In order to make a difference you must do the work! One of my passions is advocating for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. My organization The Next Chapter is a member of the Maryland Network of Domestic Violence. #MNADV Today the Governor’s Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition joined together to have a dialogue on how we can end Domestic Violence and better help victims and survivors. It takes a community effort. Faith-Based Leaders are a crucial part of the process as most victims reach out to their pastors or clergy for help. The work never stops. As #DVAM comes to an end we must continue the conversation and raise awareness.
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month I want to share my story with the world. 🌎 Being completely transparent, about 5 years ago I was in an abusive relationship with a man that I thought was “the man of my dreams.” He turned out to be a nightmare. I worked in an unhealthy work environment and I was transitioning from the Air Force which was a major life change.
My boyfriend at the time was a tall, handsome, professional law enforcement agent, military warrant officer, and former college basketball player. He had a superficial perception of himself, women, and an unhealthy relationship with his mother and ex-wife (also the mother of his two children.) He was stuck reliving his college basketball dreams of making it into the NBA. The dream never came to pass. He told me he felt that his life was a failure. He was angry at the world. Depressed. He was a military combat veteran that served in Iraq. He disclosed to me that he had PTSD but was not compliant with treatment not taking his prescribed medication. He snapped often usually after drinking heavily. He would berate and curse at both his mother and ex-wife calling them Bs and other derogatory words. I mistakenly thought I could love him through the anger. I played mediator often and tried to get him to show more respect for the women in his life. These were red flags that I foolishly ignored: If he treats his mother and daughter’s mother bad…eventually he’ll channel that energy towards you.
The relationship progressed and he moved from his place into my condo. That’s when the verbal abuse turned towards me. He called me fat daily (I was a size 6 at the time 😔 and in the best shape of my life.) He talked negatively about my appearance. Nothing I wore or did was good enough. He constantly made reference of how I should change my hair or attire to look like other women. He wanted me to dress more scantily clad to show off my assets and make him look good. He talked negatively about my decision to separate from the Air Force and said I would never find a “good” job post military. (Special note: I landed my first job after my first interview and doubled my Air Force salary!) Then he started to call me out of my name using derogatory terms. He drunk heavily daily and became more angry and verbally abusive.
I remember vividly, the night before I left him. I was tired. I expressed to him that I did everything: “I cooked. Cleaned after his mess. Took care of his daughters. Dealt with his emotional outbursts. Played the mediator between him and his ex-wife during his ongoing custody battles.” I was constantly walking on egg shells as to not upset him. He repeatedly lied and I discovered he cheated with other women. Once while I was in the hospital getting surgery. He failed to come pick me up after surgery and I was left in the hospital for hours. I had to call a friend to come get me. I discovered once he finally came home that he was with another woman.
The final breaking point came when he threatened my life. I was so tired and done with the relationship. I was sick of him. I remember I asked him to take out the trash. He flipped out as usual. This time he punched me. He choked me. Threw me to the floor. He punched a hole in the wall. He destroyed the furniture in our apartment. At this point I knew I had to end the relationship.
I went to work in the morning with a plan to pack all of his things and get him out of the house. He repeatedly called my job and threatened to kill me. I called the police. 🚨 They went to our residence and asked him to leave but did not arrest him. They left. I went back to the home 🏡 and discovered he was still at the residence. I called the police a second time. They said: “Ms. Johnson there is nothing we can do. He is a law enforcement agent. If you want him removed you will need to file a protective order.” I left and went to the courthouse to file a protective order.
While I was at the courthouse he called my phone no less than 100 times. I kept the phone records. I showed the Sheriff at the courthouse the phone logs. The last message that he left said, “he was sorry and he said he left the residence.” I returned to the house to get my belongings with the police and the protective order. After leaving the message twice that he left the residence, he was still at the residence. The police said: “Ms. Johnson we are not going to arrest him. He is a law enforcement agent. We are going to show him the protective order and ask him to leave.” Less than five minutes later they came down the steps with him in handcuffs and escorted him to jail. He was not cooperative and threatened the police so they finally decided to take action after the third time of being called to the residence.
The police officers 👮 👮🏽 witnessed his actions. They saw the disarray in the house. Heard him make threats. Forcefully removed him from the home. Responded to the repeated violations of the protective order to include him stalking me by showing up to my job and former residence. I resigned my job and fled my residence for my safety. The officers showed up to court to testify. It took two years in court for repeated protective order violations and substantially assault charges filed against him by the commissioners office. Nothing happened. 💔💔💔
The Prince George’s County States Attorneys office said there was not enough evidence to proceed and subsequently stet-docketed the case. The mounting evidence and his confession that he committed the acts did not matter. My voice didn’t matter. My witnesses and the police officer’s testimony did not matter. The stet-docket meant he was exonerated from all charges and would keep his job with the law enforcement agency and his Top Secret Security Clearance. He would also keep his access to handle a firearm. He was required to attend batterers counseling/anger management, all charges were set aside and eventually dropped by the States Attorneys office. The message I received was that my voice does not matter. Repeatedly throughout the process I was asked to not hold him accountable and to protect him versus doing what was necessary to protect myself.
The turning point to healing came when I let it all go and gave it to God. When I reached my breaking point, my family, friends and pastor prayed over me. I understood that my trials were temporary and everything would be okay. God had the final say!
