I didn't have a voice before filming Finding Jenn's Voice. For almost two years I was in an unhealthy relationship that was emotionally and physically abusive. When I tried to leave, he tried to kill me. After I left I made a commitment to myself: that I would never be in an unhealthy relationship again and I would do anything to heal from my past experiences.
I decided I wasn't going to let anything get in my way: not a momentary feeling of doubt, not my own self defeating thoughts, and not the man who once claimed to love me. I refused to be defeated by what happened to me. And I refused to believe that I was alone. Sharing my story freed me to take the steps I needed to be able to heal. And almost synchronistically, as soon as I was ready to share my story, the opportunity to contribute to being a voice for Jennifer Snyder in this documentary presented itself.
I didn't have a voice before filming Finding Jenn's Voice. I didn't know my story. But the empowering weekend of filming Finding Jenn's Voice, woke something up in me. Here's a blog I wrote a few days after we filmed the documentary:
'I was in an abusive relationship for almost two years. I have not spoken up openly about this for the fear of being blamed, for fear of people thinking it makes me a different person, and for fear of judgment. I left a little more than a year ago, and in the process of leaving, my abuser almost took my life.
But today I say no more. I will not hide in silence, because the silence is what perpetuates the epidemic. He did this to me, I have no shame. I do not fear the few who will say ‘she should have just left’ or ‘why didn’t she leave’ (code for: It’s her fault he abused her). To those people my reply is this: 75% of intimate partner homicides are committed after she has already left. Leaving is the most dangerous time for someone in an abusive relationship.
Myself and ten of the strongest and most courageous women I have met filmed footage for a documentary film to give a voice to a wonderful woman, Jennifer Snyder. This woman had a beautiful soul. Her precious life was taken from her by a man who was supposed to love her. She was pregnant. Jenn did not deserve to have her life taken. She will never have the chance to speak out. So today, I speak out in the name of Jenn Snyder.'
Did you know that one of the the leading causes of death during pregnancy is homicide? Did you know that one of the the leading causes of death during pregnancy is homicide? This crime is preventable and there are numerous red flags. Today and every day, I vow to take a stand against domestic violence and speak up on behalf of those who are no longer with us. Jenn, you are forever our soul sister.
Since I was a young girl I have said “When I grow up I am going to be just like Mulan and Pocahontas. I am going to stand up in the name of doing the right thing and helping those in need. I am going to write my story.” So I tell you now – I am dedicating my life to standing up for victims, I am going to write books and a blog, I will create a dance production, I am going to stand up to the criminal justice system that has served so many injustices. I will fight for what’s right.
I will no longer hide in silence. Silence creates an epidemic. My name is Lisa. I am a survivor and today I thrive. I am not ashamed. Here’s to saying no more to violence and male entitlement.
Thank you to Tracy, my soul sisters, and the newest additions to my family for helping me to find my voice. I will always remember how grateful I am for this empowering weekend.
Following my abusive relationship, something ignited a passion in me to heal, learn and grow. Some of the things I have deeply studied and would love to share with you in this blog are:
Dynamics and red flags of abusive relationshipsNarcissistic and Anti-Social Personality DisordersThriving after abuse, including:Self-loveInner peaceJoyI am honored to share what I learned on my journey so that others can learn from my experiences and know that they are not alone. Because of my deep healing after my abusive relationship, I know that I will never be in an abusive relationship; I have proven that to myself time and time again since that relationship ended. Not only will I never be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship again, but I am thriving and I truly feel like my experience of life couldn''t get any better. You don''t have to ever be in an abusive relationship again either. Not only that, but you too can thrive.
And in the words of Dr. Maya Angelou, 'Today I come as one. But I stand as 10,000.'
I speak for all the voices that can't- I speak for Jennifer Snyder.
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