October is more than a time to celebrate Halloween and enjoy hi-falutin fall festivals. Breast cancer has plowed deeply into the lives of many American families and the causes seem to be growing faster than the researchers can find cures. Not only that, but we must turn our attention to the rising level of domestic violence occurring right at our door steps if not in our own homes. This month has been hailed as a time for us to bring awareness to the problems of domestic violence and breast cancer.

Two weeks after my son was born I was told that something was seen in my mammogram that did not look positive for me. During those days the surgeons did not rush to operate. So, I was put on watch and still am. During that same time, I was also dealing with the other ugly destroyer of families, domestic violence, and today it is on the rise, or maybe the abused are speaking out more readily bringing it center stage.

I very recently met a young lady who lost her best friend/sister to domestic violence. She was hurt to the core because the friend was with her day and night and never uttered a word about being abused. When speaking with her, I can tell that the soul of this young lady has been shaken. She is still trying to find the answer as she looks back on the days spent with her best friend. She is asking herself where did I go wrong? She is still asking herself if maybe she ignored the silent signs. She is asking herself if maybe she should have talked less and listened more. She is asking herself if maybe by the abused speaking so positively about the abuser she should have read through the lines and realize no relationship is flawless. She is wondering if maybe she talked more about her life when she should have been quiet. She is still wondering if the friend thought that she would have been too judgmental. While she is contemplating some of the many reasons why her friend did not share her pain, she is not standing still and gazing into the distance. She is trying to find avenues for other young men and women who are in abusive relations to find ways to deal with the abuse in a manner that is safe.

She has founded an organization titled LipsUnchained. Her desire is to open the eyes of the public not just to domestic violence, but violence of all kind; however, her main focus will be on domestic violence because that incident with her best friend was the catalyst the impelled her in this direction. This mother, her friend, died leaving five young children behind. All of this happened because the abused could not figure out a way to get out of a dangerous relationship safely.

The mother/daughter founders of LipsUnchained are seeking supporters for this nonprofit organization. They have held brainstorming meetings with friends and families all over, this area and they have become aware that out of every 10 women that they meet with, eight of them have expressed having been abused to some degree. There are so many ways to be abused and many women and men think that is how life is supposed to be.

Painfully, I have been in the presence of parents who curse their children from the time that they are born until adulthood. I have witnessed young parents hitting their children with fist balled up. When I speak to the young parents, I ask them to never spank the children when they are angry and feeling frustrated. Abuse can occur so quickly when anger and frustration are in the mix.

There are so many causes for domestic violence in relationships. The director is gathering a team of people to lend a hand in getting organized so that the impact of the results of her findings can be felt nationwide. Her desire is to help unchain lips and at the same time give the abused tools to use as they exit. If anyone is interested, you are invited to reach out to us by any means … email, phone, personal contact, letting us know what area of expertise you will bring to the group. We welcome you because so many hands are needed to stir this pot to unchain lips.

In order not to spread ourselves so thin and not be effective the group, will take carefully planned and organized steps. If you are interested please check the LipsUnchained Facebook page and introduce yourself to us. We will attempt to work in conjunction with other organizations that are working with individuals who find themselves caught up in this tangled web of violence. The plan for this organization is to have listening sessions of ways to tell if the abuse exists. In other words, one goal is to be able to help point out what are some basic red flags even in our young children as well as teenage boy and girl relationships. The director and her team will research the availability of help and compile resource packets to share what kind of counseling is available for the young and old in other available organizations.

At this point, research is being done so that the organization will know what areas can get them into legal snags. The organization will let the law do what it is designed to do. At some point in the future, we would like to offer a safe haven as well as counseling for all involved. Presently, we are just trying to get off the ground and your input is welcome even if it just in the form of a warning or a word of encouragement.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright and a director in Rome. She is the founder and director of the African American Connection of the Performing Arts Inc.

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