Rosa Diaz Founder of More Than 1 Victim

Rosa Diaz
Founder of morethan1victim

to the victims~

We have more in common than you think because I know that what happens behind closed doors is the version of our stories we rarely share.

I know what it is like to feel the paralyzing fear you might still be experiencing. I know how cold the barrel of a gun feels when it touches your skin. I know fear has several levels, from the gut instinct to the terror one experiences because we believe we are about to die. I know how it feels to be consumed by shame and desperately want things to return to how they were before everything became so complicated. I know about feeling so unworthy that you place your hope in the lies that things will get better and that it will never happen again. I know the moments of reconciliation become shorter over time. I know that empty promises become band-aids you place on your wounds. I know your insecurity and self-doubt about your identity, life, and future are the anchors holding you down. I know that fear, anger, guilt, shame, and regret are the emotions holding you back from taking control of your life. I know how lonely you feel in a room full of people. I know about your anxiety and depression and how you have considered giving up and never waking up to your reality. I know what it is like to want everything to stop and not find the courage to leave. I know that the list of excuses gets more significant over time. I know about the lies and cover-up stories you invent to hide your reality. I know you believe there is no way out. I know you feel misunderstood. I know you have forgotten about the brave person you used to be. I know you are hurting. I am here to tell you- I understand you because I was you; I know. 

Rosa Diaz Founder of More Than 1 Victim

Rosa Diaz

Cross on hill

Despite everything I have been through, I am blessed because I can choose how my story ends. Sadly, many victims were not as fortunate. What I am about to tell you may not be what you want to hear, but it is necessary if you want to heal and overcome all that you have endured. We have all heard the expression “tough love,” and part of its definition involves taking responsibility for our actions. It is also necessary to extend this form of love to ourselves. You may be wondering why you need to take responsibility. Let me remind you that this is crucial for a couple of reasons: first, for our contribution to the toxic environment, and second, for not leaving, or perhaps, as it was in my case, for both. A common misconception is that taking responsibility for our actions will diminish our experience’s impact and excuse the person who hurt us. However, this could not be further from the truth. Accountability produces the opposite effect; it will empower you because it will set you free. I understand the complexity of relationships, and I used to believe a story had two sides until I read somewhere that there are three sides: yours, mine, and the truth. Reflecting on my involvement in an abusive relationship, this is true. Because the one with the whole truth was the one, I attempted to conceal. Let me share that part of my story as it may resonate with you. 

I also know fear and anger became my constant companions after the terrible act of violence, and I became someone who defended herself despite hurting others. I know what it is to feel safe and, without warning, lose your sense of security and then spend a lifetime pretending you are not scared. I forgot about my dreams, lost all hope, and loved differently after that day. I know that because I lived stuck in the toxic cycle of emotions, I did not know how to control my reactions, and a vindictive person I had not known would appear. I know I hurt and overlooked the well-being and safety of my vulnerable children. I know at times; inflicting pain was intentional. I know when I was afraid, I felt anger like never before and released it without measuring the consequences. I know many times, after escalating arguments to dangerous levels, I once again feared for my life. I know that words become powerful weapons when combined with an elevated tone; to this day, I can see the pain left by the aftermath of their destructive path. I know I had a distorted idea of love. I know now, without a doubt, that was not love. I wasted time attempting to change the other person, only to discover that I was the one who needed to change. I know the last thing I thought I would become was an abuser, but that is what I became. 

No one plans on becoming a domestic violence statistic. Over the years, I have spoken with many victims and attended support groups as I listened to someone else share their story, which ironically was identical to mine. However, after I became a statistic, I understood that the only way to overcome my experience was to take responsibility for how I reacted after what I endured. I was not asking for nor deserved what happened to me; far from it. However, the actions of others have an impact on us, and eventually, we react. How I responded after what happened to me turned me into an incredibly toxic and angry person, and I surely hurt the people I love. Thankfully, I learned that to overcome what I have been through, I had to shift the focus and make it about me, not the person who hurt me. I discovered the power of taking responsibility for my actions and adopted a new way of sharing my story: this time, I ensure you have access to all the facts. 

