ Brown said that “connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued. When they can give and be seen without judgment.” The emotions that are brought about through another person’s presence either help to build or break the trust that bonds two people together. Brene’ Brown goes on to state that, “In the absence of love and belonging there will always be suffering.” Not long after meeting Kathy Freeman I realized that she had experienced all of these emotions and so much more. Read her story and see how this beautiful woman came from darkness to light…. I don’t think anyone walks into a romantic relationship believing that they may one day fall victim to domestic violence. As a young girl, I envisioned a relationship with my prince charming to be much like the fairy tale often portrayed in movies. And why wouldn’t I? This was the type of union that I had seen shared by my parents growing up. In my vision I would meet my prince charming, fall in love, and have a fabulous wedding and then we’d live happily ever after. My life was going to be perfect, just like in the fairytales… just like my mom and dad. I have found it to be pretty common for the majority of people to carry some sort of pre-conceived notion of what type of person becomes the victim or even the perpetrator of domestic violence. We give a dozen or more reasons why it would never happen to us…we are too smart, too confident, too nice, too good, too pretty, too religious, too popular, too shy, too quiet, too easygoing, etc. Everyone has a mental picture of what an abuser looks like. It could never be that great guy that we picked. Besides, who would ever stay with someone who treated them badly…right? Personally, I thought that only ignorant people would ever allow themselves to be disrespected and abused. I was wrong…really wrong. The truth is that it happens to all kinds of people from every stage of life. It could be a friend, sibling, parent, neighbor, co-worker, child, teacher, and yes, it might While working in the mall during my junior year of college I met a very charming young man. Our meeting was intense from the start. The immediate attraction and undeniable chemistry between us sparked the kind of passionate emotions you will often read about in a romantic novel. This man swept me off my feet through a whirlwind of affection, attention, and gifts, and it was exciting. I thought he was the most handsome, smart, charming, outgoing, romantic, protective and loyal guy I had ever met. He was indeed the prince charming I had always envisioned. In the beginning of our relationship I was treated like a princess. He showered me with kind phrases like, “I was the best thing that had ever happened to him.” He loved spending time with me and took care of my every need. As our relationship progressed I started to notice little red flags, but continued to ignore them. He persuaded me to defy my parents by staying out past curfew and having sex. I ended up quitting my job and leaving my friends behind in order to spend all my free time with him and his family. Although I’d heard others talk about paying close attention to little red flags in relationships, I was naïve; thinking I was the exception to the rule because I was going to help him be his best self. In 5 short months, I had quit working, became pregnant, got married and dropped out of college. I totally brushed off the terrible feeling that came from my God-given intuition when something is wrong. What initially appeared to be harmless protectiveness in our relationship, soon became agitation, possessiveness, jealousy, aggression, and suspicion. These behaviors came out in things like name calling and cursing. Other times he spit on me, broke my things and kept me awake all night. I‘d gotten my fairytale wedding but I started feeling like I’d made a huge mistake. I felt trapped because he was my husband and I was having his child. He was always apologetic, trying to make it up to me through gifts and date nights. Since I was embarrassed for putting up with being treated so terribly, I didn’t tell anyone. Secretly, I felt as if I deserved this type of treatment. After all, I had defied my parents with my rebellious behavior throughout our entire courtship. I thought this was karma at its best paying me back for my poor choices. After our daughter Kayla was born, I struggled to keep up with the unrealistic demands of my husband. I was expected to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter-in-law and hostess. I did everything in my power to satisfy him and keep the peace. I learned to cook, clean, iron, and take care of the baby. I became friends with his family and friends. I needed permission to visit my family and have friends over to our home, and it was unacceptable for me to speak to his friends without his presence. I was not given money for shopping. I had convinced myself that his actions were due to his strong love for me.
If things did not happen according to his perfect plan an explosion was bound to take place. Arguments escalated in the form of him yelling, pushing, hair pulling, and dragging. On occasion an episode would take place in front of others and this led to pure humiliation for me. As time went on so did the frequency and intensity of my husband’s violent temper. At this point in our marriage not only I had become the target of his erratic explosions, so had some of our belongings. He would break items that I valued in order to intimidate or punish me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t assertive enough to set boundaries and his bully tactics worked. During one argument he chopped half of our Christmas tree with a hatchet. I was in utter shock and disbelief that this was my life. Much like a very vivid dream I could not believe these things were actually happening to me. This is the part where I am sure you are all asking yourselves, why doesn’t she just leave? I don’t blame you. To be completely honest with you, if I had been watching this story on Lifetime from my own living room you can bet your life’s savings I would be yelling at that stupid girl to run as fast as she possibly could in the opposite direction. So, to answer the question I’m sure all enquiring minds want to know I will tell you…I stayed out of fear, shame, and guilt. I was afraid of having a failed marriage and of being labeled trash. I wanted people to think I was doing well for myself. I convinced myself that things weren’t that bad because he had never beaten me. Sure, he was mean, but I should just learn not to talk to him when he was in a bad mood. He blamed me anytime he lost his temper and I was constantly trying to adjust myself in order to keep the peace. The verbal and mental abuse was ongoing and began to wear me down. Slowly, I became someone else. I let go of everything that might possibly cause us problems because I wanted to be accepted by him and to make him proud. All the while none of these things were ever enough.
