I’m a survivor of domestic violence. For years, I had no voice. Gradually, little by little, I lost agency over my life. For 23 years I was married to a minister – living in a glass house with an abusive husband. His spiritual abuse bruised my spirit. Being married in the early 80’s, emergency shelters were just beginning to serve as a safe place for victims, but no one talked about their unhappy marriage. If we didn’t have to go to the emergency room, we didn’t know it was abuse. In fact, I hate to even admit it, but I used to wish he would just hit me, then I’d know I could leave.
When I left my abusive marriage, few believed me versus the beloved, prominent minister. Start by Believing resonates with me as few believed me when I began to speak out about the abuse. Victims face an especially difficult time speaking out when their abuser is powerful and well-known.
A few years after leaving the marriage, I served as board chair of our local domestic violence shelter agency. The annual Fatality Review revealed that almost all of the domestic violence homicide victims had not reached out for services not even the hotline. This haunted me. I had to do something to raise awareness.
So I made a movie. No Ordinary Love tells the story of two couples whose lives intersect as the women try to deal with their own toxic situations. The intention of the film is to raise awareness of domestic violence and to start conversations uncovering the difficult truth around an issue that has lingered in the shadows for too long. No Ordinary Love is streaming on several sites and in 22 countries worldwide.