Today I present another written interview with Suzanne Perry of Love Shouldn’t Hurt TV, she is the director of a non-profit organization for helping others with domestic violence issues.
Check out the interview:
1. Share your story for starting Love Shouldn’t Hurt TV and your non-profit organization
I fell into a toxic relationship at age 17. What started off as a ‘sweep you off your feet’ type of relationship, subtly and gradually, developed into a controlling, obsessive and very dangerous way of life.
A suggestive admonishing for my choice of friends, for my high school, for the things that I enjoyed, like roller skating and guitar, eroded my very being. I became lost at sea, and completely lost touch with everything, and everyone. My friends, family, and even myself.. I was isolated, and lost touch with the real world, for the next 22 years.
The next 22 years of my life would see battering, rape, false imprisonment, and hopelessness. The short term joys of making up would soon be followed by more fighting, more insults, more black eyes, and more darkness.
Finally, our daughter at age 16, confronted me one morning. She said, “Mom, I can’t take living like this anymore. It’s either him or me.” She was going to run away from home, if I didn’t do something about the way we were living, walking on eggshells in fear of setting off my husband, her father. He had become a tyrant of our household and made our home into a dungeon, a place of misery and suffering.
I made a pact with her at that moment, and told her that when I gave the okay that she could call 911. It happened within about 10 days, and he was arrested. I promised our kids that I wouldn’t go back again (We left three times prior, and returned, then I married him.)
About a year later, I went to a spa for the first time, with my best friend Sue. I was talking about my marriage, and the conversation soon engulfed the room as about 12 people were all around me, sharing their stories involving domestic violence. One of the people there, a girl who grew up with an abusive dad, looked to me, and said “We need you to be our voice.”
From that point, I went public with my story and became known as the poster child for domestic violence advocacy. I mentor hundreds of people every year.
I decided to launch a nonprofit business as a hub of information, resources and referrals for men and women who have been impacted by domestic abuse. I learned about the back stories of men who have been victimized too. I heard from parents, from people growing up in a violent household, of all kinds of abuse, and it evidenced a huge need for a central platform to exchange information and support each other.
I started a concert that grew to be annual, called the EXPOSURE Concert: Because love shouldn’t hurt. It was a 3-day event where dozens of bands performed to unite against domestic violence. It was incredible!
This will be the 5th year and I have some fantastic sponsors such as Regal Tip drum sticks, Yorkville Sound and even UPS.
2. You can reach so many people through the internet today, what do you use to broadcast your show and can you tell us a bit about the platform?
The show has moved to a larger venue with an additional stage, and we live stream the whole show on our website and on LiveStream. It’s been watched from 8 countries around the world!
I’ve hosted many radio shows, including the “Global Forum on Domestic Violence.” I met some real powerhouse people and businesses that way. The connections and relationships continue to blossom. Most of my shows can be found at blogtalkradio.com/suzanneperry.
The whole theme of ‘exposure’ has been a great marketing tool. The EXPOSURE concert is definitely our signature event, with that many bands all promoting it and especially with online media.
We also have Love Shouldn’t Hurt wristbands that I have been sending out purely on donation money. When someone donates $20 for example, I send out or give away 15 wristbands for free to people who ask.
3. What has been working best for you to bring awareness to your organization?
We are growing our online network with photos of people with our Love Shouldn’t Hurt.TV banner and wearing our wristbands. We have people from Nova Scotia, Canada and from many cities across the US. We have celebrities wearing them like Robbie Takac (Goo Goo Dolls), and Orianthi.
My greatest measurable accomplishment, however, was getting the following message in my inbox: “Suzanne, because of you, I left.”
This year has been amazing. I am finishing up a complete reboxing and rebranding process. I’ve modified the original plan and direction of 2010, and partnered up with the global No More.org and as an ally of P.A.V.E. (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment). Since January of this year, the response has been incredible!
4. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
I’m upgrading equipment for higher quality live streaming at this year’s event, and am finally going to start delegating things like our website to reflect my multi-media and multi-faceted vision. I can’t do it all myself anymore and I have to build the venture to be self-sustaining. That is my challenge for this year.
When someone questions their relationship, I want them to think about me, and make the right decision for their own safety. Staying in a relationship for the kids, or for financial reasons, or fear of retaliation from anybody, are all horrible truths why people stay. Realizing it’s not healthy, and you are missing out on your joy, should be encouraging reasons why you should make the jump and start to take yourself back. Love shouldn’t hurt… ever!
How To Contact Suzanne:
Founder, Love Shouldnt Hurt.TV
Owner, Hot Jam Media
Publisher, Hot Jam Media Mag
Linkedin and Facebook: /SuzannePerry7