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NEW YORK CITY (WJBF) – It’s estimated that one-in-four women, and one-in-nine men will become the victim of domestic violence.

The CSRA has seen its share of this crime and its devastation.

Our own Dee Griffin became a victim of domestic violence during her brief marriage.


Dee recently participated in a project that allowed her to use her “pain for purpose” toward helping others.

In New York City the Oculus is situated at the foot of the World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower as a tribute to those who died on 9/11.

On the grounds that experienced so much darkness a house was temporarily built inside to shine a light on a problem that continues to cause pain.

“I was asked to make an experience for one person at a time that would give a physical, emotional experience of what it’s like to try to leave an abusive relationship,” says the project’s Director Annie Saunders.

There are no signs or obvious hints of trouble inside the house much like in many cases of domestic violence.

One step inside, visitors begin to see personal pictures and typical household items.

Within minutes though they witness a journey shared by thousands but can make a victim feel so alone.

“It’s a one person audio journey through a series through a series of rooms we designed to follow a trajectory of abuse and also to detail some of the structures and social systems that support the continuation,” explains Saunders.

“The house is designed to be a maze of sorts signifying the struggles, uncertainty and roadblocks in domestic violence each item in this house represents someone else’s struggle. including mine,” says WJBF News Channel Six anchor Dee Griffin.

“Sure enough, as soon as i ducked his fist went into the refrigerator. the stainless steel refrigerator. i looked up and there was an indention” Dee says in the audio recording.

A fist impression in a refrigerator, hole in the wall, menacing messages on a phone screen, shattered cell phones and bullet holes take visitors through the nightmare that’s beyond a victim’s dream.

Saunders says, “we have a room that deals with romance and relationships and what we are taught about love and what it means. then we have rooms that show what it feels like at the beginning to be in a situation where there’s domination and control.”

There’s even a door with no knob to get out symbolizing entrapment and isolation.

“The lighting and sound moves with the audience member. as they look at one thing the light is coming up or flickering or whatever. as they move through the room it falls out or guides them to where they’re supposed to be going next.”

The project is part of a social awareness initiative by Santander Bank called “In someone else’s shoes.”

Santander Bank’s Senior Vice President of Communications Laurie Kight says this project, as well as a micro lending program, were created to help victims whose wounds can’t be seen but are felt financially.

“If we can help these people boost their credit scores that helps them move forward in their journeys to get out of domestic violence situations,” Kight explains.

“So often we walk by people and we have no idea what their real lives are like,” reflects Ruth Glenn.

She is the CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).

As a child she witnessed domestic violence.

As an adult she experienced it.

Now, as a leader Glenn says she’s working to help save others.

“Whenever we talk about domestic violence it’s usually around physical abuse but we’re really highlighting financial abuse in this house and the idea that some of the control that abusers use when when they have a victim that they are maintaining control over is financial.”

The house was only on display for 72 hours.

Much like the Oculus stands as a symbol of healing, organizers want the house to provide heightened awareness while serving as a symbol of hope long after its gone.

“There are some women who do manage to escape and they do get the help and it makes you feel good,” signs domestic violence survivor Laura Cowan.

The project was sponsored by santander (sahn-tahn-dare) bank, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).

Across social media, many Black women are sharing a similar message: Protect Black women. The plea follows Breonna Taylor’s case, a shooting involving rapper Megan Thee Stallion and a fatal shooting involving Euclid fashion model Shalaymiah Moore. A panel of activists in Northeast Ohio explains what must happen to find change.

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My Story on TVOne


If you missed my story which aired last year on ID Investigation Discovery Channel: “House of Horrors”

You can view the story now which aired last week on TVOne’s: Justice By Any Means “Against Their Will

Hosted by: Actor Malik Yoba.

I’m especially honored to have the D.A. of California who handled the entire trial – Julie Baldwin herself on the episode to dispel any false rumors about the abuse also the original Reporter who covered the case and Relationship Expert & Holistic Life Coach Dr. D Ivan Young.  Check out the links below to both the trailer and the episode

Justice By Any Means:  “AGIANST THEIR WILL”



As an organization committed to changing the conditions that lead to domestic violence — patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, classism — we again must say ENOUGH!
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) grieves with the families, friends and communities of the people murdered in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio last weekend. As an organization committed to changing the conditions that lead to domestic violence — patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism–we again must say ENOUGH!
We reject the arguments that these shooters committed such heinous acts because they played violent video games, watched violent movies or experienced a mental health crisis or illness. While the motive of the Dayton shooter has yet to be established, we know the El Paso shooter was motivated by hatred, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia. White nationalists, empowered and emboldened by hateful and violent language promoted by our nations leaders, are actualizing this rhetoric by committing mass murder. We know the Dayton shooter murdered his sister as he began his rampage of violence and had a history of misogynistic actions. For these individuals, their next logical step is to resort to violent acts, which in and of themselves are an act of power.
As a nation, we must acknowledge our culpability in this violence. Many among us like to pretend that, as a nation, we have evolved and left racist and xenophobic beliefsbehind, but the truth is, we have not! For instance, even as the media covers mass shootings, they ignore shootings that disproportionately impact the black community, such as the largely unreported shooting at the Brooklyn “Old Timers” Festival. Our failure to recognize or try to address the violence in urban communities enables the white supremacist message that some lives are more deserving of our grief and attention than others.
Add easy access to firearms to the hatred, toxicity, bigotry, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny, and you get El Paso. You get the Tree of Life Synagogue and Mother Emmanuel AME Church. You get the Pulse Nightclub. As a nation, we tend to identify these as isolated incidents – they are not. These mass shootings are part of the fabric of our nation, and the anger and hate underlying them also form the foundations of intimate partner violence.
To unravel this hate and violence, we have to directly address uncomfortable truths. We must call out white supremacy where we see it, and we must take active steps to combat hatred. Addressing these pillars of misogyny also addresses many of the root causes of domestic violence, including the need for power and control over others. Whenever we fail to address the hate that underlies such violence, we abandon victims of these crimes to danger and even death. It is only by recognizing and respecting our common humanity and our common commitment to safety for everyone that we can begin to end this violence.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence | (303) 839-1852

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