More Than a Number: Surviving and Thriving after Domestic Violence

My most powerful memory with Domestic Violence was when I was in grade school. I shared a room with a sibling and we had tried to sleep with the sounds of shouting, crying, and slamming. This wasn’t unusual. 

Then suddenly our bedroom door slammed open and my stepmother ran into the dark room and hid behind my side of the bed. She was crouched down and crying. The light in the hall backlit my father. He demanded she come out, now. It took her a few moments and then she got up and walked out of the room and shut the door. 

Later–much later–I found out she was to take her nursing board exams that morning and he spent the early morning hours beating her up until it was time for her to go. He didn’t want her to succeed. 

Beautifully, she did. 

Why do I do this interview with Heather Wolsey, who is an ABC4Utah employee (as a Studio 5 contributor, we decided we could still be friends…) and is also a DV survivor and law reformer on Capitol Hill? 

Because in our state alone, 1 in 3 will be involved in DV. It starts as emotional abuse–behavior that is controlling, demeaning, manipulative, or subtle cruelty in words and deeds–and can escalate to physical. 

If you don’t experience it, chances are high you will interact with someone who is–and not even know it. 

These victims need to know they can get help, there can be change, and they and their kids can be safe. 

This fabulous interview is so compelling, especially after surviving attempts by her husband to kill her, and receiving no help from police or legal representatives. She has worked tirelessly to change that outcome for others. 

Heather is articulate, clear, and savvy about her situation (she still deals with fallout), how to help others, and the law changes that she has helped enact. Women particularly die from DV, and children unwittingly perpetuate violence cycles that are not stopped. 

If not for yourself, I encourage you to listen and be ready to recognize the signs, to be a help, to be a catalyst for change or simply a listening ear for someone else. 

Lives matter. 

Loves,
Connie

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