Here at LBDS, we celebrate survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence on a regular basis, doing whatever we can to let them know they are cherished, valued and never alone. Not everyone in our organization has first-hand experience with sexual or domestic violence, but we all share a rock-solid commitment to empower harmed women. The majority of us smile easily and often, but beneath our smiles, we recognize the way invisible scars intertwine with all women’s laugh lines, but especially those of the survivors among us. As an organization, we are webbed together by this awareness. Unmasking is a long, slow process, and too many memories can never be fully shared, even when parts are courageously made known.
On August 22, 2015 in Boerne, Texas, we witnessed the beauty and strength of survivors willing to share their testimonials before the camera. Makeup artists, a camera crew, and professional photographer all leant their talents completely free of charge, and the owners of Ye Kendall Inn graciously allowed the event to take place in their venue.
As the ladies prepared in a small chapel, the courtyard outside was being prepared for a wedding reception scheduled to take place that night. While being escorted from the chapel to where the video recording and photography sessions took place, more than one survivor confided “I feel like a bride.”
More images, videos, quotes and stories from this day will appear on the blog in the month ahead. Until then, may we all bold the beauty which comes from removing our masks.