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I had been planning a baby shower for my best friend to host at my mom’s house for some time. On the day of the shower, not long before getting ready to leave the house my husband decided he wanted to rearrange the living room furniture. I didn’t really have time to do that but he demanded that it be done before I left. I told him that I needed a minute to pick up our daughter’s toys, which were all over the living room floor. He impatiently said to just help him move the couch. I picked up my end and began to walk backwards. The couch was heavy and suddenly I was on the floor. He had thrown the couch on top of me. I was dazed and didn’t understand why I was on the floor. He was yelling and cursing because he had stepped on and broken one of our daughter’s favorite toys. He said if I was a better housekeeper then this wouldn’t have happened. He yelled for me to get up and was waving a pistol. I slowly got up but he came over to me and pistol-whipped me across the shoulder. It really hurt so I grabbed my shoulder to look at it. There was a small cut and it was throbbing. As I looked up, he punched me in the eye. I saw a flash of light, my eye felt like it had imploded and then exploded. I felt the carpet against my face. He had knocked me to the floor. I was scared and I crawled underneath the couch. He was yelling for me to get up and said he would shoot me if I didn’t. I was crying and holding my eye. I asked him to back away so I would have room to get up. He told me to move my hands away from my face. I will never forget the look of surprise in his eyes. He then dropped to his knees and began to cry. He apologized to me repeatedly, but by now I had a black eye and it was time for me to go to the baby shower. He made me call my mom and tell her I was sick and couldn’t come. I asked my mom to apologize to my friend for me. This changed my relationship with my best friend and we are no longer close. It broke my heart. After being threatened with a gun, I became afraid that my husband would eventually kill me. I started documenting the abuse with pictures in case I went missing under mysterious circumstances. It was risky, but I took my first selfie on my camera of me with the black eye. I kept a copy of the picture hidden in my home and gave my mother the other copy in a sealed envelope. In the 12 ½ years we were together, this was my only black eye. Bruises were not uncommon, but he was careful to only leave marks in places that could be covered up with clothing in the beginning of our marriage. My breaking point finally came shortly after our 12 year wedding anniversary. He would regularly explode into fits of rage over the simplest things. During and after each incident, he’d threaten to kill me and described to me how he would do it. He often talked about committing suicide. Over several months, his rants about his plans became more detailed and I believed it was only a matter of time before he would carry them out.I started preparing to leave. First, I moved things of sentimental value out of the house. Then I called a lawyer. He advised me to take pictures of all bruises I incurred because of my husband and write down the details of the episodes. My parents gave me a cell phone. Also, I began selling my artwork to save up money in case I needed to flee. I was given the number for Penelope house, which I kept hidden in my wallet behind our family photo. My next step was to move my sentimental, childhood jewelry. I packed it in a jewelry pouch and put it inside my purse.
One night, I received a voicemail in the middle of the night from a female teacher/friend with a masculine name. She had a family emergency and needed my help in making sure the office was notified of her absence since she was leaving town. My husband went into my purse and saw the missed call on my phone. He assumed that a man had called me in the middle of the night. I was preparing for bed in our bedroom when he summoned me. I could tell he was angry about something but was uncertain why. I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I approached the living room where he was sitting in the rocker with my cell phone, the jewelry pouch, a gun and a knife in his lap. He told me to sit down on the couch and I did. He played with his knife as he demanded an explanation for the midnight call so I played the voicemail for him. Then he asked about the jewelry and my heart sank. I admitted to him that I was unhappy and wanted a divorce. I told him to check the pouch and see that it was only the jewelry that my parents and grandparents had given me when I was young. The only thing I wanted was to leave with my children, our clothes, my car and my jewelry. He smiled and told me to get a piece of paper. He began to dictate what he wanted me to write. He told me to write “I’m sorry... I’m a bad mother.” I interrupted him to clarify his intentions. He had an evil gleam in his eye and began laughing at me. When I realized that he was trying to make me write what appeared to be a suicide note, I refused. I told him that I wouldn’t help him get away with my murder. At that moment, he sprang across the room and buried my face in the couch. He hit me in the back of the head with the barrel of the gun several times and began talking to himself, asking for a reason not to kill me. I panicked; surely he’d lost his mind. I was certain that the gun would go off and I would be dead. I started crying and begging for my life. I told him it was a mistake and I would stay. He called me a whore, a bitch and a liar. He flipped me over, put the gun down, grabbed me by my legs and pulled me off the couch. My head hit hard on the floor and he started to twist my legs, feet and toes. I kicked and tried to get away. At that moment he noticed Kayla, then 12, was coming out of the bathroom. He commanded me to sit and be quiet as he told her to go to bed. I complied and she quickly went to her room. We sat in silence until he thought that Kayla was sleeping. Then he began attacking me again but Katie, almost 2, woke up. I changed her diaper and then rocked her back to sleep. When I put her in her bed, he told me he was tired and wanted us to get some rest. At first he wouldn’t allow me to get in the bed with him, so I took my pillow into the living room. Then