Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taking Action on Domestic Violence

Reading to His Little PrincessOne morning last week, Imani, my four year old, said, “Mommy, Thank you for fixing me oatmeal. Next time, can you give a little bacon or sausage.” I just melted. When I went grocery shopping, I picked up bacon AND sausage, just to make sure that she’d have some of each.

I chose to mention this event because before this post is over, I will be asking you to help me with something I care deeply about - you'll want to e-mail me today at toni@toniruppert.com or simply "Chip In" and help using the widget to the right.


In the last post, I mentioned about my interest in empowering and caring for victims of domestic violence. I will expound on that. Not too long ago in my past, I was asking for the physical abuse to stop.

Yesterday, I watched the 20-20-Diane Sawyer interview of Rihanna with my 15 year -almost 16 - year old daughter Kayla. This interview really resonated with me since I have experienced abuse, both physically and verbally.

One night, my significant other at the time had a car fight - similar to the one Rihanna shares in the video. A plug of my hair was pulled out(I had braids at the time) - that was the fierceness of the fight. Kayla asked me what I thought about the interview and I was unable to even respond at the time.

In the fall of 1999, after attending “The Path” seminar with Frank Mallindar - I wrote out a vision statement of things I wanted to see happen in my life in the future. Frank - who has since moved on to writing books and hosting a radio program of significance - had helped me see that if I just maintained the status quo, nothing would change. Some of biggest challenges back then was that I was way broke, had low self-esteem and had been through a relationship that had cycles of abuse.

Ten years later, much about my situation has been transformed, yet it is taking me a long time to get beyond domestic issues. Though I still am challenged, God is turning my darkness into light. Through His help, I know I will continue to have a life of impact and meaning.

In my last post, I said I would share more about our, We Care About Domestic Violence” drive and how you can get involved. My friend Cynthia and I are involved in a fundraiser/drive that we are loosely calling “We Care About Domestic Violence” or "We Care Hair Drive." We decided to focus primarily on hair care products(especially for women of color) because in a shelter/safe place situation women of color might have hair care needs that might not be addressed. Further, sometimes one's hair and appearance is the last thing one thinks about when trying to get through a domestic violence situation. Our new goal is 200 gift bags of hair care products for women who are supported by two domestic violence agencies in the Chicago-area.

For our “We Care” drive, we are asking for:

  • primarily hair care product - especially for women of color(preferred)
  • “pamper” stuff - fragrant lotions to make one feel good
  • lovely cosmetics - no foundation please

Help domestic violence victims feel special this season. In the Chicago land area? E-mail me today at toni@toniruppert.com and Cynthia and I can to facilitate a pick up time. If you are not local or want to donate to our cause on-line, you can still participate and chip in. Or simply chip in online using the "Chip In" widget to the right.

In John Maxwell’s book, Be All You can Be, he says the definition of success is “choosing to enter into the arena of action, determined to give your self to that cause which will better mankind for eternity.” He says further that “...to be all I can be, I need to help you be all you can be.” It is very empowering for me to help others and be a part of this “We Care” domestic violence drive for the second year in a row.


In addition to working on this drive, - I am yet working on a creative project for a local library. The mural I am creating is entitled, “Reading is a Family Affair.” Each component talks about an aspect of the library. I have included a picture photographed by BN Hoskins Photography - a watercolor - of a father reading to his little princess.

Despite what I've been through or maybe because of what I've been through, I choose to create...and I choose to help. You can help domestic violence victims feel special this holiday. In the Chicago- land area? E-mail me today at toni@toniruppert.com to facilitate a pick up time. Or simply chip in online using the "Chip In" widget to the right. Thank You!