Lady Be Free Resource Center for Women is a non-profit organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The organization seeks to reduce the number of women who face domestic violence and to provide resources for survivors of domestic abuse.
According to Lady Be Free’s website, the mission of the organization is, “to decrease domestic violence and minimize its impact through evidence-based programs that provide protection, education, and prevention. We are committed to empowering our survivors with the skills necessary to acquire and maintain self-sufficiency.”
Lady Be Free was founded by Valerie L. Brown, who hoped that by creating this organization she could help survivors of abuse cope and heal. Through Lady Be Free she also hoped to spread awareness, changing society's perception of domestic violence. Many believe that physical violence is the only form of domestic abuse however, there are many other forms of abuse including but not limited to, mental, emotional, and financial abuse.
Lady Be Free seeks to empower abuse survivors by showing them their strength, giving them a place to tell their stories, and providing opportunities to gain new skills and learn independence. Lady Be Free is a safe space for women who have experienced abuse to be heard, hear the stories of others and heal.
While Lady Be Free was founded to empower other survivors of domestic violence, it empowered Brown as well. In 2017, Brown released a book titled Reflection of a Survivor. Within this book, Brown reveals that she is a survivor of domestic violence. She explains that she has been through two abusive relationships and has hidden her experiences out of shame and fear. Through Lady Be Free’s website, Brown explains that hearing the stories of other survivors gave her the courage to break her silence and tell her own story.
Today, Brown uses her personal experiences with abuse to lift up other women and encourage them to speak out. Through Lady Be Free she is able to speak her truth and inspire others, showing them that they are not victims of domestic violence, they are survivors.
There are resources available through Lady Be Free like mentorship and workshops. The organization also regularly hosts community events to spread awareness about domestic violence. For more information or to donate to the organization visit Lady Be Free’s website.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence help is available, there is a way out and, there are resources. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 and can be reached at 800-799-7233.
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