The Unseen Women of Domestic Violence
Welcome back, this is day 5 of the pre-summit of She Believed, So She Did! Supporting Women’s Career Accelerations. You are in a community of like-minded women leaders who are ready to break all of those barriers in career advancement and take the next leap to success in their lives.
In our final pre-summit presentation, I would like to share with you a topic that is very near to my heart. It is the legacy of domestic violence. You see that legacy is not always the continued physical or emotional abuse. It is also the residue that plagues generations. It is a residue that stifles economic success and career opportunities for even the most skilled and guessed it of potential leaders.
Hello from around the world. I am Brandi Sheffield, CEO of Learning Associates and designer of The Outlier Leader Program where we support women on the leadership continuum to break barriers and attract new career opportunities by clarifying their leadership messaging. I am also the coordinator and host of the summit She Believed, So She Did! Supporting women to accelerate their career to bring you a well-rounded holistic approach of being a woman in the job market.
Each day has been building on the prior day. Make sure you have downloaded the workbook here.
I have never been in a domestically violent or abusive relationship. Neither has my mother so I have not seen domestic violence or abuse. However, my mother and her four sisters had a front-row seat to domestic violence and abuse of their aunt, the sister of their father. They watched their aunt be brutally beaten for over forty years, spend multiple nights in the hospital. One time she almost lost her life, and was stuck with no options to escape. What that did for the five girls was to develop a bond and a mantra that no man would ever do that to them. They developed a series of attitudes and behaviors that either placed them as the breadwinner with exceptional work ethics or a disposition and attitude that communicated clearly that no man would ever lay a hand on them. The extent of that mindset in Behavior ran so deep that they coached their brothers to be Protectors of them as though they were their husbands. That mindset and disposition drove very deep to the transfer of their children. The male children are hyper-focused on the sanctity of a woman and the disgust of domestic violence that it was clear they would be disowned if even the thought of violence towards a woman cross their mind. For their daughters and nieces, that training was a doubled down effect with a clear message. They could never be subservient to a man; never depend on a man financially; never let him know your truest thoughts or fears, never be completely vulnerable to him, and get what is yours before it is taken away from you.
The residue of the domestic violence is one that shows up in my own life and my family every day. It is a daily conscious decision to love my husband differently than the way I was trained, to raise my daughter differently than the messages that were given to me, and to raise my son differently with the balance of respect for himself and for the woman. The residue of domestic violence is not always visible, is not always seen as a negative entity, but yet in packs the daily lives of its descendants.
If there are two phases to being able to exit domestic violence, one is definitely the physical and emotional safety but it is also the opportunities that have been stripped away and taken away that creates such an internal fear of not being able to provide for oneself. The women of domestic abuse typically don’t have access to the type of knowledge that we shared here in this pre-summit and we’ll dive even deeper in the actual summit on December 13th. When women of domestic violence do get out of the relationship and are able to find resources they are often short-sighted resources that serve the immediate need of shelter, food and an entry-level job but does not create an opportunity for the woman to completely re-imagine a new life for herself, a new life that allows her to change the trajectory of the legacy of her family.
For this reason our Summit also supports the women of the Long Beach shelter. It is a shelter that supports women of domestic violence and abuse to find resources to change their lives. We provide 3 months of access to all of the expert panelists and keynote speakers so that the organization can design their educational days to provide the women with these rich resources to reimagine their lives and change the legacy of their families. As your career action exercise I’d like to challenge you to think about and consider how can you make social impact in this world. What beyond money can you offer that is an invaluable resource and add that to this world to help those who normally would not have access to your types of resources or your products or your services to change and make a new trajectory for themselves. The workbook provides you with space to be able to think about a social cause that is in alignment with your core values and space to think about and brainstorm ways to give more than money; to give services to that social impact cause that helps to create a more prosperous life for others.
Until next time my friends….be well.