he became distrustful that I would attempt to run away or call for help. So he warned me that if I ever left him, he would find me and kill Kayla in front of me. He said he never believed that she was his child anyway. He called me a whore who became pregnant on purpose in order to trap him. I told him to get paternity tests for all the children. He would see that I was always faithful to him and he’d never again be able to call me a whore. He then wanted us to be in same room but said I wasn’t good enough to sleep in his bed. Not wanting any more conflict, I put my pillow on the floor and laid down. Then he stated that if I allowed him to beat me with a belt, I could sleep in the same bed as him. I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, so he made me lay across the bed while he hit me across the legs and back with his belt. Suddenly he stopped and went into the bathroom. He said that the belt was making too many marks and so he began hitting me with the toilet plunger. After he was finished he sat me on the bed, told me he loved me and apologized for threatening Kayla. We then had sex. When he was finished he tried to make me take his prescription sleeping medication but I refused. He told me that no one was going to school or work the next day and forced me to take over the counter medicine for sleep. He took his prescription and was quickly asleep. I was lying next to him but I was wide awake, afraid to move an inch. However, the time had come for me to decide where I needed to go. Although I knew I would be welcomed in their home, I didn’t want to stay with my parents because I’d be putting them in danger. My sister had volunteered for Penelope house in college, so she had contacted them to get me cleared for shelter earlier in the day. It was after school when I called my mother-in-law and asked for my daughters. My husband took the phone from her and urged me to come home. He said he had spent the day looking at new cars for me and buying a new dishwasher, as mine had been broken for months. I told him that I couldn’t go home. I knew this because he often cautioned me about calling the police. He said if I ever caused him to be arrested that I would regret it. I knew that he would never forgive me for signing a warrant for his arrest. On the phone he said to just come home and everything would be alright. I said I couldn’t, and then he asked if I had signed a warrant on him. I couldn’t lie and I didn’t want to just hang up, so I told him I couldn’t talk anymore, said goodbye, and quickly hung up. That was the last time I ever heard his voice. I then called for the police to take me to shelter. Even though I knew that I was safe, the idea of going into shelter was intimidating because I was leaving behind everything. When I entered the shelter, I had only the clothes on my back, five dollars in my pocket, and one of my three children. Once I arrived, I had to recount what had happened to me again, but this time I learned that, because my husband had threatened to harm my daughter, DHR would be performing an investigation. By the time I was able to finally go to bed that night, I had been awake for nearly 48 hours, and I cried myself to sleep.
In shelter, I received counseling, legal advice, and all the basic necessities to survive. They even provided food and clothing for me and my son. Each day, I woke up early to try and find my daughters’ whereabouts. Ten long days went by before I was finally reunited with all three of my children in the safety of the shelter. By this time, my oldest daughter had somehow turned against me. It was a long time before she realized the truth of our situation and stopped acting cold towards me. She later admitted to me that she had acted this way because of things she had been told by my husband and my father-in-law in the short period of time they had her. Three days later, I learned that my husband had committed suicide. It was a surreal experience. He had taken an overdose of pills and written a suicide note, ending up in the hospital, in a ploy to lure me out of shelter only a week prior, so it was hard for me to believe that he had actually gone through with it. I was then faced with the task of telling my children that their father had died, but I could not bear to do it alone. As my situation was unprecedented in the history of Penelope House, they granted permission for my sister to come and be with me as I told my children. They allowed her to come only because of her previous volunteer history with their organization. Telling my children about their father was the most difficult, heartbreaking task I had ever been given, and my sister was witness to it, providing me with support. Even though I wanted to leave shelter to grieve with my family, DHR did not believe that it was safe for us to return. This was because of certain threats that had been made against my family by members of my husband’s family. I followed all of Penelope House’s and DHR’s directions in order to avoid losing my children and to ensure that we would all remain safe. I was obligated to make all of the funeral arrangements from the shelter, but we did not attend the public services. Instead, we had a private viewing so that we could say our goodbyes. We remained in shelter for nearly a month before we were given permission from DHR to leave Penelope House. Even then, we were to live with my parents because it was both unsafe and undesirable to return to our old home. So I moved in with my parents and began to rebuild my life. It has been a long and difficult process, trying to recover from all the pain he caused in life and in death. I found strength through my family, my coworkers, and my faith, which allowed me to persevere through the difficult process of cleaning up the mess he left in his wake. I am far from perfect, but I always do my best to make decisions that will be in the best interest of my family. Not everyone may agree with my decisions, but for the first time, I am in charge of my own destiny. I may not have gotten my fairytale ending, but now, armed with my past experiences and knowledge, I can at least pursue that possibility. But who knows? Maybe Prince Charming isn’t in my happily ever after, but knowing my true self and helping others has helped me in regaining my strength and finding contentment.
