Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

The Sweetest Thing

Filed in Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, voices :: October 19, 2011

Monday I had the pleasure of speaking about dating violence and healthy relationships to a group of high school students.

The coordinator of the event brought Earl Grey cupcakes after I mentioned that the day of the talk would be my birthday.

Apparently, I am shameless.  And they were delicious.

But she gave everyone in the room another gift, too: she shared her own story of an abusive marriage with this group of young women who will work with her month after month, knowing now that they can come to her with their stories, whatever they are, and she will listen with empathy and openness.  She has created a safe space for each of those students to share her own experience, whatever it might be.

I ask people to talk about intimate partner violence with their daughters, granddaughters, friends, sisters, coworkers–to tell their stories, as I do, to anyone who will listen.

And I am always impressed when they share their personal stories during the Q&A, as if they have just been waiting for an opportunity, an open door.

The more we talk about intimate partner violence, the less of it there will be to talk about.

This is the sweetest thing.