Ever wondered if teachers really make a difference? This one did

In grad school, I had a professor who made a big impact on my life. Michele Weldon was publishing her first book during the quarter that she was my writing teacher. I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman is memoir of her life in an abusive marriage.

Her most recent book, Escape Points, was just published. I can’t wait to read it.

Michelle Weldon

Michele Weldon

Michele is not the first person I ever knew who survived an abusive relationship. But she was the person who changed how I understood domestic violence. I came to realize it could happen to anyone at any socioeconomic level. Then as I began to read and learn more, I realized how common it is. The statistics are horrifying.

Just last year 10 people died in Arkansas as a result of domestic violence. That doesn’t even come close to the number of people who suffer from violence in their most personal relationships each day.

One of the great parts about this season in my life is that I get to spend time on issues that matter to me. Michelle’s influence really inspired me to try to make a change in this area. Earlier this year, I joined the board of the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence. We are the umbrella group for the domestic violence shelters in the state of Arkansas.

But not all abuse is physical. Survivors often emerge from abusive situation with no money, no credit, wrecked credit and/or very low financial literacy.

PurplePurse2015HeaderThis year the Coalition has once again been selected to participate in the Purple Purse campaign. This campaign is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Foundation. Allstate provides resources for survivors who need financial literacy assistance to build new lives away from an abuser.

Allstate also provides some matching funds for what we raise through this program. I know that everyone has a particular cause or issue that matters to them. Please consider supporting this very worthy organization.

Your donation will directly benefit victims in Arkansas and stay in the state to help survivors build new lives. It goes to food, shelter, transportation, counseling, and any number of other things that survivors may need.

$10, $25, $50 or whatever you can do. We are grateful for any and all support.

Michele Weldon spoke out and told her truth. In doing so, she taught me to be a better writer. She also inspired me to do what I can to help people who cannot yet tell their own stories. You can help too.

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