For me to be writing in this newsletter is surreal. I swore that my children would never experience domestic violence as I did when I was a child. While there was no Randi’s House of Angels back then, I did get help from a program in my hometown in New Jersey. My sister, however, refused. Furthermore, she was angry with me for letting people know what was going on. I got help as a child, and she didn’t. I am here writing this article, and she watches over us from Heaven after having been murdered by her husband.
Even after it was pretty clear that our children did experience domestic violence, I tried to shrug it off, like it never happened. After all, so many people I spoke to said things like “kids are resilient,” or “they were so young, they probably won’t remember anything.” Thanks to a conversation with Nancy Chavez, I realized that the children did experience domestic violence and they deserve help just like any adult does.
My eldest child, actually my sister’s eldest, attended both Randi’s Kidz Club in the winter and Camp in the summer, and the experience has been amazing. Prior to attending Randi’s Kidz Club, she was so hesitant to show me affection. One of the nights when I was waiting for her to be done with the session at the Kidz Club, she literally ran up to me with open arms and hugged me. I was floored. Prior to the club, that had never occurred. Now hugs are a constant occurrence. In the winter she started out asking for a hug, and since attending camp this past summer, she even hugs both my husband and me without asking first. I know that as an outsider looking in, as someone who never had to deal with domestic violence, this probably sounds pretty trivial, but the truth is that it is huge. She is finally at a point where she feels safe. Furthermore, she is excited to go back to the club and camp. She can’t wait to go back, share more, and learn more. I too am excited that this little girl will grow up to know what a healthy relationship looks like and be able to walk away from one that is not good; I am excited that she will have the tools to end the cycle of domestic violence in our family.