*According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. They also say 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner every year.
And look at these facts from Domestic Violence Statics.
- Every 9 seconds in the U. S. a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Rarely do we hear of any of them fighting back. Empowering themselves by making the decision to train to protect themselves against anything like this happening to them ever again.
Many of us hear the stories, but few of us see the faces of the victims. Many of them go into hiding. And many of them die.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Allow me to re-introduce you to DeAara Lewis. You may remember we introduced her last year when she, representing her One Chick Army, created the web series, “Confessions of a Witch Bitch,” and got all of us who fantasize about landing a defining punch to the face of a bullying co-worker all riled up.
- Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
Now Lewis is back, and she hopes to inspire other women who are or have been victims of domestic abuse with “The Day You Raise Your Hand to Me.” You won’t find her hidden away in fear. She took another route. After leaving an abusive relationship, DeAara made a decision to train in self-defense and learn how to fight back.
- Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
We spoke with DeAara Lewis about her newest comeuppance.
TNT: This is obviously a very personal piece. You say many people in your family didn’t even know about it when it was happening. And that you keep breaking up and making up, so-to-speak. What was the turning point for you to leave the relationship…for good?
DL: Yes, it is a very personal piece that I had second thoughts on releasing. My immediate family knew about the attack that night, they just didn’t know all of the details of exactly what happened and the threats that would sometimes come up. Outside of them (my immediate family), I was very vague about why I started taking self-defense. My fight coaches knew I was once almost attacked, but I never went into detail with them either.
The turning point came for me to leave the relationship after the same behavior that led to the first attack started again. I knew what to recognize the second time around. And honestly at that time, when we broke up, I didn’t think it was for good. I was still hoping he would get some help and the space would save us. It was all about him during that point in my life. What made the break up permanent was that there was another woman in the picture who he immediately moved in with and I refused to play second to her. That was actually the best decision both of us made, looking back.
TNT: Why did you keep what happened private? Why did you choose to finally share it?
DL: I felt ashamed about what happened and didn’t want to be seen as a victim or weak. And a part of me wanted to protect him. I knew the bad and the good and I didn’t want to make him out to be a monster.
What made me finally decide to share my story was the numerous stories in the media about women being attacked and murdered at the hands of a boyfriend/husband or just being attacked on the street. I want women to know that they can learn to fight back.
TNT: What self-defense style do you practice?
DL: I practice Krav Maga (5+ years), an Israeli form of self-defense and street fighting at Midtown Krav Maga of Memphis.
TNT: Did that experience make it harder for you to trust men?
DL: Yes, it did. And for a while, I felt very ugly and unworthy. However, through consistently doing my work and living my life, I met a wonderful and fully accountable individual who I have been dating close to three years now. It is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in and it is a direct result of not giving up on myself.
Oh we love the sound of that! Congratulations. I am sure your story will inspire many other women out there who are going through this. Thanks for talking to us!
Watch the video for “The Day You Raise Your Hand to Me” directly below.