What started as a cup of coffee on the beach has now become a safe haven for victims of domestic abuse. This is a volunteer site that is very dear to my heart, I met Trish in May of 2009. She had just fought her way out of a very abusive relationship and proclaimed herself a survivor. She didn’t have any money, but she had a vision and a voice. She knew she needed a website to get out her story, she wanted to share it in hopes it would help others become survivors just like her. We decided to meet early one morning on Crystal Beach so that her two boys could have some fun playing in the waves, I offered to bring the coffee. As we talked, she told me her story and as I listened, it became apparent to me that what we needed to do for her website was create a safe haven that others could share their stories. With that, VictimToSurvivor.com was launched. It didn’t take long to catch on, stories started to come in and as I edited them to put on the site, I was horrified at what was happening to these individuals on the premise of love. It wasn’t just women, several men shared as well. A piece of my heart went with each one as I read the pain they had endured. I had just ended a beautiful 25 year marriage to the love of my life, raised three beautiful children. Sure we had our heated exchanges over the years, but not once did I ever hurt her nor did she hurt me. Our love was too strong for that.
Over the years, Trish has been an advocate for domestic violence and has helped many people help themselves. She has saved some and lost a few as well. Unfortunately one of the hardest things for an abused person to do is to stay away from their abuser.
Trish and I spoke during Christmas 2015 and we are planning some new things for VTS 2.0 to be launched in the summer of 2016, but she told me she was looking for the next thing to do. The next thing to make a difference, then I saw a meme on FaceBook that suggested that an abuser should have register in the same way that a sex offender has to. So I contacted Trish and explained that I think I found her next thing. She is now working with legislators to try and make it happen, will see how it goes.