MISSION OF STAND UP! 4DVA
Financial control and dependency is one of the many forms of abuse in the cycle of Domestic Violence. It is also a key reason many find it hard to leave their abusive situations. Many who escape are forced to leave all their belongings and money behind, making it difficult to afford even just the bare necessities. Attending group dance/fitness classes provides an opportunity for Survivors to build new healthy relationships while improving physical health, self-image, self-love, self-esteem, confidence, and physical strength. The mission of "STAND UP! 4DVA" is to sponsor Survivors and their children to attend dance/fitness classes as a foundation to help them reclaim their identity and aid in their healing. For every $300 raised, STAND UP! 4DVA can purchase a 1 year Membership for a Survivor.
Sponsor a Survivor Today!
With your donation, you can sponsor a Domestic Violence survivor and help them on their journey to improving their overall health!
For every $25 purchase made, SUDV will give a gift certificate for one month of FREE dance fitness classes to a Survivor who can not affort one on her own. Want to sponsor a full year of services? Great! $300 would pay for one whole year for one Survivor!
Support our current Goal of $30,000 to purchase annual memberships for 100 Survivors in 2018!
SUDV currently only services the Tampa Bay Area, more services and locations coming soon!
Attention Business Owners
We are currently looking for partners to provide Survivors with more variety of locations and services to choose from. If you are the owner or manager of a gym, dance studio, karate school, or other activity and would like to get involved, contact us at email@example.com
Jeni J, Survivor & Founder of SUDV
Many people who know me see me as this strong, fearless, independent woman that doesn't put up with anything from anyone! Most find it hard to believe that I could ever have been in an absive relationship. But I was! And not only that, it last for almost 10 years! My ex-husband was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. However, he was not always that way. I think that is the part many people don't understand and they find it so hard to believe that this could have happened to "me".
Like most DV predators, my ex-husband was a "knight in shining armor". He made me feel like he loved me more than anyone else in the world ever would. But little by little, this other person began to arise and I never even saw it coming! Yeah, there were a few violent outbursts here and there over the years. But Before I knew it, I was 230 pounds, $70,000 in debt, a mother of two, living overseas with no friends of my own, and had walked away from my own military career to follow his, being told that I was "worthless" and that it was annoying that I was even standing there breathing! I was scared to do or say anything.
Although I was generally a very positive and happy person who was smar, fully of life, and successful at work, I was miserable with my appearance and in my marriage. It was breaking me down internally because I was living a lie!
Than one day, I had an opportunity to relive my childhood passion of dancing with some friends while performing at a Multi-Cultural event on base. We were a hit and the audience loved our show. THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END!
Things had to get worse before they got better, but looking back, that performance saved my life! First of all, becuase it inspired me to get active again and started me on a path of teaching dance fitness. In only six months, I had lost 65lbs. But more importantly it saved my life because my weight loss journey and the reunion with my first love of dance, made me feel good about myself and reminded me of "who I was "before him". Furthermore, I realized that HE was NOT the only person in the world who loved me!
During my journey of weightloss and independance, the abuse from my ex-husband escalated from occasional physical abuse to regular. He even wrestled me to the ground with my 8 month old in my arms and then proceeded to chase me all over the base. He created things in his head, like adultry, to justify his anger towards me and he really believed them to be true...even to this day! The more successful I was with my classes, the more controlling and jealous he became. But a funny thing happened...
I began to fight back! I wasn't scared anymore. I reported his behavior, told him to his face that I wasn't in love with him and was leaving with the kids, and I even got a few punches in one time. My reunion with dance, my success with my classes, and my accomplishment of my weightloss; all gave me the strength that I needed to finally "Stand Up" against this abuse. And I did in fact get on a plane with my two kids, with only 2 suitcase, no job, no home, or anything else other than my freedom. And I couldn't have been happier!
It has been a struggle over the years to get back on my feet financially an my long history of perfect credit has taken a beating to say the least. But the thing that has kept me up at night and broken my heart the most, is dealing with the fact that my kids have had to suffer. This was not the life I planned for them! I was not struggling financially when I chose to have them. I was ready to spoil them like crazy!!! But then I found it hard to just provide them and any kind of extra curriculars were completely off of the table! And this is why I created Stand Up for Domestic Violence. Because I want to be able to help other women find the strength through dance and fitness like I did. But more importantly, because I know that once they find their strength to leave, they may not be in a position to be able to pay for extra curricular activities for their children.