About a week ago, I was asked to give a speech. A testimony. Usually, I'd be nervous, reciting the words over and over in my head, telling the butterflies in my stomach to stop fluttering so fast and worrying about possibly stumbling over my words. Not this time.

I was in an abusive relationship for 13 years, and 9 of those years were spent married to him. I've used photography as my therapy along my journey, and this time, I was able to express my story vocally to a group of people ready and eager to learn more about domestic violence, and how real it is.

Telling my story isn't an easy thing to do for me. What drove me to do so is the thought, the hope that if I can just reach one person and have that person understand and recognize what domestic violence is, what it does and how it affects everything around us then telling my story is worth it. I don't want anyone to experience what I have, and if I can stop that from happening, I'll tell my story again and again.

I want to thank God, Eagle's Wings and the people who helped me (and continue to do so) in this journey. You know who you are.

(Bottom photo taken by Kris Lozano Photography)

www.jenparkerphotography.com

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