Fast forward five years later. I am the CEO of two companies The Next Chapter, Corporation and Success Creators! I reclaimed my joy and found love within myself. I am now a vocal advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I am a survivor!
I share my story to empower others. You have the freedom to walk away! You have the choice to change your situation! Yes, agencies designed to help us sometimes let us down. Do what is necessary to fight for yourself and be safe. Choose YOU! You deserve to be happy! You deserve to be loved! You deserve to be safe. You deserve a life of success doing what you love! You are perfect in God’s eyes! Adjust your crown and walk with authority and purpose!
~Love, Simply Ebony
#DVAM #DVAM18 #LadyofInspiration #DomesticViolence #Survivor #MeToo #SurvivorSpeaks
#1Thing we use in our advocacy is the Power & Control Wheel. #DomesticViolence is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another in an intimate #relationship. To find out more click here: bit.ly/2ofjUK7 #DVAM2018 #endDV
I survived a brutal rape by a serial rapist at 15-years-old. My rapist, told the bystanders that it was a ‘domestic issue.’ I pleaded with them to help me yet they all watched me get raped. The rape was a defining moment in my life.
I enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) at 18-years-old. While overseas in the USAF, I eloped and married. My husband eventually became abusive. I filed for divorce from him after a year of separation.
Later in life, I found myself in another abusive relationship. I fought through the disappointment when the courts failed to hold my abusive boyfriend accountable. He continuously violated the protective order and stalked me at my place of employment and my home.
Through all of the trials that I faced, my faith never wavered. I separated from the USAF with an Honorable Discharge. I founded The Next Chapter, Corporation, a 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to empowering victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I launched my second business, Success Creators to provide coaching for individuals and business development. Once I opened that door to healing and wellness, the doors opened for me to follow my passion and to help others.
Wow!! Thank you to everyone that purchased the digital copy of Behind the Rank. Congratulations to my 29 coauthors of #BehindTheRank Vol 1 book! Pre-order your signed copy now at https://www.paypal.me/LadyofInspiration/23
Our book hit the Amazon Hot New Releases Bestsellers Lists at
#1 in United States Military Veteran History,
#1 in United States Veteran History,
& #4 in Women in History
#Military #WomenVeterans #Amazon #BestSellers #USAF
Join me today from 1pm-2pm EST as I celebrate the launch of my book release! Get your copy of ‘Behind The Rank’ for only $2.99, then come back here to celebrate with me! Thank you for your support! #BehindTheRank
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A poster from a social media group recently asked, “on a scale of 1-7 what are your beliefs according to the Dawkins Scale?” I thought initially, “why is this today’s discussion?” I’m definitely a 1, I believe strongly in God and know without Him I am nothing. I’ve survived so much trauma in life: CHILD ABUSE, RAPE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and WAR. It’s because of God’s grace that I survived and turned Tragedy into Triumph!
There have been multiple times when I questioned God and asked why He would allow so much hurt in my life? After I was raped at the tender age of 15, I turned away from God for the first time. I’ve learned without God as my center, my life spirals out of control. Sure I could have chose to hate God and hate those who hurt me. Instead, I chose love. One day at my lowest point I literally dropped to my knees and prayed. I asked God to use me as his vessel to help others heal.
Once I FINALLY started living my life God’s way I’ve been abundantly blessed. I started my non-profit “The Next Chapter,” to provide much needed resources to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. I recently co-authored a book with my Veteran Sisters titled “Camouflaged Sisters Presents Behind the Ranks Vol I,” to share our stories. I joined my Veteran Sisters who are “Own Our Way Up,” and “Brown Girls Syndicate” in two Mastermind Groups to push our businesses, professional and personal lives forward. Finally, I launched two of my newest ventures “Simply Ebony” my lifestyle blog and “Success Creators” to help others discover their pathway to success. Everything that I have accomplished in life is because of God’s Grace.
LADIES: If you are involved in a relationship with an abusive and controlling person: GET OUT. Your life is worth it. Please do not think that you are responsible for another grown persons reactions. This is the second murderer who cowardly went on a gun rampage and blamed his ex-girlfriend.
Peter Selis, 49, according to the San Diego Police Department, killed a woman and wounded six others at a poolside birthday party in the University of California-San Diego area on Sunday. He was ultimately shot and killed by officers. Prior to his death Selis called his ex-girlfriend to have her listen as he carried out the killings.
For more information about this story visit here:
The Cleveland Police Department has issued an aggravated murder warrant for Steve Stephens. He is a 37 year old, 6’1″ tall, 244 lbs, black male with a bald head and a beard. Last seen driving a white Ford Fusion with temporary tags. The suspect is armed and dangerous. Yesterday, Stephens killed Robert Godwin, Sr., a 74 year old man, in cold blood and posted the video on FaceBook live. The victim was shot at 635 E. 93, in Cleveland, Ohio. Stephens referenced that he snapped and murdered Mr. Godwin, Sr. in retaliation of his recent break up with his girlfriend Joy Lane.
Call 9-1-1 if you see the suspect. Please do not approach him. Stephens may currently be in northeast Ohio or surrounding states to include Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Michigan. The suspect confessed in a video posted on Facebook to killing 13 others; however, the police have not found any additional victims. The investigation is still ongoing, please contact the police department if you have any information that may help this case.
For additional information on this story please visit the Cleveland Police Departments page for real time updates: https://clevelandpolice.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/aggravated-murder-warrant-issued-for-steve-stephens-bm-37/