Before our first meeting you shared an article from The Huffington Post written about Domestic Violence by Alanna Vagianos. In this article Vagianos shares images of Bruised and Bloodied Disney Princesses created by artist Saint Hoax. I knew this story along with these images would be powerful to you, but I did not realize how powerful they would be to me. It literally gave me chills. I have to say though what was even more powerful to me was realizing what a fantastic artist you are yourself. AW-Do you feel that pursuing your passion for art helped you to find the part of yourself that went missing during your abusive marriage? KATHY - Yes. My love for art was one of the easiest parts of me to recover because it was one of the few things that I never completely gave up. It was a part of my daily routine and having a creative outlet allowed me to express myself during a time when I had no voice. Also, it felt great to be recognized by my family, friends, students and co-workers for a talent that was uniquely my own. My artistic ability helped to re-build my self-esteem and was undeniably the one thing that my husband couldn’t take away from me. AW- What advice would you give others who may be in this situation? KATHY - One of the most important things for people to realize is that they don’t deserve to be abused. Abusers are master manipulators. They can make even the most intelligent person feel inadequate or stupid. Even if you make a mistake, loose your temper at times or have made bad choices in your past it is never okay for someone to talk down to you or put their hands on you. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. You’d be surprised at how many other people have experienced some kind of abuse. Abuse usually worsens over time and the longer you wait to get out the more dangerous it becomes. Set your boundaries early in your relationships but if it is already too late for that, have a safety plan in place in case you need to escape unexpectedly. There are people and resources out there that can help you. Don’t take no for an answer and keep making noise until someone listens. You are a special and unique person and your ideas, opinions, feelings and talents are your gift to the world. It is your responsibility to protect yourself and children if they are involved. You may be surprised to find out that you are stronger than you think you are. AW – Is there any advice you can give to the friends and family of victims? What can they do to help? KATHY - Believe the victim the first time they come to you. It may be the only time they reach out for help. Encourage and support them. My family was always very supportive. They often reminded me that I didn’t have to stay married, they would help me out in any way necessary, but it was all up to me. They respected my decision to stay with my husband and continued to love and encourage me. Despite his best efforts to make them feel uncomfortable, my family never stopped visiting and kept in close contact. When I was ready to leave on my own accord, they were only a phone call away, with a plan in place to help me get away safely. Be patient with the person who has been abused. They will need time to process what is happening and must come to their own decision about what they want. This part is important because they start to regain their personal power and take control of their life. I found support from a select few of my co-workers. They became my friends and confidants. We shared many tears, hugs and prayers. They provided me with encouragement and advice. I never felt judged by them and they never gave up on me. I knew that they cared for me but were unsure how to help. They had no idea how much it meant just to have their friendship, loyalty and support. Most importantly, if you or anyone you know wants to help be sure to proceed with caution and understand that your involvement could be putting the victim in danger as well as yourself. You may become targeted by the abuser. Seek expert advice. Talk to police, counselors, or lawyers to make sure you understand everyone’s rights and that you are giving sound advice .AW – Are there things you think should be avoided in order to help a victim?
KATHY - Never re-victimize the person who is asking for help. Don’t blame them for the actions of an abuser. They can only control their own behavior and reactions to a problem. Don’t minimize or make excuses for abuse. Abuse is abuse, whether it’s verbal, mental, or physical and it is never acceptable. Just because they didn’t do what you might have expected in a certain situation, doesn’t mean they are stupid. Never underestimate what the effect of fear and years of verbal abuse will do to a person’s thought process and behavior. Don’t bully or manipulate them into doing what you think they should do. You should always lift your friend or family member up instead of tearing them down. No one wants them to go from a controlling relationship with an abuser to start a friendship with someone who is equally controlling and manipulative. Allow them to make their own decisions and never become angry or violent with them. They get enough of that at home. Last, but certainly not least, don’t confront an abuser alone. Never threaten them or antagonize the situation. You could get yourself or a loved one hurt or killed.
