Saving Promise: Escaping generations of intimate partner violence

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Intimate partner violence, also known as domestic violence, includes physical and sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking.

One in three women and one in four men have been a victim of intimate partner violence. That’s almost one in 20 people per minute who are being abused by someone they love, depend on and trust.

Today, more than 20,000 phone calls will be placed to domestic violence hotlines. Many times, the violence is something that children grow up with, and then experience again as adults. But one mother is working to end the cycle of violence and keep a promise she made to her grandchild.

One family matriarch after another… five generations of women, all victims of intimate partner violence. This story is being told by one of the youngest victims, named Promise who is now a teenager.

Promise’s grandmother, L.Y. Marlow, explains that “It was our normal. It really was, it was what my family knew. One of the questions I’m often asked is how is it possible?”

Marlow, Promise’s grandmother, says the answer is simple. The answer is silence.

”My grandmother never talked to my mother about it. My mother never really talked to me about it,” Marlow explains of how the women in her family ended up in abusive relationships.

Marlow’s daughter was almost killed at the hands of Promise’s father. That’s when Marlow began Saving Promise -- an organization built to save young girls from continuing the cycle.

”They need us to, to empower them, to inspire them,” Marlow explains.

Most importantly, experts say they need to be educated on what a good relationship looks like.

Bethany Backes, PhD, and working at Violence Against Women at the University of Central Florida, explains further, “Because it’s something that’s learned, almost normalized in their life of what to expect in a relationship.”

Recognizing there is a problem is the first step to getting help. Backes continues, “People don’t always recognize they’re a victim until they see something or hear something.”

That’s why Marlow created Friends of Promise, calling on organizations, churches, businesses, book clubs… any group to download the program that will start the conversation to help break the silence.

Marlow urges, “Imagine the type of change we can make. And more importantly, the number of lives we could potentially save.”

If you are a victim of intimate partner violence, call the national hotline at 1-800-799-safe (7233) or if you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

Marlow says they’re now seeing the strain COVID has caused… 41% of Gen Z and 34% of Millennials have reported much higher rates of violence in the past year due to the stress and mental health struggles caused during the pandemic.

You can download the Friends of Promise information to host your own salon for free at www.savingpromise.org.

A member of saving promise will also be able to help you plan your event.

Sources: https://ncadv.org/STATISTICS; http://www.savingpromise.org

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor. To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk