GCM 40 | Domestic Violence

 

There will always be a point in our life where a situation takes its toll and we finally have enough. We wake up one day and we knew we can’t be in the limbo for so long. One of these conditions is domestic violence. Being in an abusive relationship can have an effect on your emotional stability and mental health. Jennifer Foxworthy, a retired US Navy veteran and motivational speaker, dives into the issue on domestic violence as she shares her personal life experiences of being abused. Together with her goal to help women find their personal peace, purpose, and power, she throws value bombs that victims could learn from which will also be available in her book.

Listen to the podcast here:

Battling Domestic Violence with Jennifer Foxworthy

I have Jennifer Foxworthy with me. She’s going to be joining us. Jennifer is an author. She travels the country as a powerful motivational speaker. She helps women find their personal peace, purpose and power by transparently using her life experiences on topics of low self-esteem, domestic violence, adversity and much more. Jennifer states, “I essentially use my voice to help others find theirs.” That’s a very powerful statement because a lot of people have lost their voices. I know there are a lot of women out there that are suffering from domestic violence or they have gotten over domestic violence, but there’s still something holding them back. They are surviving but they are not thriving. I want to talk with Jennifer and allow her to provide her experience and the lessons learned to help women of domestic violence come out and thrive in society. Jennifer, welcome to the show. How are you?

I’m wonderful. I have some quiet and that’s when I scheduled this. I’m humbled and honored. I’ve been following you on LinkedIn. We have that social media connection. We are game-changing and making a difference. Anytime where my colleagues reach out to me and want to know more about me and what I have going on, it’s a win-win. I’m excited and I’m proud of you.

Thank you. I’m grateful to be able to give back and help people. There are a lot of people that are hurting, a lot of people that are suffering. I was talking to someone about life purpose and being able to contribute back to life. Life was given to us. We didn’t ask for this. It’s a gift to be here. The question is what are we going to give back to life? What are you going to leave behind? What are you going to do? I’m grateful to be able to do this because I love being able to help people come out of situations, overcome and change the game in their life. I know personally from having a game-changing experience in my own life, it’s like being reborn.

I was talking to my dad and he was telling me how he has overcome some things. He finally was able to overcome this particular thing in his life. He didn’t even know what it was for a while, then he found out what it was and he was able to overcome it. He was like, “I can’t explain this feeling. I don’t understand what this is.” I finished the sentence for him. I said, “It’s like being born again.” He was like, “Yes, it’s like being born again.” My prayer is that someone reading this can pull something from it and experience being born again. They can get some information that can help them overcome and come out, see the light and start living the life that they’re truly designed to live.

That’s what we’re supposed to do. We bear our cross, we go through the test and then when we come out, we don’t smell like smoke as the three Hebrew boys. It’s a testimony and we ultimately give the Creator the glory and everything else. Not everyone makes it through. You and I, it’s a blessing to be a blessing. To reach back and help others come up and say, “This is what I went through. You’re not alone. Don’t feel ashamed. Don’t feel guilty.” That’s what the devil wants. He wants us to feel all those things so he can knock us off our purpose, our passion, that destiny.

It's a blessing to be a blessing, to reach back and help others come up and say, 'This is what I went through. You're not alone.' Click To Tweet

I’m not an advocate of bad experiences. I don’t even think experiences are bad. We make them bad and we call them bad. It’s just an experience. We put the title on it, but I feel that in everything that we go through is an opportunity. It’s all about the perspective that you have of that experience that makes the day. When you come out and you get over it, it’s not for you. It’s for you to give. You’ve done it. You were able to get through it. I’m sure there are some things that you learn. Give that away and share it with people because that’s a true power. That’s how we as a community and as people help each other. That’s how we serve each other.

That’s the contribution to life because if you can say something to me or do something for me that will make my life better then you contributed to life as a whole. What I may do may contribute to someone else’s life and that contribution contributes to someone else’s life. We’re all connected and it has a domino effect. It doesn’t matter how big or small the challenge is or how big or small the experience is. What matters is that you are able to get through it and you share that experience with someone else. That’s a game-changing lesson. Let’s talk about you. I understand that you are an author. You wrote a book, Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come: Memoirs of Women Who Survived Domestic Violence. Can you talk to us about that?