While interviewing Kathy I had the amazing opportunity to speak to her wonderful eighteen year old daughter Kayla. Kayla was only twelve at the time of her father’s death. I really felt that it was important to get a child’s perspective on such a tragic and terribly life-altering situation. I am happy to say that Kayla agreed to an interview and how lucky are we to receive such words of wisdom from a highly intelligent teen AW – Do you believe your Dad’s violent behavior has affected you and your relationships in any way? KAYLA - Unfortunately, I believe it has. I have trouble trusting and opening up to people, so it makes it really difficult for me to build any type of relationship with anyone. If someone gets too close, I start to get nervous and push them away. There are very few people who have managed to break down my walls and gain my trust. However, I recognize that this is an issue, and it’s something that I am working to improve on every day. I have to tell myself that not all people are cruel or have bad intentions, but I still know that I should be cautious. As I have witnessed firsthand what an abusive relationship looks like, I am not going out into the world unprepared and unsuspecting. I know what the red flags are and what I should avoid in a partner; right now, I’m just trying to stop avoiding everything. AW – In order to help overcome this constant need for approval, what advice could you give young women today struggling with this same problem? KAYLA - I think that there comes a point when you have to stop and just take control of your own life. My dad wasn’t even here anymore, but he still had power over me. I was always looking for someone’s encouragement, as if to compensate for the encouragement and approval he never gave me. However, as soon as I realized I was doing that, I knew I had to stop because this is my life and I wasn’t living it for me. So here’s my advice: you can’t change your past, the way people have treated you, or how they will continue to treat you, but you can change yourself and your future. Focus on being the best version of yourself you can be, and don’t do it for anyone but yourself because you’re the one who has to live with it.
*Special Thanks and acknowledgements to all of those you participated in this article. Tonie Ann Coumanis Torrans, Executive Director of Penelope House, for all of your hard work at PH and for leading us in the right direction with your many resources and contacts Jessica Davis of Penelope House for great resources and helpful questions Joan Duncan of Penelope House for sending us to Kathy Freeman Judge Edmond Naman for being so kind and offering information, along with your own personal tips to help victims Thanks to Kayla Freeman for being so opened to sharing. You young lady are wise beyond your years. Beauty and brains…boy are you a bold force to be reckoned with. And finally a HUGE Thanks to Kathy Freeman. Without your bravery to share your story this article would not have been possible. You my friend are like the light of a bright star destined to help guide lost women back home.
Domestic Violence is any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. (domesticviolence.org)
MOBILE'S GRANDEST ANTEBELLUM MANSION
1906 Springhill Avenue, Mobile, AL 36607 251-471-6364 www.braggmitchellmansion.com
"Vintage Inspiration: The Brides of Downton Abbey" Ticket Sales Have Begun!
Spend time with us September 23 for a morning coffee or afternoon tea and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Weddings of Grace author, Cornelia Powell. Ms. Powell will combine behind-the-scenes stories of the Downton Abbey designers with stories of wedding folklore, tiara legends and intriguing bits of fashion history. This presentation is full of beautiful images, commentary, and anecdotes from the costume designers themselves. Admission will be charged for this wonderful fundraiser and seating is limited. Admission includes Ms. Powell's excellent presentation, a tour of the mansion, refreshments and food, shopping in our gift shop, and a book signing opportunity with Cornelia Powell! Ticket sales are available through our "Links" section, or through Brown Paper Tickets. Please call us at (251) 471-6364 for more information. 9:30 Coffee/Presentation or join us at 3:30 Tea/Presentation
Your Body’s Best Jeans If you have a BUBBLE Butt
Go for a rise that’s high enough to be flattening in front and back - no gapping like NYDJ’s (sizes 0-12, 16, 18) $110, amazon.com/fashion
If your straight up & down
A high waist gives your body more shape. The length of American Eagle Jeans is perfect. If you are petite, it won’t overwhelm you. American Eagle Outiftters (sizes 00-18, $45.ae.com)
If you have a Tummy
DKNY Jeans feel like comfy Spanx; the mid rise sucks you in without cutting into your sides so you can tuck in a shirt. DKNY Jeans (sizes 0-16, 12W-28W, $70, macys.com
If you have Wide Hips
Watch for where fading is placed - it makes your look bigger. Go for an allover dark wash and with Armani Exchange they are nice and stretchy as well. Armani Exchnage (waist 24-33, $88, armaniexchange.com
The Most Flattering Jean Fit Tips of All Time 1. “Try on two pairs in the same size, same cut; they can vary!” —Scott Morrison founder, 3x1 2. If you hem skinny jeans, taper them too or they’ll be straight-leg. —Morrison 3. “Large pockets slim your butt.” —Francine Rabinovich, founder, Denim Therapy 4. “If your waistband digs, swap it out for a wider 3 1/2" one at a tailor.” —Kattya Otarola-Torres, owner, Denim Surgeon 5. "Look for side seams that come to the front a bit. They're very slimming." —Morrison
