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Courage Magazine

Welcome to Courage Magazine!  If you are a blogger or someone who has valuable information to share about domestic violence to help the community, we encourage you to submit an article to our blog.  All entries are subject to approval before posting to Courage Network.

Strength to Persevere

Published by: Courage Network on 26th Jul 2010 | View all blogs by Courage Network
by Lyn Twyman

Li
sa sig.IMG_1629f.jpgmet John about 15 years ago.  He was charming, loving and even after over a year of dating they still lived a part.  John respected her in every way. "I thought he was 'It' for m
e…you're so in love and you ignore the tell tale signs," explains Lisa, "I also grew up in a home where domestic violence was present.  John had proposed to me a few times but would never mean it, like it was a joke or a game."  The signs later  became noticeable, "It started with verbal abuse.  He would say 'You're not good enough.  You should change jobs.  Work somewhere else.  Make more money'.  There was no pleasing him." John grew abusive.
 
Lisa and John would occasionally go out with his friends.  John would drink and become loud, obnoxious and increasingly abusive toward Lisa in public.   Friends would ask him to leave her alone but that was not enough to convince him stop.  During one of these outings, John began degrading Lisa again in front of his friends.  Lisa had decided enough was enough and defended herself by speaking up.  John sig.f218d3e5_50368.jpgbecame so enraged at Lisa that he took her by the chin, picking her up off the floor, digging his fingernails into her cheeks until she began to bleed.   John's friends tried to stop him and pleaded with Lisa to leave but she did not.  John later told family and friends that Lisa's injuries came from boxes and a filing cabinet that fell on her.  Yet another violent episode with John left Lisa with a displaced jaw and missing teeth.  John again would tell family and friends that this too resulted from another accident.
 
Lisa visited John's father after this last episode of violence to get his help with money that belonged to her that John had been controlling.  He looked at Lisa and saw the lingering deformities from her injuries on her face.  His conscious ate at him.  "He looks into my eyes and tells me 'I thought things would be different.' "
Different what do you mean?" Lisa recalls her asking him.  There Lisa learned from John's father that John had abused his last girlfriend for 13 years.  That is when Lisa's tears began to fall and they both cried together. 
 
By that time, Lisa and John had been
together for 7 years.  She knew without any doubt that her relationship was more than unhealthy, it would get her killed and she needed to get out.  One day while John was at work she rented a moving truck and began packing.   "John's best friend walked in and saw I was in the process of trying to get everything out of our home and says 'What took you so long?' and he helped me packed."  Lisa left that night with the moving truck and all her possessions, but not before John got back home from work to witness her leaving. 
 

It was not until several weeks later, Lisa found out she was
pregnant with their baby.  Uncertain and scared, she went back to John but the growing baby inside her did not stop John and the violence continued, "He threw me across the room and even put me out in Sig.sammons-R3-046-21A copy.jpgthe hall naked," Lisa recounts.  Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, John's moods would change even regarding the
unborn child they were having. One minute he was excited and expressed joy then within seconds, he would pick up the phone and threaten Lisa to abort the baby, that having the baby would mess up her life even
giving ultimatums to get rid of it or else... Five months later Lisa packed her bags and left again, this time not only for her safety but for that of her unborn child.

Lisa gave birth to a beautiful girl after she finally left John.  "I went to stay at a friend's house I thought he didn't know about and he found us so that's when I went to live in  a shelter."  But even the shelter posed another dilemma, "
They would not allow us (the residence) to work  yet gave us 3 months to get ourselves together to find work and housing. It's a catch 22, you can't get huone without the other.  I saw a few other residents fail to do so and they were sent to emergency homeless shelter.  Emergency shelter also was not an option because they make you leave during the day and you can only sleep there at night in an open room with cots."  

Lisa and her daughter has also moved 16 times in 10 years because of  stalking, harassments and threats from her ex. 

Despite the struggles that Lisa and her daughter have faced to just have their basic needs met like housing, transportation, stability and safety, they co
ntinue to rebuild their lives.

 
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Furthermore, Lisa  has realized a dream.  Lisa, a former model, loved being in front of  the camera but also loves being behind it.  She has been accepted into one of the most prestigious colleges for photography, the Hallmark Institute.  GreenNote.com is a fiscal sponsor who is collecting donations on her behalf to raise tuition so she can attend Hallmark this fall of September 2010.  To view Lisa's profile on GreenNote.com and donate toward her tuition, click here.  One of Lisa's goals by going to photography school is to graduate with the tools and methods she needs so she can work in places like law enforcement and putting faces to the victims of domestic violence to help them understand just how beautiful they are.


 
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Additionally, Lisa has
launched  a website called LAS Photography to showcase her stunning porfolio that includes people, nature, artifacts, collectibles and other objects.  Lisa understands that her gift to capture the essence of life with the lens is a gift that she wants to use to help others.  "Domestic violence is a story that others need to know about.  Often people do not believe it is happening until they actually see it.  A photo tells a story and this story and those of other victims and survivors needs to be told."

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Lisa is a photographer, survivor and major contributor to the Courage Network blog titled Courage Magazine.
All photography in this blog post is owned by Lisa Sammons.  Do not duplicate. 
All rights reserved.

