In this segment, Daughter of Change, Adele NGoy – a talented fashion designer from the Democratic Republic of Congo – talks about fleeing her home with her children and starting a new life, a new business, and a new non-profit in Maine. Four years ago, Adele and I met over tea to discuss our mutual passion to help other women. At that time, Daughters of Change was just a name that I came up with at 3am. Adele was working in alterations at a local formal wear store, and in the beginning stages of starting a non-profit. Adele is a true testament to taking a risk, following your dreams, and not giving up.
Due to my work on Take Act!on Maine, a public awareness campaign about domestic violence, I’ve had many people ask me questions about the subject. More often than not, the questions bring up a lot of myths about domestic abuse, and stereotypes about both abusers and survivors. The more that I hear the same questions over and over, the more I realize how important it is to keep dialogues and information flowing. So – I called in the experts – the Daughters of Change who work tirelessly day after day in this arena, and are making progress.
Meet Francine Garland Stark, Executive Director, and Regina Rooney, Education and Communications Director, of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. We spent about 40 minutes addressing some of the most common misconceptions about domestic abuse. Take some time to listen, stay informed, you never know when it will come in handy.
Matthew Barrett, a former City of Atlanta Police Officer and father of 2 daughters, has been a supporter of Daughters of Change™ from the beginning. When he offered to contribute to our blog, I was both thrilled and intrigued.
A question in my mind since beginning Daughters of Change has been -“How am I going to engage men?” – Thankfully, men like Matt engage themselves.
I’m happy to introduce you all to Matt, followed by a piece he wrote about watching his daughter struggle with the image issues that plague so many young girls in our society. We need more fathers like Matt, who are both aware and perceptive enough to see and understand this struggle and address it in a loving and supportive manner.
Who Matt is, in his own words:
I have 2 daughters in college. For years, I have repeated this mantra to them about self worth and respect. A man never harms a woman.
A lot of this has to do with my experience as a City of Atlanta police officer. I have seen every type of abuse imaginable.
I have been craving a cause since being diagnosed with a severe form of MS. I have been a writer for ever and a day. I am proud to write for Marie Sola and Daughters Of Change.
As I passed the bathroom – the door was wide open. Kelly stood there, and had a sad look on her face as she looked at herself in the mirror. Briefly, we locked eyes in the mirror. However, she knew I was very unobtrusive and would not say a thing until later.
As we sat down to a bowl of Lucky Charms, I could not hold my tongue any longer. I had to ask her about body issues and self-esteem. She reluctantly said she had issues with her image like most other girls.
I was heartbroken. I see beauty, smarts, and an incredible sense of humor.
Both my daughters are angels. I ask every young woman out there to please allow yourselves to be seen through another’s eyes.
Ignorant people will tell you falsehoods out of insecurity. Stay beautiful and strong girls!