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Ex Fabula: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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ART MONTES
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Editor's Note: This week’s stories address the topics of domestic violence and rape.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The deeply troubling and sadly common subjects of domestic abuse and sexual assault continue to impact the lives of millions of women, men and children, as well as dominate the headlines - no matter the month. We honor the survivors who courageously share their stories, and thank the allies who have supported them.

Our first teller, Linda Muza, stumbled upon a stranger’s secret – and it changed her life. As she told the audience during a Bonus StorySlam in February 2014, a book called, Happiness and How to Find It, called to her from a thrift store bookshelf. After paging through handwritten lists of social services agencies and their phone numbers in the margins, she discovered a shocking and heartbreaking story about a girl’s rape at age 12 by her uncle that put it all into context. This book and the personal story written within is a reminder to Linda to empathize with people and their troubles, and that endurance may ultimately be more important than happiness.

Our second teller, a woman we’ll call “L” for continued privacy, grew up in an alcoholic and violent home. So when she married into an abusive relationship, she told the audience at the Hidden StorySlam in October of 2016, it seemed normal. The verbal and emotional abuse got so bad that she sought help for depression, all the while keeping the abuse a secret from everyone. But when things became violent and was affecting her children as well as herself, she knew she needed to leave. Thanks to support from friends and the Sojourner Family Peace Center, “L” was able to get her life back on track, and has learned to call herself a survivor.

Listen to this week's stories here:

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is just a phone call away. You can reach the Sojourner Family Peace Center through its 24-hour hotline at 414-933-2722.

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