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Katrina Walker Rising Up From Domestic Violence

Katrina Walker is an outstanding achiever and a survivor of domestic mental and physical abuse.

Almost 20 years ago, those who knew Katrina Walker probably would not have guessed that she would have developed to be the powerhouse that she is today.

Ms. Walker is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and motivational speaker. She took being a target of domestic physical and mental abuse and a witness to cultural, domestic, and financial turmoil and converted what she learned into a motivational tool to fight victim-hood. Ms. Walker created a 24-hour day care center in Tennessee and is expanding her franchise to other regions of the country. Ms. Walker's philanthropic efforts include helping those who are suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.

Be on the look out for Ms. Walker's upcoming book, Down Home Truth.

Domestic Violence Survivor Melissa Holmes Moving Forward and Helping Others

Melissa Holmes' organization Love Shouldn't Hurt is helping women to love themselves more than the abuser

In this What's The 411TV video, host Kizzy Cox conducts an in-depth interview with Melissa Holmes, Founder, Love Shouldn't Hurt; about her domestic violence experience and what she and her organization are doing to help other women involved in abusive relationships to move forward.

Nicki Minaj's Mother Details Nicki's Life in a House of Horrors

As if there weren't enough domestic violence and child abuse stories in the news, according to News Americas Now, an e-zine focused on the Caribbean and Central America, Nicki Minaj's mother, Carol Maraj, has reportedly given The Sun, a British tabloid, some insight into what Nicki's "life with father" was like.

Although this story could not be verified with The Sun online, according to News Americas Now, Radar Online and others, Carol Maraj, Minaj's mother, claims she was a victim of domestic violence and abuse while her young children, including, Nicki, cowered in fear.

She said her husband, Robert Maraj, would get high on cocaine and alcohol and then terrorize the entire family and physically abuse her.

Maraj, revealed how a young Minaj would sob in her bedroom as her father beat her mother black and blue in their Queens, New York home in the mid '90s.

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She said Robert Maraj even tried to burn their home down while she was in it.

"One night I woke up and smelt smoke. I went downstairs and the kitchen was on fire. I had to run out of the house and it burned to the ground," she told the Sun newspaper.

Luckily, Nicki and her brothers, Micaiah and Jelani, survived as they had been staying with a neighbor because their mother feared something might happen.

Another time, Carol claimed, "I was trying to take Nicki and my sons to a neighbor's house on December 31.

"He saw me get into the car and when it reached a stop light he pulled me out of the car, punched me in the face and kept pulling me and pulling me back towards the house.

"Some nights, while my children were sleeping, my husband would come in intoxicated. He would be very menacing and threaten me, calling me a whole lot of names," Carol said.

"My children would sit up in their beds crying and wait it out. He would bring so much fear to them, they wouldn't know his next move.

"He was so violent. He would threaten us and keep us up all night.

"My kids would be crying until he eventually passed out drunk.

"He would hit the children too — but that's what they do in Trinidad, where he is from."

Radar Online says that it had exlusively reported that Nicki's father, Robert was arrested for drunk driving on October 18, 2013 and again on December 3, 2013, and subsequently indicted in New York Supreme Court on four counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a felony, aggravated driving while intoxicated, a felony, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first, second and third degree.

He is expected to appear in court on July 9, 2015.

A whole year-and-a-half to appear in court on drunk driving charges, sometimes the wheels of justice moves rather slowly. This may need further investigation.

Nicki was born Onika Maraj and has reportedly talked about her father's drinking and violent behavior.

The news from Nicki Minaj's mother comes as Minaj's song, 'Bang Bang,' reached number one on British music charts and views of the 'Anaconda' video climbed to 200 million.

Jericho Road INC. Still Walking to End Domestic Violence

Everyone deserves to be in a loving and healthy relationship. Unfortunately, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month and Jericho Road Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports the restoration of families by helping to address domestic violence in New York City, hosted its 6th annual Breaking the Bonds of Violence Walk-A-Thon. Organized by Carl Joseph, the program director, and consultant at Jericho INC., the goal of the walk-a-thon was to raise awareness about domestic violence and funds to purchase baby clothes for children affected by domestic violence. A portion of the proceeds was also donated to the NYC Family Justice Center in Brooklyn, which assists victims of domestic violence.

