UPIC Employees Share Domestic Violence Stories
By Juli Briskman
Nov. 6, 2018
This is the first in a series of blogs about domestic violence experienced by UPIC employees and their families. #WeAreWhoWeServe
Something remarkable happened when UPIC encouraged employees to wear purple in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The day set was Oct. 30 and as employees shared their photos from the offices and from home, many came with snippets and stories attached.
We learned that women throughout the organization had experienced domestic violence as direct victims or secondarily as they watched their mothers, sisters, or friends suffer at the hands of an abuser. The stories cascaded throughout the day as others were inspired to share after feeling support from their UPIC sisters. Eventually, eleven out of our 80 employees shared details, some of whom had not shared them previously. We’ve always known that ‘we are who we serve.’ But Oct. 30th drove this point home more emphatically than any other time in our existence.
We know that 10 million people a year are physically abused by their partners. And 521 women have died this year from gun-related domestic violence. More than 20,000 calls are made to domestic hotlines, every day, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. To learn more about domestic violence and all its forms, and to get help, visit the NCADV website.
And even though we know all of this, it becomes painfully real when we hear it from our own coworkers.
UPIC is honored that these women felt empowered to share their stories at work and we know the #metoo movement has been a catalyst for feminism and equality. But we also know that unless UPIC had made it our mission to support and empower women from all walks of life, these stories may never have been revealed.
During my marriage, I was beaten, held hostage, robbed of everything, driven off the road with my mom and baby in the car and tortured on different occasions.
Here we share the brief summaries that came through on Oct. 30th and in the coming months, we will share some of these stories in more detail from the women who are brave enough to publicize their names and details. For now understand that each, in their own way, overcame their own fears, self-doubts and social stigma just to be able to type these words:
- This is hard for me to share with so many people at once especially since I can’t get the words “what happens in this house stays in this house” out of my head but I am a survivor of domestic violence. #WeAreWhoWeServe
- I was 18 when he smashed my car windshield during an argument. When I took him back, he hit me. So thankful for the UPIC team and our ability to come together, not in spite of but because of our past experiences, and really be there for each other and those we serve.
- Coming close to six years ago, I was a victim of domestic violence. A small argument at home that blew out of proportion to where I was stabbed three times by my own family member. The physical scars left behind do not even equate to the emotional and mental scars that any domestic violence survivor are left with, but we use it to pull through and empower those around us. Even though I am not in the office, I proudly wear purple with you all today.
- I didn’t go through any violence but I did watch it first hand with my ex-stepfather and my mother it’s the worst thing in the world! I want everyone to know that they’re not alone and I’m wearing purple today to show that we are not alone and it will get better.
- I’ve never been in a domestically violent relationship but my mother and many of my cousins have been. The stories they’ve told about what it took to leave have stuck with me forever. Love isn’t supposed to hurt.
- I grew up in a domestic violence home where my mother would run away with us to other homes for weeks to protect us. This is for my mommy.
- Like most, I was put through domestic violence when I was young and saw my mother have the strength to put a stop to it for her 4 kids and showed me how to stand up for myself. LADIES IF YOU WERE PART OF DOMESTIC ABUSE ARE WERE ABLE TO SURVIVE, BE PROUD !! AND IF YOU HAD KIDS KNOW THEY ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR STRENGTH! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
- I will share one story. During my marriage, I was beaten, held hostage, robbed of everything, driven off the road with my mom and baby in the car and tortured on different occasions. This amongst other things went on over a course of 5 years but I got away. It is always in your mind and never goes away but it makes you stronger. That is just one story but just wanted to say you are never alone and we all are family who is here for one another! We are who we serve.
- Domestic Violence can be so traumatizing & many of us are too scared, embarrassed, and ashamed to say anything or even leave, sometimes even “brainwashed.” I grew up in a household of domestic violence for 14 years (my mom & brother’s dad). Then I found myself in that same horrible cycle when I moved out for the first time at (the age of) 19 with my then boyfriend. I would be made to sleep without a blanket or pillow. He would throw things at my head, push me down, take my bank cards or phone. He would self-harm so I would feel guilty. He would fly down the interstate going 100+ mph with no care in the world because he was angry and ready to just take our lives. He once forced me out of the car onto the interstate and several times forced me out the car at random places and leave. While I was at work he would threaten to let my dog loose outside knowing I could do absolutely nothing. He pushed away my best friend of eight-plus years out my life (lucky she forgave me after two years of no contact).
- He would force himself on me when I was not wanting it at all. When he got angry the look in his eyes, his Hulk-like demeanor, the sweat coming down his face….it was terrifying! Even after I kicked him out, changed the locks & got him off the lease and many months later he would stalk me. My brothers even tell me that from time to time he still tries reaching out to them asking about me, I spotted his sister in Walmart not too long ago and was hoping she did not see me because I did not want him finding out where I live. I just hope anyone in a domestic violence situation is able to one day break free and tell their story just like we all have.
- I remember growing up my grandmother would tell me that a man will beat my butt if I didn’t control my mouth. I used to think she was crazy for saying something like that. I later found out she experienced domestic violence as well. The crazy part was I used to use my smart mouth as an excuse to justify their behavior. Domestic violence is sometimes a generational curse and is hard to break away from. So be proud and stay brave!
Juli Briskman is Chief Marketing Officer for UPIC Health, LLC. UPIC outsources patient contact center, revenue cycle management, and telebehavioral health services. To learn more, visit the Who We Are page on our website. Follow us @UPICHealth.