Meet LaTrynnda Cunningham Hollins of
Master Your Life Network
When meeting LaTrynnda Cunningham Hollins, one is quickly taken in by her beauty and infectious smile that lights up the room. Speaking with her gives you a natural feeling of warmth and self-assurance that few can only liken to sitting at the table with a friend you've known for years; the one that gives the advice that everyone else hesitates to speak and delivers it with the best cup of hot tea. When asked to describe herself she quickly says that she is simply a lover of people and all things that bring joy and happiness to life. “It is my greatest joy to know that people give me the opportunity to help them change their lives. I became a life coach after spending nearly two decades in television, talking to people and making sure their stories were heard. For as long as I can remember, my greatest desire has been to help people realize that they have purpose, that their lives can be filled with true success and happiness, and that settling never has to be an option.” Although some know her from television, she has spent the past several years building her Master Your Life Network. A place for women to rediscover who they are, what they want out of life, and then giving them the tools and support they need to make it happen. LaTrynnda’s sought-after coaching sessions are helping people from around the world live their lives with passion, purpose, and pursuit of authentic happiness. “Whether I’m working with a stay at home mom on a tight budget or a business mogul who has never used the word budget in their vocabulary; two things remain the same, and that is that we all need an advocate and we all have an inward desire to be heard and validated. I am the friend who wants to see you succeed and overcome life's hurtful experiences, darkest moments, and biggest hindrances. Oftentimes we go through life forgetting who we are, the dreams that we have dreamed, and the potential that we possess. Because we have allowed life to become a series of empty days to get through the mundane, we end up sacrificing our true happiness and purpose for a shadow of who we were meant to become.” Mastering Your Life isn't about being perfect, it is about doing the work in your life in a way that you can bring honor to yourself, your calling, and to all those whose lives you touch each day. One thing that sets LaTrynnda and the Master Your Life Network apart from others, is that as she is giving you the tools you need to do your own life work, teaching you how to embrace and appreciate the simple and finer things that life has to offer, all while getting rid of the baggage that is keeping you from success and fulfillment. “The great news is that you do not have to be empty any longer, you don’t have to stay where you are wondering if life can or will get better. Happiness begins with discovering who you are and then realizing the value you possess within. No matter how sad your story may be, you must always remember that there is hope and there is a light shining in your direction waiting for you to emerge victorious”
Photography be Elle Pictures, Makeup by Love Make Up, Hair by 3 G Up Do
LaTrynnda’s Words of Wisdom: 5 Master Your Life Strategies for Success Discover Your Purpose - Everyone has a purpose or calling for their life. In order to live
successfully, you must discover what that means to you. We are each unique and gifted to do great things, The number of people that you reach isn’t an indicator of your success, but the quality and gratitude that you bring to the lives of others. You are the best you there is, don’t spend your life being someone else’s idea of who they think you should be or who you were yesterday.
Meditation & Affirmation - Success and Happiness comes in all shapes and forms. I teach
my clients that mediation is the key to keeping a mind that is focused and open to what God is saying to you. The greatest ideas and inventions come in the quite time of your Spirit. When life is busy and filled with noise your creativity and awareness is blocked. Learn to spend a few minutes each day quieting the internal noise and speaking words that bring your life and happiness. Become Intentional - Intentionality begins with creating better habits that improve the quality of your life. If you become intentional about one new thing each month, in one year the quality of your life will he substantively better than it was when you began. Decide to use positive words instead of self-deprecating ones, decide to add more exercise to your week, or start a journal (my favorite). The choice is yours!
Release The Bloom – You are a flower waiting to be put on display, but a flower can only bloom when the petal are ready to be pulled back. Today, choose to face everything that the past has done to bring you to this place and decide to let it go. The only thing that the past has to offer are lessons learned and memories to hold you back. Release the past and reclaim all that the future has to offer. The Art of Finishing to Win – In order to win in life
you must learn to finish what you start. A book, a project, a business plan, or a to-do list, whatever it is you must learn to finish. Life will always be filled with schedules and deadlines, but now is the time for you to choose what is most important in your life. The most valuable thing we have been given it time, happiness and success means learning to use it wisely.