It was a labor of love writing this book. It allowed me to do some deep reflecting. I started writing this book once I retired from the Navy. I did 21 years in the Navy in the enlisted ranks. That’s when I experienced service member on service member intimate partner abuse. It was an ex-boyfriend. When I was able to get out of the relationship and started even telling my family and friends because they had no idea, I didn’t let them know until I have broken up with the person. I was at my sick and tired of being sick and tired point. When I got out and someone told me the statistics at the time, it was one in four women and one in ten men will be in a severe physical abusive relationship in their lifetime. Now those statistics are recording that one in four women and one in seven men who will experience severe physical abusive relationship in their lifetime. If you go to a church meeting out and about and you do a visual look, counting every fourth woman and every seventh man, that’s how many who have or will experience it.

Domestic violence is like that dirty little secret that nobody talks about. I bring that perspective from the Armed Forces, especially as a woman. I had two strikes against me. I was African-American and I was a woman and I was serving in an elite naval aircrewman. That brought in its own issues. Writing Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come, what I was putting out there was just supposed to be my story, but then I had women who I served with that were saying, “Me too.” Even back then in 2013, the #MeToo was still going on and it was dealing with domestic violence. I asked them if they would like to share their story in my book. It’s not necessarily where there are multiple authors. I’m the author and these ladies had the courage to share their story. There are six true stories and I don’t sugarcoat anything. The readers will appreciate that because if I watered down my story and these ladies’ stories for the sake of making it palatable, then people don’t get the life of dealing with domestic violence.

You wanted to paint the picture so people can see what it’s like to be in that state and to live with it. I appreciate that because on the outside, when you hear about domestic violence, people that are not in it will say, “Why don’t they just leave? How did they find themselves in that situation?” You don’t know how you are going to behave in a certain situation until you’re in it. You don’t understand what’s going on here. Are you willing to share a little bit about exactly that statement? What is your rebuttal to that?

GCM 40 | Domestic Violence

Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come: Memoirs of Women Who Survived Domestic Violence

I get asked that all the time. Why do people stay? How did you get in it? They’re curious and in their mind, “I wouldn’t let anybody mistreat me.” However, we as humans, we many times compartmentalize. Here you have a woman serve. I volunteered to serve my country. I would flew combat missions in three different wars. I was in an elite Navy group like a step below your Navy SEALs. I was an electrician, an avionics technician yet the low self-esteem is the common factor in many of the people who are victims. They find themselves in these relationships and also a dysfunctional home environment when they were a child. I tell people, children who grow up in a dysfunctional and violent home will grow up to be one of four things. They will grow up to be the victim, the abuser, both or commitment phobic. 90% of the time that will happen.

Children were naïve and vulnerable. We learn from those in front of us. If that’s the parent and they are dysfunctional. They are always fighting and always arguing, but mommy never leaves and daddy never leaves. It’s a continuous habitual pattern. A child’s mind then will say, “This must be normal. This must be how you show love, because daddy slaps and beats on mommy. Mommy cries and she’s bloody and black-eyed. Daddy comes behind her and says, ‘I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again.’ They may have makeup sex. He brings her flowers.” Whatever the case is. You then have that honeymoon phase. Dealing with domestic violence is a three-phase cycle: the honeymoon phase, the escalation and then a full-blown abuse. As a person is growing older, if they experienced that as a child and then if it’s compounded by child sexual abuse or some type of trauma or being bullied.

For my example, I had a dysfunctional home environment. I was bullied because of my dark skin, my full lips, my kinky hair. It wasn’t considered attractive. I thought I was the ugliest thing walking the face of the Earth. Any self-esteem I had was not existing. I portrayed like I was confident in professional settings but I suppressed that low self-esteem. Unconsciously, it bubbled out in poor relationships because I was looking for love and acceptance. That’s the common factors of victims. They have experienced something in their childhood that’s traumatic and it shapes how we see ourselves and the world around us. Therefore, we are not able to properly navigate relationships as adults. The same for abusers. If they see daddy hitting their mom, then the little boy is going to start hitting on mommy.

