One glimpse at reality television star Liz Simpson might cause the viewer to notice her confidence, poise, and joy. Her story, however, did not start that way. Nearly a decade ago, the now married mother of two did not project self-esteem and happiness.
“Ten years ago, I was a battered single mother who lived in a shelter for nine months with my infant daughter fleeing for safety,” recalls Simpson a domestic violence advocate and author of The Puzzle Pieces of Me.
Simpson was not alone. She was one of the more than 1.3 million women, who according to a U.S. Department of Justice report, are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year. The assault did not cease when she became pregnant.
“When my abuser found out that I was pregnant, the violence escalated even though we were no longer in a relationship,” she discloses.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s National Intimate Partners Sexual Violence Survey, 1-in-3 women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. Simpson’s maternal instincts helped her to turn course.
“As a mother, it was the love for my daughter and vision for our future that compelled me to completely separate myself from the abuse,” she says. “During my time in the shelter, I saw the revolving door of women coming in and out. I saw firsthand that abuse does not discriminate as I witnessed women from all races and socioeconomic groups seeking safety within those walls. I realized that I was not alone and therefore, I could go forward.”
“The Keynote is an inspirational approach to reality TV that focuses on bringing the best out of people rather than exploiting their worst,” notes McNeal, the show’s executive producer when speaking of the Indiegogo campaign to fund the show.
Simpson, the self-proclaimed the self-discovery diva, is using the platform to be a voice for female victims and survivors. She extends this encouragement.
“I say to all you victims and survivors: I see you. You are not alone. And you are worthy of a life of joy, abundance and love,” she affirms.
She continues: “Abuse is about power and control. The main tactic used by perpetrators is isolation. If you would like to support a victim: listen to them without judgement, educate them of their options without pushing your own agenda and be patient as they make their own decisions.”
In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Simpson recommends this four-part solution to help victims overcome the impact of violence.
Seek Therapy: “Studies have shown that the same tactics used to brainwash prisoners of war are used in the psychological abuse of victims of domestic violence. It is important to pursue counseling or therapy as part of your emotional healing and peace of mind.”
Find Community: “Join a survivor support group or volunteer at your local shelter. There is tremendous healing that comes from hearing those stories that are similar to your own.”
Journal Your Experience: “Being a survivor of abuse is a journey, an ongoing process. Journaling not only creates a record of your internal growth, it allows you to process emotions and thoughts and allow them to move through you. Plus, you are more likely to achieve something when you write it down.”
Self-Care: “Many survivors of abuse suffer low self-worth and low self-confidence. It’s time to make yourself a priority and put yourself first. You deserve it, you are worthy. Create a self-care routine to re-connect with yourself. You can meditate, treat yourself to a massage or practice yoga.”
Find out more about Liz Simpson and the campaign to bring uplifting messages to television at www.TheKeynoteCampaign.com.