by Delores Flynn
One of the reasons I decided to make the film “Why Me!?” was to raise awareness about the ongoing domestic violence crisis and hopefully help those who find themselves in this situation find a way out.
I then partnered with HAVEN of Oakland County, Michigan, to further promote their resources that serve others.
For Heather, physical abuse started at a very early age. She witnessed her father beating her mother until the age of 3 which is when he left, and then the abuse came from her mother.
After years of physical and sexual abuse from babysitters, family, and boyfriends, as well as suicide attempts to escape (one of which led to a 26-day hospital stay), Heather decided to seek help.
She found a therapist and began the long road to rebuilding her mind and mental health.
“I’ve lived through so much, I survived, and I am thriving. I hope other people will be inspired to do the same. Without therapy, the groups at HAVEN, and being a part of their Speakers Bureau I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“I’m no longer codependent. I work full-time, and I’m saving for a down payment on my own very first home. I am strong, as each and every one of us are. We can overcome anything,” she said.
Jennifer fell head over heels in love at 14 and felt the need to do anything to make her boyfriend happy. This led to sexual assault, which she was not able to identify at the time.
As a result of her trauma, Jennifer made poor relationship choices, had little self-worth and struggled with promiscuity. She continually found herself looking for love in the wrong places.
While in college, Jennifer sought counseling for the low self-esteem she continued to feel. At that time, she also decided to volunteer for HAVEN. Jennifer learned to identify herself as a sexual assault survivor during her volunteer training.
For the first time, she felt validated. She realized she wasn’t alone and that she could use her training for personal healing. Jennifer has been sharing her story and helping girls and women feel empowered and safe ever since. Jennifer is passionate about her work for many reasons, but her passion primarily stems from the fact that she can see pieces of herself in the impressionable eyes of those she helps.
HAVEN has helped domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their families escape abuse and create safer lives for over 40 years.
“Why Me!?” is about a single mother who finds herself in an abusive relationship where brokenness fills both of their lives.
It’s based on a true story.
For more on Haven of Oakland Country, Michigan.