If daddy corrects the little boy, “You don’t hit mommy,” now you confuse that little boy, “You hit mommy. When I’m angry like you, why isn’t that an appropriate outlet for me too?” Do you see how we can confuse our children? You have the love tap where a little boy is interested in a little girl. He may pull her hair, push her books out of her hands, push her down, scrape her knee or what have you, as a little girl or a little boy. As adults, we’ll justify and make an excuse, “Baby, he just loves you. He likes you.” That’s a love tap. In actuality, what we’re doing is giving an excuse to young domestic violence. That little girl will transfer that and say in her young impressionable mind, “A man must abuse me or hit me or call out my name because that’s how you display love.” We have to change our perspective. Let it start when we are teaching our young boys and girls. They can grow up to be adults that are productive in society and to reduce and eradicate this domestic violence.

A lot of cases of domestic violence, when we look at the source, it does start from some childhood event that occurred that hasn’t been dealt with. As an adult, it’s being carried through. Not even just domestic violence, but there are a lot of issues once we become adults that have started when we were kids. Our belief systems and all of that stuff. What would you say to anyone that may have it addressed that childhood issue? Those are things that we think, “It happened to me when I was a child. It’s not affecting me as an adult. Therefore, I don’t need to address it.” A lot of us walk around having not addressed some of the childhood issues that have occurred in our lives. We feel that we’re bigger and greater than it now because we are adults. What would you say to that?

They are delusional. They may not think so. However, when they are not able to hug others or tell people that they love them and care about them. They have a hard time interacting at work or they’re distracted. They’re dealing with depression, but they don’t know why. They have children and can’t find themselves to hug and spend time with their children. They are having problems being intimate with their partner. It’s unconscious so they’re thinking, “That’s in the past.” Little do they realize it’s bubbling up in every relationship that they have whether personal or platonic. I had to go through a journey of healing. I had to acknowledge what I went through because truth be told, denial feeds dysfunction. Anytime we deny our feelings and thoughts, we don’t give them validation. We are feeding the dysfunction. You may have seen it many times where you may know a person who’s dealing with alcohol, drug abuse and addiction, “I don’t have a problem. It’s all under control,” yet they can’t save for the rainy day. They’re always borrowing. Their bills are unpaid. They’re going through relationship after relationship. That is a problem. Denial feeds dysfunction.

Second, I had to restore my broken soul because I went through physical, verbal, mental, emotional and economic abuse. Domestic violence comes in so many forms. The physical, I can heal from that, but when the heart takes a blow, it takes a while for the heart to repair. I had to look in the mirror when I was trying to restore my broken soul and say, “Jennifer, you are beautiful. You are worthy. You were beautifully and wonderfully made.” The person that confessed they loved me was telling me that, “Look at your crooked teeth. Look at your hair. You’re ugly.” To have somebody that is not loved, that’s not how you display love. The bullying that I received from teenage years and now I’m being bullied in a relationship, that’s a lot of restoring. I love the quote from Nelson Mandela. He says that, “Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it kills your enemy.” That brought me to my third point of healing, which was forgiveness. It took me at least seven years. Writing the book helped me to forgive.

Everything that we go through is an opportunity. Click To Tweet

If I was expecting these women who were sharing their stories with me courageously, then I had to put it all out there. I had to get to the root. There were some things I held against my parents because I’m like, “Why didn’t you give me the tools I needed to navigate this tough life?” I had to forgive myself because I’m thinking, “I’m G.I. Jane. I’m black and I’m strong. I’m not going to let anybody use me.” All that stuff and that wasn’t so. I didn’t reach out to my ex-boyfriend and shake his hand and say, “I forgive you.” I had to do that with me and God. I put it in my mind and my heart to do so. What was happening is I was in survivor mode. There’s a difference between a survivor and a thriver. I went from victim to survivor. I got physically out of the relationship, but I still was held captive mentally and emotionally. I was always wondering what was he doing? He went along with his lifestyle, another relationship and everything. I was still stuck in cement unable to give my now husband all of me mentally, emotionally and everything else. I was just existing and that’s what a survivor does in my perspective.

