This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.
A local organization believes that building self-esteem is an invaluable tool in helping victims of domestic violence get out of dangerous relationships.
I’m Bruised But Not Broken, a nonprofit organization in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which provides resources and services to victims of domestic violence, and the Cottage City Police Department are coming together to host the “Love Me Some Me” event on Saturday, Oct. 14.
Alicia Stukes, founder and CEO of the nonprofit, said attendees will able to receive manicures, makeovers and can shop a career clothing and accessories boutique. She said participants will also receive a financial literacy kit and lunch.
But Stukes said the most important goal is to just “love on them.”
“One of the things they didn’t experience as a result of domestic violence was love,” Stukes told WTOP.
As the number of domestic violence cases continues to rise in Prince George’s County, Stukes said we need to start looking at the issue in a different way.
“We need to start putting more resources on the prevention side just as well as we do on the advocacy side,” she said.
Stukes, who began the organization seven years ago and is herself a survivor of domestic violence, said the way to get to the root of the problem is through our youth.
“What we’re seeing in our communities, and in our families, and in our schools is that we have youth who are experiencing violence — teen dating violence, youth dating violence — as early as sixth grade,” she said.
Stukes said we have to start going into schools and organizations that provide youth programs and begin teaching kids what healthy relationships look like. She said we also should be discussing conflict resolution with our youth and provide resources for them — places and people they can turn to talk out their issues.
For more information on the organization, visit the I’m Bruised But Not Broken website.
If you are in danger, please use a safe computer and consider calling 911, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 / TTY 1-800-787-3224 or the StrongHearts Native Helpline at 1−844-762-8483 (call or text).