Dedicated lifting up and honoring the voices of survivors and advocates, NRCDV Radio features interviews with advocates and collaborative partners from the field, real life stories from survivors, and innovative practices in advocacy.
These stories bring attention to the maternal caregivers of adult children exposed to domestic violence (ACE-DV) as positive influencers on the path to healing and resilience. This storytelling initiative is part of the work of NRCDV’s ACE-DV Leadership Form, and features the voices of ACE-DV members who identify as both survivors and advocates.
In this story, Olga speaks to her profound sadness in losing her relationship with her mother, the lessons she learned from their story of survival, and the hope, strength, and healing that was inspired by Doña Ester, a loving neighbor who she considered to be an abuela/grandmother.
“I try really hard to constantly see the good in people and in things... Because when you suffer the level of abuse that you do in a home with domestic violence, it would be easy to just focus on the negative. Doña Ester was one person in my life who really helped me without even knowing that she helped me… So I try to live my life in a way where I’m focusing on the good in the world… in the way that I try to treat other people and the kind of person that I try to be everyday. And that is how I honor her.”
Episode 5 with Jonathan Yglesias, now Policy Director at the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance (Originally recorded June 8, 2017)
In this story, Jonathan describes the strengths and survival strategies that his mother utilized to bring joy and wonder to the lives of her children by nurturing an appreciation in the beauty of the ordinary and instilling practices of mindfulness. Jonathan shares his appreciation for his mother’s straightforward honesty and positive mindset.
“Through having us notice our surroundings, and having us carry ourselves on trails through the forest, and be together, and laugh together, and maybe even sing the same song – those things grounded us in our bodies and connected us to each other and made us feel like we had people when maybe other parts of our life were a little bit chaotic… She was bringing wholeness to us that I think maybe she recognized we weren’t getting from other places.”
In this story, Annika talks about her mother’s grace and forgiveness and how she aspires to embody those qualities on her own path of survival and healing. She reflects on the ways in which her mother nurtured her family and community in the face of hardship, and taught her to show up and be present for others.
“In a Christian religion, ‘faith without works is dead,’ so she really had to do some work within herself. I’m just amazed that she was able to pull love and kindness out of herself when I didn’t see that much being poured into her... That is really where my admiration comes from, because she got it from somewhere, and I don’t know where.”
In this story, William remembers the fun and positive energy that his mother brought into his life and their home before her death when he was 10 years old. He speaks to how his mother navigated trauma while she raised 5 children on her own, reflects on the gifts that he received from his grandmother’s care and nurturance, and shares the ways in which his advocacy work today honors his mother’s life.
“Giving has its rewards, in the sense that when we give, it should be unconditional. And she gave unconditionally. It cost her, and she sacrificed so much to give, and the reward that I believe she got was really about seeing people happy and seeing people enjoy life… She gave of herself that way, and that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned.”