Once I forgave and stopped drinking that poison, it was like a weight came off of my shoulders and then I was able to move forward. I took that pain and made it my purpose and my passion. That’s what I’m walking in now. Until a person goes through the journey of healing, of acknowledging, restoring and forgiving, they will still be held bound by the past. They will still be shackled until they forgive. It’s extremely hard because we want to hold on to something. You’re angry and frustrated. You think that forgiving gives them a pass, but it doesn’t. It allows us to pull that cup of poison away from our lips so that God can use us the way he desires to.

I heard someone say that forgiveness is for you, it’s not for them. It’s for you to be free. When you talked about the pain, you said you took the pain and you channeled it into something more positive and to write in the book and doing the things that you do. Do you find that the pain still exists? Is there still pain? The reason why I asked is because I want to get to the root of it. The pain could be a motivator. I can relate to that because I was hurt emotionally and I understand channeling that and using that as a motivator. You’re hurt so bad and you’re still angry. That is a great motivator to go out and do something positive to feel like, “I’m going to win regardless.” It’s great and it’s a very positive thing. The only issue is if that pain runs out and then the motivation goes away. Can you talk to us about that a little bit?

It is my desire to never be a hypocrite. If I’m up on stage and I’m trying to encourage someone to go through the journey of healing and telling my perspective and my testimony, I have to be authentic about it. It was a lot of work and there are still aspects of revelations of what I did in my past that I have to take care of. As far as the hurt and the pain from those poor relationships, I don’t have that. I believe that the authentic forgiveness took that pain away. I never want to come across as a hypocrite holding on to pain and then trying to channel it. For those that do, more power to them, but it eventually runs out. I wish him well and all the people that I have poor relationships with, I was a common denominator. What I realized is when I’m getting the same results with different people, then that’s on me. What am I doing that is continuing to get the same results? For example, I like to gamble. I like slot machines and it’s something about zoning out and you’re watching the things roll around on the slot.

That was something that me and my ex-boyfriend would do. He was off and it allowed me to close out what I was going through. He went off in his aisle to do his thing. I sat in my chair. When he ran out of his money, he came looking in my face for more. That’s not a positive coping skill. Even after the relationship and now I’m married in a new relationship, I didn’t go to the casino every day or anything like that. I may have been every other month, but I was still doing it. My bills were paid but I went hard. It was like, “Go big or go home.” On this one particular day in May 2013, I wasn’t willing to go home. I kept on going big until it was depleting money that we have saved up once I have retired. That was in 2013, I went cold turkey. I have not been in a casino except for a speaking event in over five years because I hit rock bottom in May 2013. What God has revealed to me at that point is I was trying to put new wine in old wineskins. Meaning that I would bring in old habits into a new relationship and still expecting everything to be okay.

GCM 40 | Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence comes in so many forms. You go through physical, verbal, mental, emotional, and economic abuse.

 

When I did that, I could have caused my new relationship, something that was a gift from God, to burst. Out of that relationship, I still have to reflect. I still have to do that self-work. I have to invest in me internally and intentionally. “Jennifer, let’s get to the root. Why do you think the way you do? Why do you say the things that you do? Let’s deal with it so it doesn’t fester and come out into my new relationship.” I have a seven-year-old son. I have to lead by example and be mindful. I’m raising someone’s husband and someone’s father. I have to get right. I’ve challenged or encouraged your audience, whatever trauma you went through, you have to heal from it so it doesn’t affect what is to come.

Sometimes the issue is how to heal. One of the things that I’m finding as I listened to you is that you were able to take responsibility for yourself and for your own healing. I find that that’s very difficult for people who are victims of domestic violence because they feel that it’s not their fault, therefore they should have to take responsibility. It’s not until that person pays or why should I have to go through all of this or do all of this in order to get my life right when I’m not the one that cost it. Talk to us about that. What was your why? Was it your military background that gave you the foundation to look at yourself and take responsibility or ownership to move forward? If it wasn’t that, what was it?