Photography be Elle Pictures, Makeup by Love Make Up, Hair by 3 G Up Do
LaTrynnda Cunningham Hollins is an author, empowerment coach, life teacher, and the CEO of the Master Your Life Network and Shonneseâ€™ Beauty Corp. based in Mobile, AL. With nearly 20 years in the television industry, LaTrynnda has had the opportunity to in-terview countless specialist, experts, and guests concerning real life issues and becoming victorious. This, coupled with a background in sociological studies and a natural ability to ask the right questions to inspire new thought and motivation, is what causes her to serve women each day with passion and enthusiasm. LaTrynnda is committed to empowering women around the world to live their dream life by discovering true passion, purpose, and intent. After spending just a moment with her, women gain a new perspective and begin to see the power that they possess by taking control of their life and destiny. Affectionately known as a master motivator of women, she helps you take hold of the unraveled loose ends of your life and discover your true self so you can give one hundred percent while possessing success and happiness in every area of your life. When she isn't inspiring women or provoking creativity, she can be found judging beauty and state pageants, and mentoring girls to be Brilliant Beautiful Belle's. Above all else she believes women must be filled in Spirit, Soul, and Body, and that once this is done you will begin to live a life that rises up to meet you. As a teacher of life mastery, she believes that as we learn it is our upmost responsibility to pass that knowledge on in order to in-spire others to pass it on. With life lessons, laughter, and witty words to live by, LaTrynnda is well equipped to em-power, motivate, and inspire individuals, groups, and event attendees. Her wisdom, pas-sion, and vibrancy are just what you need to kick start your best life and discover the suc-cessful YOU, that's been waiting to be unleashed.
ADMIT ONE join us, thursday
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. Alabama Cruise Terminal
SEPTEMBER 18 5:30 - 9:00 PM
ALABAMA CRUISE TERMINAL
Grab your girlfriends for an unbelievable evening of manicures, make-overs, shopping, and more! This “must-do” event is an evening for ladies 21 years of age and older. Attendees have the opportunity to purchase tickets for a stylish “Purse-Onality” at $25 or $50 which includes a purse - and a surprise gift inside valued at that (or more)!
The Ezell House
The Perfect Setting for your Perfect Event Weddings . Receptions .Parties Can accommodate up to 500 guests in our historic Renaissance home and courtyard.
407 Conti Street Mobile, Al 36601 Tel: (251)432-4174 Fax: (251)432-7009 www.ezellhouse.com
He Hits You Because He Likes You
Most of us are aware of how prevelent domestic violence is in our society today, and many of us have been affected by it in some way. Awareness on this epidemic is being spread by wonderful foundations like Penelope House in Mobile, Alabama; but the MGCBNA (Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nurse Association) is taking a new spin on things and bringing awareness through the phrase “Stop domestic violence where it starts.” This approach teaches us to “break the cycle” and stop domestic abuse, as children of abusees are more likely to end up in an abusive relationship later on in life. With the help of Take Two Productions, MGCBNA created an amazing film/PSA to bring light to the domestic violence cycle. I had the pleasure of working with the amazing cast and crew of this project as a special effects artist and was able to witness firsthand the powerful impact this film has. Due out this winter, this film will hopefully continue to shed light on how bad abuse can escalate and how it can carry on through the generations. I spoke with John Lestrade, owner of Take Two Productions and director of this film, about this movie and his role in the production.
How did you get involved in this project?
MGCBNA hired us to film a documentary on domestic violence. After research and interviews with women subject to this mental and physical abuse, we realized the story would be better told if we made a short movie. So the project, with the help of our script writer Brian Matney, took on a life of its own, based on true stories from those that live it day after day.
What kind of story does this film tell?
Without giving away the film’s “show and awe,” the message we would like for all those in authority, as well as the victims, to walk away with it to prepare an EXIT strategy. You do not have to stay in that environment. There are professionals out there to help you. “Break that cycle of abuse.” It’s not just physical but, in many cases, it might be 90% mental abuse.
What went into making this film, on your part?
I am overseeing the complete project, from casting to the final edit. But I could not have come this far alone. The adage “Lights, Camera, Action!” is still true in short films. You still need actors, lighting, makeup, food and good sets, etc. I directed this film with a great crew and support team, and our talent knocked it out of the park. But it’s not over until we spend countless hours looking at footage and sewing together a great story that included effects, and we are very pleased with the sound track that we are scoring at this time for the emotional impact.
What do you hope to see come of this film?
This film will be shown around [the country]. But we also believe the message that it delivers can be told by submitting it to films fests, as well as government programs. When you get a chance, please preview it and remember that it’s based on true stories, so maybe we can change the paths of some young women or men, for that matterm, with this film.
What other projects can we hope to see from you soon?
We are working on a number of projects as we speak, [inlcuding] a short documentary on a bio soil company out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi that is saving the [planet] by enriching the soil instead of loading it down with chemicals. We just finished a short internal video for Rolls Royce out of Pascagoula, Mississippi; these guys are instrumental in supplying the power plants for some of the world’s largest ships (i.e. aircraft carriers). We are really excited about a French music video we are producing in New Orleans, Louisiana in the [French] Quarters. It’s based on a young woman and mystery man’s short romance.
Visit www.dvpstartshere.org for more information on what you can to if you are in an abusive situation or how you can help others.
