Our guest blog this week is very special. Do you know what steps to take to report abuse, and the warning signs someone may be involved in an abusive relationship? Holly is an ambassador for SARC, who after years of abuse, began her journey to healing, and is now a beacon of hope for those currently experiencing abuse. Below is her letter to the community:
Almost 20 years ago I was a victim of physical, mental, sexual, and financial abuse. The abuse was so bad when I left, I was in a wheelchair with a broken leg and a sprained ankle. With the love of my family, my best friend Amy Wood, and SARC I was able to leave and stay gone.
SARC opened my eyes and made me realize none of this was my fault, and that I was a victim of abuse. It took me several years to find myself again. I did, and I am a survivor! I am lucky that through the support of both my friends and family, I have rebuilt my life and am now married to an amazing man and have two beautiful children that I was told I could never have.
Through all of this, I have had on very clear very specific dream: to help others stuck in the same horrific situation.
My nephew Ethan Brito gave me the most amazing gift, he started a run in my name called Holly’s Hope! This run has allowed me to fulfill my dream to speak out and help others. Words cannot express how much this run means to me, and how much it helps other victims with all proceeds going to SARC.
Please join me again this year, on October 14th, as we come together to end abuse. If you are unable to attend the event, please consider becoming a Holly’s Hero through a donation of $100. All Holly’s Heroes will receive a metal to recognize their support to raising awareness about domestic violence.
I hope you will join me and everyone at SARC on October 14th as we host the 4th Annual Holly’s Hope 5k Run/1 Mile Walk. Please help spread the word about Holly’s Hope to help me fulfill my dream and help others that may be stuck in the same situation I was once facing.
Thank you from all that is within me!
If you believe a friend or a loved one is experiencing abuse, you can help by breaking the silence. Call SARC’s 24-hour helpline at 410-836-8430; access the National Dating Abuse Helpline 24/7 at 1-866-331-997 (or text “loveis” to 77054 to reach a peer counselor); and for teens in crisis, call the Maryland Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009.