It’s a combination of several things. Being in the Navy, the core values are honor, courage and commitment. Not only do I have honor, courage and commitment to my professional atmosphere, but I also have to have those values to myself. If I’m not and it’s coming out in other ways, then I have to take a step back. In addition, because I’m a Christian, I have to build that relationship with the Lord and say, “God, I’m not understanding things, help me out.” I wasn’t truly able to step forward in the realm that he needed me too. I’m still harboring on to things because I was still in survivor mode. My husband and I sat down and we knew we were going to have children. We didn’t want to play good cop, bad cop.

We knew how we were going to raise our child. We’re taking that responsibility, my child deserves better. How can I give them better than what I was given? I love my parents dearly, but I had to understand that I was a product of a generational curse. My parents on individual perspectives were products of generational curses. I was determined that that generational curse was going to stop at me. I had to take a level of responsibility. It’s not my fault when someone calls me out of my name or mistreats me, but it is my fault if I don’t set healthy boundaries and I stay. I can’t control what the ex-boyfriends did and everything else, but I have to control what Jennifer does.

Did you find it hard at all to give yourself permission to trust? I find that a lot of times, people that suffered domestic violence, because of the programming and all of the name calling and abuse, it gets ingrained that it’s hard to give yourself permission to be beautiful, to find love, to give love and all of those things. Did you find it difficult to give yourself permission to do those things?

Initially, I did when I first got out of the relationship, but when I found out the statistics, I was like, “My goodness.” It opened my eyes. It was like the scales fell from my eyes because I’m not alone. When you know that you’re not alone and the only person going through it. I thought I was the craziest in the world to let somebody mistreat them, stay in it and everything else. When I found out that I was a part of these negative statistics, I was like, “It’s not what I intended ever.” No child grows up to say, “When I’m going to be an adult, I’m going to abuse people or I’m going to let people abuse me.” That’s not something that children grow up to set their sights on. They’re like, “I want to be a cop or a lawyer or a doctor,” this and that. It’s a series of events that shape how we see ourselves. To answer your question, initially, I did. When I found out about the statistics and figured that I wasn’t alone, it’s like there’s strength in numbers. That’s what helped me to thrive, the strength in numbers.

Denial feeds dysfunction. Click To Tweet

Did you join a support group or anything like that? Did you surround yourself with certain types of people or anything?

I didn’t join a support group. God was opening up doors that I thought were by chance and he was laying it on my heart to share what I got out of. I didn’t understand that. I knew I was going to be a motivational speaker. That was revealed to me in 2006 on a whole different level. I knew that there was something that I was saying that people were holding on to. It wasn’t until I got out of the domestic violence relationship that, “I’m not alone. If I thought I was alone, how many other people think that they’re alone too?” That’s how by me just talking about it.

I had other people coming up to me and say, “Thank you, Jennifer.” Whether they experienced it or they knew somebody that experienced it, it gave them a different perspective because on out, we gather together. “She’s doing this and she’s doing that.” What I allowed the world to see is that even the most put together beautiful person can go through some dysfunction. It’s about how do you recover. I’ve got one race to run. Am I going to sit on the sidelines and wallow in pity or am I going to turn that heel, reach back and pull others up with me? I don’t believe in being a hypocrite. I’ve got to be true to myself. I need to be authentic.

Let’s talk about the transition. You talked about how you dealt with the low self-esteem and confidence. Motivational speaker, I know by experience that takes a lot of confidence and a lot of strength to stand in front of people. Tell things that were very harmful and hurtful to you and that you experienced these types of things and they did happen to you. Explain that transition to us. I know someone’s like, “I would love to do that but I’m still dealing with low self-esteem. I was dealing with low self-esteem before the domestic violence. I’m out of it but my self-esteem seems to be even lower. I can’t seem to pull it up.” How have you been able to transition from where you were to having so much power and confidence in yourself?

