October is a jam-packed month that's filled with Fall activities around Halloween. This is when all the haunted houses, corn mazes, pumpkin spice latte madness begins, sports begin to heat up, and breast cancer awareness month introduces a plethora of pink. This is one of the most fun, emotional and freaky months of the year. That's not all.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also in October. Think about all those things I mentioned. Under those masks that dress up Halloween also hide some pretty dark secrets. Domestic violence isn't something we talk about and that's exactly why we need to face it head-on right now - someone's life depends on it.

The Burning Bed

When I was a kid there was tv movie called, The Burning Bed starring the 80's blonde sensation from Charlie's Angels, Farrah Fawcett. This was a controversial movie because it was pretty graphic for 1984 and it was a family movie in a time that domestic violence was still in full force. This show uncovered the dirty mask of domestic violence in our living rooms. I've seen my mom get beat up by her boyfriend and both of them wrestling over a revolver. I can remember those scary nights as if it were painted on a picture in front of me. I will never forget those moments and can't imagine how scared my mom must have been. That was my early age introduction to domestic violence.

Statistics

  • 1 in 3 women experiences sexual assault or domestic violence.
  • 1 in 6 men experiences sexual abuse before 18.
  • 65% say nobody helped them.

Meet Kandi. I see here almost every time I walk into our local grocery store where she lights up an aisle with her smile. Kandi is someone that I will never forget because her story is the definition of strength. All it took was someone else to report the abuse and the rest is history. She broke the cycle.

I absolutely adore this woman. You will never catch Kandi without a smile that is infectious and somewhat envious. I'm always inspired by people who get drug through the dirt in tragedy to come out on the other side with such gratefulness. She doesn't complain. She doesn't make excuses. Kandi lives her life like she was reborn.

I met Kandi during our annual child abuse prevention event (Live for 175). Kandi put up with life-threatening abuse for over 20 years.  Listen to her story and understand that you don't have to go alone in this. Nobody should abuse you and it's NEVER okay. Get out. Leave. Find help. Tell someone until SOMEONE listens. You will survive. Start living now.

The #1 thing to remember - See something, say something. That person may be looking for a lifeline but is just too scared to say something.

This is Kandi's story.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation please call these hotlines or visit the Women's and Children's Alliance.

24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline (208) 343-7025

24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline (208) 345-7273