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Community Link: Advocating for domestic violence survivors

Community Link: Advocating for domestic violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each week on Community Link, Carolene Mays takes a look at an organization or business that is making a positive impact on the community.

This week, Mays was joined by Mira Cassidy, a survivor of domestic violence who has set out to help children, victims, and survivors of domestic violence.

Mays: Tell us your story of survival from domestic violence, and what was the turning point for you to break free?

“Like a lot of young teen girls, I was desperate for love and even more desperate for protection and found myself in a relationship with a boy from my same religious community that went from turning into 20 years of domestic violence where I experienced every form of violence from to psychological, to physical to spiritual abuse,” Cassidy said.

Mays: What was your turning point for breaking free?

“Well, breaking free. It happened when we were going to marriage counseling, which this is not recommended in domestic violence spaces, going to marriage counseling. And the very next day he put his hands on me for the last time and I said, uh uh I’ve already developed post-traumatic stress disorder no more,” Cassidy said.

Mays: What for you was your turning point to help other victims or those who are survivors?

“I knew I had to speak and share my journey authentically because I just went through so much and I could not find the help and support I needed. I went out on my own. So I did not want other people to have to go through that not having the help, not having the resources, and feeling so alone.  So, I was so compelled to just speak and share my journey to the best of my ability,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy tells Mays about her upcoming Women’s Empowerment Retreat, which aims to raise awareness, provide sources, and encourage healing to those who experienced trauma in domestic abuse.

“So this year, I want to do something fresh. I’m presenting my story as a one-woman stage play and then a little workshop. So this play is also to advocate for drama therapy and alternate means of healing,” she said.

Cassidy added that the retreat will also include a mini-workshop called “What’s Hurting You?”

“We talk about adverse childhood experiences and other things from the play and I’m just encouraging individuals to heal. This is a free event on June 7 but Indie Fringe has been so kind to open up space and opportunities. Those dates will be available for a ticketed price in June,” she said.

Cassidy’s Women’s Empowerment Retreat Play and Workshop is free and will be held at The Merdian Arts Center on June 7 from 7-9:30 p.m. According to Cassidy’s Facebook post, all tickets are currently sold out.

To hear more, watch the full interview above.