I care what my clients think. When I get hired, I try to be humble in everything. Whether I’m doing a podcast, whether I get hired to speak in front of 2,500 people, five people, 500, no matter the count, I give my all. That’s their hard earned money and they trusted me to bring them in to speak to their target audience. I don’t know if it’s low self-esteem or not, but that’s where I care as far as what people think because it’s my branding. If I didn’t give you a good product, you will never hire me again and you’ll never encourage anybody else to hire me as well. As far as being on stage and sharing my story, I’m able to do so because I don’t let the devil hold my past against me. Only it’s because I went through the journey of healing. Had I still been in denial, I don’t take the opportunities to discover why I think the way I think, why do I say the things that I think, then it will continue to come up. Who better to share my story and about these experiences than me?

GCM 40 | Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence: Even the most put together beautiful person can go through some dysfunction.

 

Maybe because I’m transparent and I’m a social butterfly, but I refuse to be shackled any longer to my past. I’m writing that chapter and the story isn’t over. God is the author of my life. As long as I’m being led by Him, I’m going to be okay and it’s okay to share. Some people think, “I just keep this to myself. Yes, I’m out of it. It’s not for everybody to be up on stage to be vocal about it.” However, because I bring that perspective of dealing with it in the Armed Forces, they see us as strong. What I happened to deal with was I had to suffer in silence professionally because I was an African-American woman in a Caucasian male-dominated industry. My career was being sabotaged. How do I trust my male supervisors to even let them know my experiences and my personal life? I was facing a war on three different fronts. A personal war of dealing gradually of domestic violence because it didn’t happen just like that.

I was facing a war professionally, where I was trying to fit in, where I stood out because of my skin color and my gender. I was flying combat missions in three different wars: Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m facing a war on three different fronts. The dynamics of who I am and what I experienced because I was in the military, it gives that, “Wow, my goodness.” Domestic violence is like that dirty little secret. Because of my elite training, I was better prepared to be a prisoner of war than to deal with domestic violence. As a naval aircrewman, I went through a lot of extensive training. Even code tapping, how to deal with propaganda videos, how to survive off the land, how to navigate to a safe house, how to swim to the different swim strokes. I know all of that.

I was able to swim a mile in 68 minutes back in 1995 in my prime. I could do all that. I could even signal for help with the mirrors if there’s a plane flying across or with a strobe. I’ll put the strobe on my helmet or just flashing around, getting people’s attention. I could signal for help to save my life in a war situation, but I could not signal to others that I was in a personal war of domestic violence. It’s a very profound statement. I was better prepared to be a prisoner of war due to my elite training than to deal with domestic violence.

There are no instructions or viable manual on how to deal with domestic violence. This is a great interview because someone maybe reading this and can take some of the things that you’ve experienced and some of the strategies that you’ve used to overcome this and use them. That’s why it makes the work that we do that much more important because life in itself other than the Bible, there’s no manual for it. We have to figure it out and we learn by the experiences of others. Given all of the entire experience of domestic violence, overcoming it and writing the book, this is amazing that you have been able to come through. How do you feel about domestic violence and that experience happening to you? What is your perspective on that?

It allowed me to be more empathetic. Prior to me realizing I was in these poor relationships and especially the abusive one later in my life, I couldn’t understand. I thought domestic violence was physical. In my mind, “I wouldn’t let anybody hit me. I’m a strong black woman. I’m this, I’m that.” Now, because I’m getting the education behind it, and the more I share and the more I hear other people’s stories, I see commonalities. I’m able to be empathetic and I want to bring awareness to those who are teachers, who are around children, who are around our college-age students. Parents, we have a disagreement as adults in our marriages, but it must be done in a healthy way. Not with our hands, not with objects or violence, not with threats, not with withholding money, “I’m only going to give you an allowance. I don’t want you working, I want you barefoot and pregnant.” I’m bringing that education. That’s how I’m able to do it. It’s saving a life. I even want to speak to corporate leaders.

