Luz Aponte, a survivor of domestic violence, speaks candidly in this public awareness announcement about her niece who recently lost her life to domestic violence.
As a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the lives of women and girls, LiveYourDream.org/Soroptimist’s staff is all too aware of the dangers of domestic violence. Some of our staff are survivors of intimate partner violence. All of us know at least one survivor. Nonetheless the causes for which we fight can sometimes lose their immediacy, crowded out by the daily bustle of our workplace responsibilities, our personal dramas, our preoccupation with whether or not we can get that darn report turned in on time.
But now and then it shows up at our doorstep. And we feel it. Like an old pain sharpening. We are reminded that domestic violence is a very real danger that causes countless women to suffer — and even lose their lives. We can’t forget that.
Just before October, which also happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month, domestic violence knocked at the door of one of our own beloved staff members.
Luz Aponte lost her dear niece.
Her niece, a beautiful 26-year-old mother was murdered by her boyfriend, and later found in her apartment. Her son went missing and later turned up with family members in another state. He is now safe living with her family. The boyfriend was later found by police after committing suicide.
“There were domestic violence issues,” said Luz.
Luz’s sister added, “My sister felt in her heart that this was coming.”
It’s been a very emotional time as we support Luz through the loss of her niece. We share her pain and we pray for healing for her whole family. When Luz approached us this week to ask if she could share her story, we wholeheartedly agreed it was important to honor her voice.
Please take three minutes to watch Luz’s video here. It’s powerful, and it’s real. It includes resources to help prevent this kind of terror from happening again.
And it reminds us why LiveYourDream.org / Soroptimist’s mission matters: because violence against women isn’t just happening out there. It’s happening here, too close to home.
Women deserve to live, and live their dreams.
~ In Memory of the One Who Laughed With Her Eyes ~
Karen Rauppius is the Community Coordinator for LiveYourDream.org. Her vision is to help women tell their stories and to develop pathways for LiveYourDream.org’s volunteers to uplift the causes they care about. Karen manages the Your Dream Blog and our Facebook and Twitter.