Mr. Joseph's approach is to get more men involved and make them aware that domestic violence is wrong and why it happens. Young boys witness violence and when they grow up they bring their experiences to their relationships and the cycle continues. He gives seminars in local middle and high schools, and churches around New York City.

"Men need to be taught at an early age that domestic violence is wrong," said Mr. Joseph. "We need to love ourselves before we can love somebody else."

The Reverend Dr. Elena Bascom, a survivor of domestic violence, created Jericho Road because she wanted to help women who were victims of domestic abuse. The organization provides information through seminars given at public schools, correction facilities, universities, and churches in New York City where survivors tell their stories and answer questions. The seminars present ways to build better relationships by explaining the real meaning of LOVE, discouraging violent behavior, and developing healthy values. Jericho Road Inc. also collaborates with health services, youth clubs, and community-based groups.

Antonio Bascom, son of the Reverend Dr. Elena Bascom, explained domestic violence from a child's point of view. He was 4 years-old when he witnessed his mother being abused by his father. Witnessing the abuse caused emotional and physical problems. It affected his grades, he gained weight, he found it hard to relate to people, and develop positive relationships. He grew up feeling alone and isolated.

"...You can't feel comfortable in your environment if you're not comfortable at home."

Antonio has multiple roles within the JRI organization. He does television responses, creates t-shirts, writes the literature, and helps with organizing the seminars.

"Love is freedom and jealousy is possession," said Antonio. "Jealousy will allow a person to abuse you. Love will allow a person to love you and forgive you anytime that you get in trouble."

In 2008, Dr. Reverend Elena Bascom and a group of survivors published a book called, The Survivor Series: Stories of Women Who Survived the Impossible. The book was a compilation of testimonies of victims and how they prevailed.

"I hoped and prayed that someone would read the book because it would blow peoples' minds that we survived and live the way we do," she said.

Phyllis Hall, one of the survivors noted in the book, attended the walk-a-thon. She was abused by her husband who was in the Marine Corps. The abuse started verbally, and then it turned physical later during their marriage. One night he grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against a pole that was sticking out of the ground. She was taken to Kings County Hospital. She was afraid to report the incident because she was living with his family. Another time, he took a pot of hot oatmeal and poured it on her face. She suffered third-degree burns on her face and neck. While she was carrying their third child, he pushed her down the stairs and the baby was born breached.

"Love is time, love is caring for you, love is protecting you," said Phyllis.

Her husband got a restraining order against her and had her kicked out of their home and away from her kids. The abuses lead to a drug addiction. She went to rehab and then stayed with friends until she got a job and an apartment. She has been drug free for 18 years. She hasn't seen her husband since she left rehab. Until this day, he has never apologized to her for his abuse.

Reverend Dr. Elena Bascom also experienced domestic violence as a married woman. A month after she married her husband, he started beating her.

"If you can't love with me, leave me, but don't beat me," she said.

When she left her husband, she had no family or friends to go to; it was just her and her son. She went to church and spoke to other domestic violence victims. She then found a place of her own and went to school.

The walk-a-thon, which started at Marine Park, went throughout Mill Basin. After people returned to the starting point, everyone took a purple balloon and gathered in a large area in the park. A poem called "God Kissed Me and Created Oat," was recited as the balloons were released into the sky representing those who passed away from domestic violence and the survivors who live to tell their stories. I end this article with a quote from Reverend Dr. Elena Bascom, an inspiration who believes that love should never be abusive; instead love should be giving and sharing:

"I'm a survivor. I made it. I can tell anybody, 'I don't care where you are at, I don't care where you were, not only can you come out, but you can do better.'"

Project Lipstick Aids Women in Shelters

WATCH VIDEO: Brianna Marie Sage, the founder of Project Lipstick

Brianna Marie Sage told What's The 411TV she created Project Lipstick to help abused women in shelters to find employment. The first order of business is to help the abused women feel better about themselves. The organization provides total mind and body makeovers to residents in women's shelters. The women receive a complete inside-out makeover as Project Lipstick assists in self-esteem development; career placement; and beauty makeovers. The organization also distributes beauty products and provides training in resume writing; the art of the job hunt; and interviewing skills.

One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

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