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PHF Magazine January 2019

Finding Solace in Chaos Zoe Found Herself Again After Abuse

Precious Hearts Foundation in The News

Stories From Survivors


CONTENTS Precious Hearts Foundation in The News Page 3 Stories From Survivors Page 5 Zoe Found Herself Again After Abuse Page 6 Finding Solace in Chaos Page 10

PHF Magazine January 2019


Precious Hearts Foundation's Founder/President, Elva Chase, gives her heart wrenching testimony of domestic abuse survival and the roots of which her foundation was born. Precious Hearts Foundation has now expanded their services in the states of Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. For more information, call 1-877731-2210 or visit www.preciousheartsfoundation.org

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Stories from survivors who have found focusing on their own personal goals and happiness to be an important part of the healing process. Katrina’s Story It has been nine years. I didn’t find a partner yet but by choice. I did however go to work at a domestic violence shelter, earned a bachelors, then my masters and now I am a licensed social worker who specializes in therapy with trauma/domestic violence/sexual assault. It has been nine years of recovery as a single mom with five kids but I am here to say it can be done! It has been a journey for sure. Of my five children 2 are in college and one graduates this year to go to college. 2 of the 3 are earning social work degrees and the third one is looking at political science/policy setting. Education is empowerment. I was fresh out of my marriage and trying to make sense of it all. I became a volunteer advocate (DV and SA) then later the Children’s Program Coordinator. I worked up from there! My initial framework and knowledge base that I learned as a volunteer has shaped my entire role as a therapist. Don’t give up!!! I know it seems forever but now I look back and never ever would have believed I would have been here! I was a stay at home mother in a rural area, cloaked with religion as a reason to stay and completely under his thumb. Today I am independent and so much happier. Hang in there!!! And happiness did follow! Every time I take the kids to the park or movies without fear, every time we can stay up late or sleep in, without fear… every time I can speak to somebody without fear… happiness abounds!

Christina’s Story. I’ve been single for four years now since I’ve left my abuser. A little bit of dating here & there, but I enjoy being single & learning to love myself so that my daughter can have a happy mother that doesn’t believe that she always has to be in a relationship to be happy or successful. I do have to say I’m a lot happier & healthier. Take time for yourself to enjoy your own company and learn. Share that with your children if you have kids and embrace it. You have plenty of time to meet someone. There’s no rush and even if you never meet someone, it’s better to be single and happy than in a relationship and miserable! Keep loving, keep fighting. https://www.thehotline.org/2013/06/06/shared-voices-your-stories-of-life-after-abuse /

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Zoe Found Herself Again After Abuse. I'm Zoe and I was in an abusive relationship for 6 years and I have been free for 3 years now. My ex-husband was emotionally, physically, digitally, financially, and sexually abusive. He is currently in prison serving an 11.5-year sentence for ABH, harassment and rape, all perpetrated against me. At first I thought I had married my soulmate, everything was amazing to start with, I felt loved and cared for but then it slowly started to change. I could never do enough for him, he always wanted more. Whether that was more time, energy, sex, money, or attention, but no matter how much I gave it was never enough, he made me feel like I was constantly failing, that I needed to try harder and be better. After my daughter was born, he then started to get physical, it started small, a pinch, a slap, pulling my hair but soon he was raping me on a regular basis, strangling and pinning me down on the floor. He took my money and forced me to take out loans for him, causing me to have a large amount of debt that I am responsible for paying for but that he spent. He was extremely jealous and would constantly accuse me of cheating and he would leave devices in the house to record me, it made me extremely paranoid as he said he had people watching me and because he always seemed to know stuff, this just added to my hyper-vigilance. PHF Magazine January 2019

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He used to grab at my crotch and hold me in place saying “this is mine” and if I was cheating he would cut me up into pieces and put me in the bin. I really believed that he would do this, especially as he had a large machete which he would sharpen regularly. As with all abusive relationships, mine went in cycles and we did have good times but gradually they became less and less, and I slowly became a shell of the person I was when I meet him, I gradually began to wither, I stopped living, I was just existing. I was confused, sad, fearful, angry, lonely, ashamed and exhausted, and I couldn’t understand how someone who would tell me they loved me could do all this to me, I thought it had to be my fault and that there must be a way I could fix it! For many years to I tried to ‘fix’ our problems until I realised that they couldn’t be fixed, because he liked the way things were, he would never change as he was happy and he wanted to keep me there being his supply, I knew that the only way things would improve was if I wasn’t with him, I needed to get free!