My target audience is everybody: the parents, the school teachers, the school boards, women organizations, men organizations, the corporate CEOs. If they have an employee who’s distracted, who’s always on their phone texting and their production decreases, one of the first things as a CEO, that employer’s thinking, “You’re lazy and I need to fire you.” They’re not realizing that the reason why the production has decreased is that person is in an abusive relationship. The abuser always wants to keep tabs on them. That’s why they’re always on the phone. If they’re not checking in ten minutes to every hour, then they’re going to hear it. Is the abuser stalking them and harassing them? Are they across the street from the person’s professional workplace? If I go home and I don’t cook their dinner just right, I’m going to have a hot plate of food thrown at my head and beaten down. It’s hard and I even try to communicate with spiritual leaders.

Forgiveness is for you, it's not for them. It’s for you to be free. Click To Tweet

You can have this great sermon all day long but if you are not addressing these issues, how can you truly lead people to the Lord when they are sitting in those seats wondering what’s going to happen next when I walked through that door? What name am I going to be called next? What violence is my child going to witness next? Is this going to be the end of my life? Our spiritual leaders, our corporate leaders, they need to have that open dialogue. They need to have resources available and talk about this dirty little secret. It’s happening everywhere.

I shared an article on social media where a pizza delivery guy was able to save a woman’s life when the abuser who kidnapped his ex-girlfriend ordered a pizza. He beat her down and she had black eyes. When the pizza delivery guy went to give the pizza to the abuser, the woman was behind the abuser. He didn’t realize it, she’s pointing to her black-eyes mouthing, “He’s going to kill me.” The pizza delivery guy saw it and he didn’t ignore her cry for help. When he got out to his car, he called 911. Do you think that pizza delivery guy thought that that would be his evening? That he would be a hero in that manner? No. Everyone is affected by domestic violence.

Where can people find you. If they want to work with you, learn about you, get you to come to speak to their organization, how can they get in contact with you?

I have two businesses. On the for-profit side, I have Inspirationally Speaking LLC. That’s where I’m a motivational speaker. I have my published book Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come, my intellectual property. My email address is Jennifer@InspirationallySpeaking.com. My website is www.InspirationallySpeaking.com. People can google Jennifer Foxworthy and I’ll pop-up all over the search engines. On the nonprofit side, I have Unstoppable You Ministries where I’m the CEO and President. We provide information, awareness and supportive resources to those affected by domestic violence, human trafficking, and homelessness. That is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Under that umbrella is the Unstoppable You Conference, my television show Living Unshackled on Purpose. I will be developing a domestic violence curriculum under the nonprofit. I have two businesses. That nonprofit website is www.UnstoppableYouMinistriesInc.org.

I want to say thank you for joining us on the show. You’re my hero. For you to have overcome these things that you’ve overcome and come on the show and share that authentically with us, I appreciate you doing that. I’m sure there’s someone out there reading this. It was so heartfelt for me. No one is training us how to overcome and deal with so many real-life issues that we have to deal with in life. When you talk about being a prisoner, I can imagine what it’s like dealing with domestic violence. It’s like being stuck. It’s like being paralyzed. You’re unable to move and unable to go forward with life because this issue has held you back and you don’t know how to break through it.

GCM 40 | Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence: Everyone is affected by domestic violence.

 

I know many people are dealing with this right now. For you, your book and your ministries to go out and spread the word and offer of help and service to people. Let them know that you’re there to offer up information on how to get over this and be a lending hand. That’s what we need. We could talk all day, but until we’re reaching down and providing information and showing people how and building them up. It’s not so much the information, it’s building these people up. A lot of times they are broken down so much that their own self-image and identity has been stripped away and we have to rebuild that.

I have three things to say. If any of your audience members are on the outside looking in an abusive relationship, the one thing that I could tell them is to not be judgmental. If you are the person on the inside of an abusive relationship, I encourage you to start making a safety plan. I get calls all throughout the day, “Jennifer, I have a friend who was experiencing domestic violence. It’s getting lethal. What should she do?” I help my friends set up a safety plan for their loved one. The third is, I’m always available. I’m a resource and I’m grateful to be alive to tell the story. If I can use my voice, then what I went through was not in vain.

