, ,

Kelly Brown Pic

When the month of October comes around people are quick to recognize Halloween and many even wear pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But what often goes overlooked is the fact that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year there has been more attention given to this tragic subject thanks to all the repercussions that followed former NFL player Ray Rice getting caught on tape punching his then-fiancé, Janay Palmer, in the face.

Headlines and social media questioned Janay for staying in the relationship and for marrying the athlete. The truth is that victims of domestic abuse stay in their situation for all sorts of reasons that make sense to them. All anyone can hope is that the victim gets out in time before it’s too late. My friend Kelly Brown, pictured above, wasn’t that fortunate.

Kelly was one of the sweetest, silliest and goofiest people I had the pleasure of knowing since grade school. The idea of her being mean or malicious in any way towards someone is almost laughable. That’s why it hurts so much to know that she left this world in a violent way. The details surrounding her death are still a mystery to many of us who loved and cared about Kelly. What we do know is that she wanted out of the relationship with her boyfriend at the time. Just days after sharing that information with a close friend, she was discovered at her home shot and killed by the boyfriend in what was reported to be a murder suicide. Ironically, this October marks the seven-year anniversary of her death.

By sharing Kelly’s story my hope is to encourage those of you in a violent relationship, whether it be a marriage or dating situation, to muster up the courage necessary to leave your abuser. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) suggests you take action by first  creating a safety plan that includes making a list of safe people to contact for help and locating a safe place to retreat to if things go bad. For more information visit the NCADV website by clicking the link above or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Please stay safe.

Until next time…