Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanda Roberts.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Shanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a survivor of domestic violence that began as a teenager and lasted well into my adult years. Through my organization, Pain 2 Purpose,Inc., my team and I advocate against domestic violence with hopes of empowering teens and adults currently in abusive situations. It is my vision to educate individuals on the different types and indicators of domestic abuse BEFORE they are pulled into volatile relationships. Pain 2 Purpose, Inc., also services women living in shelters in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. It is through our Stuff-A-Purse initiative that we provide new or gently used purses stuffed with personal hygiene products and a positive handwritten note to the shelter residents, endearing them with a sense of confidence and dignity.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This road is definitely not smooth. The biggest roadblock is receiving donations. We thank everyone who donates and continues to do so, however, because we service shelters from Florida City to Broward and we try to do every three months, the donations are just not enough. The shelters have 25-60 women at times and we make sure every woman in the shelter is blessed with a stuffed new or very slightly used purse. Other struggles are getting the community, especially churches to talk about the subject. We have a support group that has not been well attended and I believe it is due to victims/survivors not really being ready to open up about their story. Our support group is not meant to pull your story out of you but to offer support and to let others know that you are not alone. We were once where you are and if you need help, we are here.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Pain 2 Purpose – what should we know?
We focus on promoting healthy relationships, especially with our teens. My abuse started at 15 which is why we try to get them to understand abuse can happen even in their young age. We teach them how to recognize the red flags, how to know when your relationship is not healthy, how to get help & how to get out. We do the same with adults except on another level. When we visit the shelters to take the purses, we are there to share our story but to also hear theirs if they choose to share. We need them to know that there is life after abuse and they too can and will overcome their current situation. I have sat on several panels discussing the abuse that happened to me and how I eventually was freed from the abuse.
We also have a support group and not just for domestic violence but for anyone to has experienced hurt and may need an outlet. We have a yearly Teen Summit where we have sessions on suicide/depression, self-esteem, teen dating violence & bullying. There is also a “Parent Talk” session where we have a clinician speaking to parents about the topics and giving them tools to help their teens and possibly themselves. It’s a day for parents and teens! We have performances, giveaways, and lunch. The event is completely free!! Our next summit is October 20, 2018. Check our website for more info.
We are most proud of the stories from the women who have left their abusers or have left the shelter and now starting life over again. We also receive awesome stories from the teens who we hold workshops with. You’d be surprised at some of the things our teens are going through or have gone through. We are blessed to be able to help some of the victims living in shelters. From helping them get ready for prom, or helping another who needed help buying luggage to start her stewardess job, etc.
What I feel sets us apart is that we don’t only focus on women, we focus men as well. Women can also be abusers. Men can also be victims. One in four women (24.3%) and one in seven men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. [National Domestic Violence Hotline] We have opened the door for men to make them feel comfortable to speak up about being a victim by having a “Real Talk w/Men” discussion. We also talk about domestic violence in the home at that forum as well.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Compassion. Tenacity. You have to care enough to not give up no matter how hard it gets because it gets hard!
- It costs $25 to fill one purse. Donations are always accepted
- Website: www.pain2purpose76.org
- Phone: 305-791-3417
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @pain2purpose76
- Facebook: @pain2purpose76
- Twitter: @pain2purpose76
- Other: SC: @pain2purpose76