I am unapologetic when encouraging you to be honest and hold yourself accountable if this applies to you. And I hope you are not offended because I assure you that is not my intention. I know this is the only way to heal and exercise our God-given right to live a free and peaceful life. I have a question: what will you do with everything -you already know? You may think your story is different from mine, but you will likely find similarities when you find the courage to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly parts. We are flawed and broken; shame is common in our stories. We are all trying to survive as best we can. The difference between those who heal and overcome and those who have yet to do so is that they found the courage to hold themselves accountable. As for me, I found my courage and strength in God. When you find yours, you can join me on the other side. Remember, we cannot rewrite our stories, but we can use the lessons learned and redefine the remaining chapters. Dare to live the rest of your life with peace, purpose, and meaning. Remember, you are not alone.

share your story

Life is not a competition for perfection. Most of us try to project a picture-perfect image of our lives and relationships, afraid to reveal our true selves. Yet filters only enhance our appearance and surroundings and do not reflect reality. Perfection is an unachievable myth, and pretending will only delay the inevitable, which is to perform the dreaded assessment of our contribution to our broken states. Once we shed the use of filters, we can address our flaws and mistakes, and at last, the healing process can begin.

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Do not be discouraged during tough times.

When we look closer, we can find blessings hidden within our difficulties.  Only through enduring hardship can we gain valuable insight and clarity and emerge stronger, wiser, and with a clear vision of our purpose.

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Our experiences can create a strong connection with others.

Our story is full of emotions, making us relatable and human. Every survivor’s story has a before and after. With this in mind, I have created a platform where individuals can share their stories and inspire others to heal and discover their definition of success. I invite you to write the afterword portion of your story in a few words. The #minus1victim movement encourages survivors to share their stories of success and inspires others to find the courage to do the same. Join us in removing your name from the list of statistics.

What is a Victim of Circumstance?

We have not resolved the problem of Domestic Violence, as we are missing a critical element necessary to end this impending crisis. We have failed to identify the root cause of the problem. Since we enter the world, our stories begin the same way. We have no way to control the environment we are born into. If the settings are toxic and unhealthy, it will have a lasting negative impact on our lives. There is no way to predict how these experiences will affect us or how we will react later in life to what happened to us. 

Along the way, we connect with partners whose stories began the same way. And if neither of us recognized and healed our pain from what we endured before coming together, if we have children, we provide these future generations with the same beginning to their story. We create the same pattern of uncontrollable circumstances for them, just like the previous generations created for us. And the cycle repeats itself, and we keep adding to the count of victims of circumstance. 

The purpose of identifying that we form part of the statistics of the victims of circumstance is not to blame our parents or caregivers nor victimize ourselves; it is solely to begin healing. After acknowledging that we are all exposed to out-of-our-control environments where we acquire our pain and trauma, we can empathize with one another, aware that we share a common past. Furthermore, we focus on self-healing and self-forgiveness, which ultimately leads to the forgiveness of others. Although our stories begin the same way, we choose if we allow our beginning to define our ending; we all have the power to shape our outcome. 

Domestic Violence:
the Oldest Pandemic

Violent acts have a profound and far-reaching impact beyond the immediate victims. Domestic violence not only affects the victim and the abuser; it also affects the children, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and law enforcement responders. It is essential to remember that the children who grow up witnessing domestic violence suffer significant harm that lasts a lifetime. 

All experiences produce an action and a reaction, and in a high percentage of acts of violence, our response is defensive. Unfortunately, verbal abuse and aggressive behavior are common ways we respond. When combined with heated emotions, these actions can create dangerous situations, resulting in long-term abuse and possibly death. We must take action to end the senseless violence.  

None of the solutions currently available, such as anger management courses, incarceration, seeking refuge, divorce or separation, involvement of law enforcement, or support programs to assist those of us trapped in these situations, have prevented, let alone resolved, the pandemic Domestic Violence has turned into. This is because the measures mentioned above are reactive.  

We will end Domestic Violence when we understand that taking responsibility for our actions and reactions is the only way to heal. We must stop blaming others. We are the solution because we are part of the problem. Each one of us can contribute to ending this detrimental social crisis: one person, one family, one home, one city, one county, one state, one country, and one continent at a time. It is a fundamental human right for everyone, regardless of age, gender, sexual preference, social status, race, demographic location, or religion, to live in safe and healthy environments; it is time to reclaim this right.

The 5 Emotions of Domestic Violence

The impact of violence on someone’s life is always adverse. When it comes to abuse, it is especially concerning because we experience a fear that leaves us vulnerable and unsafe. This feeling is like a disability that takes away our sense of security. It then introduces anger, and when we release it, we feel guilt. Moreover, we become consumed with shame and regret for how we reacted. These emotions appear to have no end, keeping us trapped, going from one to another. Our actions always have consequences; in many cases of violence, most of us resort to defensive measures, increasing the likelihood of exhibiting equally aggressive behavior like our abuser. And this becomes an emotional prison sentence we never signed up for.

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