After I left him, for 6 months he love-bombed me, stalked me, hid in my neighbour’s bushes and my garden at night time. It ended with him breaking into my home, by battering down my front door with a concrete block and him attacking me. He punched, kicked and headbutted me, which resulted in 12 stitches in my forehead, I was so scared and I thought he was going to kill me but the police came in time and arrested him, and I was taken to the hospital I have been left with a 4cm scar in my face but at least I have my life. I then spent the next year, making police statements and going to court and taking the witness stand for all the criminal charges against him. It's taken me a long time to recover from what he did to me as I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety disorder, depression, and battered women syndrome (BWS). But I have recovered, I have healed and I haven't had a nightmare or a panic attack in over a year. If I can do it, so can you! It takes time to recover as it's not just your heart that is broken but it's your spirit that gets broken.

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I used to think abuse was a black eye, but it's much more than that, and in my case he didn't give me a black eye until the very end, after I'd left him, yet my relationship with him was very abusive and pretty much from the beginning.

I now spend my time helping other people who have or are still experiencing abuse. I'm am a qualified Life and Relationship Coach and I provide a safe place to heal and process the abusive experience. I help people to grow in self-love and to be body positive, as often after abuse you feel worthless. But no matter how you have been treated or what you have been told about how you look, you are beautiful, worthy and deserve so much more. I understand the confusion, rage, shame and despair. Recovering from emotional abuse takes time and on-going support, and I am here to help you. I will educate, validate, support, encourage, and empower you on your journey to Self Love After Abuse and although the path to freedom can be a bumpy one, it’s so worth walking, so let’s go on this journey together. Website: www.selfloveafterabuse.com Email: selfloveafterabuse@gmail.com Instagram: selfloveafterabuse PHF Magazine January 2019

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Finding Solace in Chaos Child Sexual Abuse is a very uncomfortable elephant in the room. I’d wager that many of you reading this have, in some form or fashion, caught a glimpse of this elephant somewhere. Odds are that the terrible ugly was too much to withstand. It is normal to look away, when faced with something horrible. The stigma of victims & survivors must become a thing of the past, we as a collective society must take a stand against the stigma. This pandemic is allowed to run rampant not by the evil, but rather by the uncomfortable, silent majority. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill Over the course of two years, from 2015 to 2017, I used the writing of Solace in Chaos as a means of coming to terms with my past. It was my way of giving the silent, suffering innerchild a long overdue voice. Maybe even lend a helping hand to another, should they too know the awful familiarity of suffering in silence. PHF Magazine January 2019

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Upon completion of the book, I threw a little party, placed my book on the shelf, and raised my glass to the echoes of the past, forever chronicled in my completed work. My silence had been broken, my voice heard by all who read those pages and joined on my journey to recovery - a journey which I had considered to be over, at the time.

Together we can find healing, and become the greatest versions of ourselves. And we can do the same the next day, and the day after that. We can strive to always be better than we were the day before, to embrace our flaws and grow from them as we hurdle down the road of recovery. Not unlike the way a Chef from Japan, will make the same dish perfectly, over and over, never quite truly satisfied with it. I am devoted to being this picky about the condition of my soul, going forward. I deserve it.

You can only imagine the confusion, and perhaps disappointment, I felt when the “all better” feels, did not stick around for long. Less than a year later, I realized that recovery is not simply a destination. Rather, the “end of the line” was not so clearly marked. None of us should feel like we have to make this journey alone though, My journey is far from over. and I would like to use this Awakening my inner voice is merely opportunity to help any person who one small chapter in the much may find themselves feeling longer story of my recovery, and similarly. self-discovery. In the recent few months, I have experienced a whirlwind of events which continue I’ve just begun establishing a to unfold as I take my apprehensive presence on the major social next steps through this ongoing media platforms, as well as taking on some public speaking, labyrinth. advocacy and mentorship roles. I invite you to join me as I commit to the process of recovery once more. I’ve begun the process of allying This time, digging deep. with The Outlier Project, to amplify Unapologetic, and unashamed of our mutual endeavors. When we my past. Maybe I even help a few help others we help ourselves. I more people than I did my first go- know that life is short, and our time round. I’m wide open to anyone here is finite. I remain stubborn in who just needs a safe person to my devotion to use my time wisely. share with.

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You can contact Chef Spencer Instagram: @solace_in_chaos_memoir Twitter: @ChefSpencer68 Snapchat @solaceinchaos Facebook: Solace in Chaos For press, bookings, or other inquiries Admin Email: solaceinchaosmgmt@gmail.com

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ABUSE IS NEVER OKAY IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC ABUSE, CALL 9-1-1 OR YOUR LOCAL DOMESTIC ABUSE SHELTER

1-877-731-2210 FLAGLER BEACH EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR MEN

PALM COAST EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN

THE ABUSE STOPS HERE! WWW.PRECIOUSHEARTSFOUNDATION.ORG PHF Magazine January 2019

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PHF Magazine January 2019 Issue  

Domestic violence magazine with testimonies and safety tips

PHF Magazine January 2019 Issue  

Domestic violence magazine with testimonies and safety tips

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