   
     

Comments

10 Comments

  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    =) only photo not done by me is the first one with the scarf. My daughter Piper whom I am teaching photography to took that one of me. Love it & she did a great job. Thanks Lynn for the interview. I hope my story inspires others to speak out, give them strength & helps. We all have a dream & sometimes when we think all is lost someone helps us get there.
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    In my attempts to network & change direction in life for the better for my daughter & self, it appears that my opportunity to attend Hallmark this fall because of tuition is failing. I think now I am going to cry. What direction now?? Feeling a bit lost again.
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    This article is linked to a few other places so I wanted to share the blogs I have already done here on issues of DV. One that relates to why she stays if questioning why anyone would go back to an abuser. Many do not understand why. http://www.couragenetwork.com/magazine/read/domestic-violence--why-she-stays_39.html
    Other Blogs I have written: http://www.couragenetwork.com/members/profile/93/blog
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    Via this posting on FACEBOOK Responses:
    #
    Ellen Reisman, Eeva-Maija Maula and 2 others like this.
    #

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    Joyce Andersen hey girl, one out of 3 women will be sexually assaulted or physically abused by the time they are 30.
    July 26 at 6:13pm · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading... ·
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    Julie Olomon Simpson What a good article Lisa!! You are an amazing person!
    July 26 at 6:18pm · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading... ·
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    L.a. Sammons
    Well, those that already know most of this what few there are or were I should say this isn't new news. However I figure it may help others if doing what all survivors should do, "SPEAK OUT". I did in the interview they asked me if I would ...share. Breaking the chain on my end was the first step for me & if it helps someone else then that makes it all the better. System is still really messed up for aiding & helping & some states don't acknowledge there is a problem as much as there is truthfully. Which is sad for those seeking help because you can't do it alone. I had support & help. Not an easy road but time to get my life back on my terms not someone else's. See More
    July 26 at 6:24pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading... ·
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    Susan Shaw Bravo Lisa, your determination and drive are awesome !
    July 26 at 7:40pm · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleLoading... ·
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    Eeva-Maija Maula Wow Lisa, you have great courage ♥ I am not a victim of physical abuse but my ex was a narcissist, so I have some idea...
    July 27 at 12:43am · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading... ·
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    Tara Hall WOW Lisa...you are a strong woman, really. Good for you!!
    July 27 at 6:53am · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading... ·
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    L.a. Sammons
    He wasn't the first abusive relationship but surely was the last. Fact that children who grow up in this kind of environment think it's normal. Removing myself & daughter whose never seen it is the first step to breaking the chain so she ac...knowledges it isn't normal nor acceptable. Her karate will help too she'll be able to kick some ass if it does, where I didn't when it happened not to say I didn't fight back. Courage Network did another blog I did for their magazine that so many don't understand either: http://www.couragenetwork.com/magazine/read/domestic-violence--why-she-stays_39.htmlSee More
    July 27 at 7:33am · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading... ·
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    Paula McManus well done for speaking out Lisa, you're an inspiration and you should be so very proud of yourself! xx
    July 29 at 7:07pm · UnlikeLike · 1 person

    THANK YOU COURAGE NETWORK ON TWITTER FOR REPOSTING & RETWEETING! Many have & I thank all of you for your efforts as it is what got me my Co-signer!!
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    tonyrobbins http://tinyurl.com/lmhuvu
    please share this story on huff post. under our breakthrough: the power of crisis area. best2u! tony 12:25 AM Jul 31st
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    Story of survivor has the "Strength to Persevere" after domestic violence: http://tinyurl.com/23vap47 #domesticviolence #art #photography 9:11 PM Jul 30th via web
    Many have retweeted this on Twitter! Thank You for your support!!

    Story of one survivor who has the "Strength to Persevere" after domestic violence and with photography: http://tinyurl.com/23vap47 #art 5:49 PM Jul 27th via web Retweeted by you and 4 others
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    Your request is being processed...




    It was also posted via the email message from Tony Robbins here:
    YOU Voted: The Most Inspiring 'Breakthrough' Story Of The Week

    The Huffington Post First Posted: 07-30-10 12:54 PM | Updated: 07-30-10 05:54 PM

    and also posted & shared here:
    YOU Voted: The Most Inspiring RELATIONSHIP 'Breakthrough' Story Of The Week
    digg facebook Twitter stumble reddit del.ico.us

    The Huffington Post | | August 6, 2010

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/05/share-your-breakthrough-s_n_667245.html#s122416
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 4 years ago
    Complications & more on how this ends on each of the linked sites & here to follow soon. So get ready for another Blog spot by this writer for all of you following me here, facebook, twitter of huffington post!! It's all in Sallie Mae's hands now. Update soon!!
  • sherry123456789
    by sherry123456789 3 years ago
    What a beautiful lady.
  • L.A.
    by L.A. 3 years ago
    Thank you Sherry! =) Sadly forgot to update this. Salley Mae refused my co-signer. Found regardless of how old you are wanting to go back to school that credit makes all the difference on my end regardless of co-signer help. Sadly after many moves over DV hard to keep things above ground all the time as a single mom doing everything without help. Salley Mae refused to give reasons as to why they refused my co-signer who is an attorney for 20 yrs now & established business of his own while still working for another firm for several years. I did not get to go to this awesome college opportunity. I did not have enough in funds or tuition even from state loans & grants. =( However, another blog does need to get done on this one.
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