Today Mr. Refinery and I were listening to TEDxRainier here in Seattle. It was strangely reminiscent of General Conference with all the inspiring paradigm-shifting messages. One of the ones that really hit home was a talk on domestic violence by Leslie Morgan Steiner where she shared her own remarkable story. (You can watch it here.) The takeaways:
While I feel extremely blessed to be in a healthy marital relationship, Mr. Refinery brought up the point that after we got married, he did steps one and two of domestic violence: he seduced me, and then he took me away. A year and a half after we were married, we left my hometown to move to a remote suburb in Utah for school. It never went any further than that in the domestic abuse cycle for me, but it happens to women every single day. My Life Coach Lisa J. Peck is a survivor of domestic violence and has shared the shocking statistic that one in four Mormon women are in an abusive relationship. Because she lived with it for so long she can literally see it in women’s faces when they are being abused.
The way Leslie Morgan Steiner got out of her abusive relationship was to talk about it. To everyone. She told the police, she told her family, she told her friends. Break the silence. Abusers thrive on silence.
This week a film crew flew out from Salt Lake City and spent two days filming me for a feature in the I’m a Mormon campaign. It was a tremendous honor, a ton of fun, and completely exhausting. It required me to get spiritually naked and to speak from a place of vulnerability which made me feel both apprehensive and alive. Here are some of the takeaways I’ve had from this experience.