10 Classics That Will Never Go Out Of Style The Little Black Dress
If you haven't heard of this by now, you must've been living under a rock, on another planet, in a galaxy far far away. Keep a little black dress on hand at all times. It can be dressed up or gussied down with ease, letting you keenly navigate cocktail parties, funerals, dates and everything in-between.
It's worth keeping a solid pair on hand for when you have to run out on the fly, don't feel like "dressing up," or just want to be, you know, comfortable. They can also look incredibly elegant.
Little Blue Blazer Standard Heels
Yah, get your height on. They may not be the most comfortable of shoes,, but you'll find yourself reaching for them constantly. The extra inches elongate your figure and add some sex appeal. Invest in a neutral and don't skimp—we're going for mileage here.
Feel free to get blazed in any environment, seriously. Like many things on this list, the ultimate result is about what you wear with it. Go casual over a white dress, shorts or denim or go sophisticated with a skirt and top.
Diamond necklaces, fancy earrings and all things that glitter are nice, but you have to start with the basics. Go for a classic watch—maybe amp it up with a jeweled face or play it traditional with a leather band. Whatever your taste, just avoid the "I'm ironic" Casio calculator one, okay?
Your Perfect Shirt
Maybe it's a chambray from J.Crew or a silky soft top from James Perse. Whatever the style you prefer, it will look good with your jeans, skirt, blazer, jacket.
Skinny denim is just fine, as are wide-leg or "boyfriend" jeans, but trust us when we say that a sturdy dark pair of straight legs will serve you best.
The Pencil Skirt
It's one of the most feminine pieces of clothing you can buy, because the silhouette is designed to accentuate the natural curve of a woman's body. Go with black if you're bold, bright if you're dating, printed if you're courageous.
A piece you don't want to skimp on when it comes to price. I've bought my fair share of cheap trenches and before they fell apart, they looked like cheap trenches. Save up, withdraw those funds and head to the nearest Burberry. Play it safe at first. You can go for leather sleeves and metallic python after you snag the classic.
All the aforementioned pieces are—for a lack of a better word—"standard." But everybody has that one thing they love that's a little out there. Maybe it's a pair of linen overalls, floral shorts or a crazy pair of shoes. So after getting all your classics, find something totally unique to you and punch up the standard set. Well worth the risk—and investment.
Inspiring Women on the Coast Networking Luncheon October 8, 2014
Legacy Bar & Grill 9 Du Rhu Drive, Ste 201 · Mobile
12 pm - 1 pm
Come as early as 11:30 to network You will be sure to be Inspired by our Guest Speaker
Invite any Woman you think would like to come and be Inspired. Contact for more information and please RSVP to
Fashions for a Cure
May 22nd 251-786-3522 3-G1:00 UP-DO 11:00 am pm I’ll travel to your location.
Benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Weddings, prom, any&special Legacy Bar Grill - occasion. Mobile ShellySuite Morgan 9 Du Rhu Drive, 201, Owner Mobile, Alabama
8600 Hunters Pt. Drive Come see N Theodore, ALthe Best in Local Fashions as we hit the email@example.com runway for a cure with Facebook: 3 G UP-DO Leukemia & Lymphoma
Face_It@rocketmail.com facebook.com/FaceItArtisty (228) 234-1527
Eventbrite.com, pay on paypal or contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Society and Man of the Year Gary Englade of Legacy Bar & Grill - Mobile. Enjoy Door Prizes, Raffle, Fashion Show and Lunch and all for a
Space is limited so get your tickets!
Legacy Village 9 Du Rhu Drive, Mobile, AL 36608
FRESH GULF SEAFOOD
QUALITY, LOCAL INGREDIENTS
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u R o-ween 5k Tr a i l l w
Wildlife Friends Presents
2nd Annual Owl-O-Ween 5K Trail Run Brought to you by these generous sponsors: Great Horned Owl Sponsors:
Barred Owl Sponsors: • Hart’s Fried Chicken • Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe • James N. Dykes CPCU, AMIM, ARM, Willis • EnviroChem Environmental Laboratories • Southern Earth Sciences, Inc. Screech Owl Sponsors: •Walks and Wags, Inc. •Progressive Lawn Maintenance •The Broken IPhone •Edith Gubler McCreadie, MD, LLD •Greater Mobile Urgent Care •Foosackly’s Chicken Fingers
What: Trail run to benefit the Environmental Studies Center’s wildlife rehabilitation program When: October 18, 2014 Where: Environmental Studies Center 6101 Girby Road Mobile, AL 36693 Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM For more information: Susan Clement 251-221-5000 *4 or email@example.com
Published on Sep 16, 2014
A Glamour + Fashion Magazine that makes a Difference in the World by using Fashion and Beauty as a Platform. Enjoy this issue where we have...