Jennifer Foxworthy, author of Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come: Memoirs of Women Who Survived Domestic Violence. Where can we find the book?

You can go to my website, www.InspirationallySpeaking.com. There is a tab for the book. There is a button to purchase. You purchase that directly through me. I will autograph it specifically for that person and I will ship that to them. It’s also available eBook through the Kindle, Amazon. The retail price is $9.99. They can go through Walmart.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, any online retail distribution to get the paperback as well. There’s nothing like that autograph copy.

I want to thank you again, Jennifer. You’re such a ball of fire, so much energy. I love you. Thank you for the work that you are doing in the world. It’s so needed. Thank you for being on the show.

It’s my pleasure, Rodney. I’m extremely proud of you. This is the highlight of my day. Thank you for bringing me on to your podcast. Continue to do great things. You are a game changer. You’re awesome. You’re amazing. I elevate you and I celebrate you.

Thank you so much. There you have it, Jennifer Foxworthy. Go get the book. Reach out to her if you’re dealing with some domestic violence issues or if you know someone who is. Here we are with a resource that you could reach out to get the help that you needed. This is what it’s all about talking about being a game changer. You don’t wake up and be a game changer. You go get the resources that you need in order to allow the change to occur in your life. I want to say thank you again, Jennifer, for being on the show and providing us your story and adding that value to us. I feel like a better person now as a result of hearing your story and the things that you’ve provided. Thank you so much.

Important Links: 

About Jennifer C. Foxworthy

GCM 40 | Domestic ViolenceJennifer C. Foxworthy was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania. Once she graduated high school from William Penn Senior High in 1991, she embarked on a journey that would lead her into an illustrious career serving in the United States Navy. Jennifer served her country proudly for 21 years (September 23, 1991, to April 30, 2013) retiring as a Chief Petty Officer (E-7).

Jennifer is excited about her second career choice as a powerful motivational speaker, published author of her first book titled Tomorrow My Sunshine Will Come: Memoirs of Women Who Survived Domestic Violence and prolific blogger. Wanting to make an impact at the local, state, and national level, she is an active member of Women Veteran Speakers (WVS), Women Speakers Association (WSA), Concerned Black Women of Calvert County (CBW), Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV), a lifetime member of Women Veterans Interactive (WVI), and Toastmaster International’s Talk of The Town club President. She is also the proud Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inspirationally Speaking, LLC as well as Unstoppable You Ministries, Inc. She is the Founder and host of the Unstoppable You Conference and the television host of Living Unshackled ON Purpose, which gives a 360-degree perspective on the horrible epidemic concerning domestic violence and sexual assault. Not willing to shy away from challenges, Jennifer was added to a phenomenal list of corporate speakers to give professional development training to the College of Southern Maryland’s business clients.

Believing that higher education is paramount, in March 2012, Jennifer received an Associate of Science in Business Administration Degree from Columbia College of Missouri and is an active Alumnus. She then went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications (2015) and Master’s in Management with a focus of Public Relations (2017), both degrees earned from the University of Maryland University College. Jennifer is currently in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Salisbury University.

Jennifer is the recipient of the Calvert County Commission for Women’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award for Business Leadership as well as the Columbia College of Missouri Alumni’s 2015 recipient of the Jane Froman Courage Award. In addition, she is the recipient of the 2015 Concerned Black Women’s Community Excellence Award.

Above all, Jennifer is living proof that dreams, passions, and goals are obtainable if you trust in God, surround yourself with positive people, and put one foot in front of the other.

Some of Jennifer’s positive people include her wonderful husband, Thomas, a seven-year-old son, Noah, and her three stepchildren- Josh, Laura, and Matt. Jennifer and her family reside in southern Maryland.

 

Are you ready to shed your past, rise above your present, and go confidently in the direction of your dreams? The first step? Decide. Choose right here and now to make a move. Set your intention. Then simply ask Rodney for help. https://rodneyflowers.com/mentoring/ 

Want an inspirational story and a magnetic personality plus interactive actionable strategies to transform your audience? Book Rodney for your next event. https://rodneyflowers.com/speaking/

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