At 18 years old, Shante left home and moved in with her boyfriend. While she still had the typical teenage wild oats to sow, she was isolated from her world around her. The abuse began as manipulation and forced an unhealthy codependency on her partner. Things only escalated from there. The physical abuse began with a slap, and reached levels of having her car rammed, knives held to her neck and even a gun pointed at her. Ten years into their volatile relationship, Shante had lost her dad and her best friend, with the world crashing in around her, the depression became overwhelming.
The night before her birthday in 2009, the violence escalated, as she was drug around her house and beaten, she knew she had had enough. The last incident occurred the very next night, the night of her birthday party. She got home, tired and emotionally exhausted, and her boyfriend was unwilling to accept rejection that night. As he held a gun to her head, Shante knew that this incident was supposed to take her life, but she was still here. She refused to live in fear any longer.
The next day she and her friend went to the police station and filed a restraining order against him and she never looked back. She was no longer controlled by him, she was no longer fearful of the consequences; if he didn’t take her life that night, she was still here for a reason. No one knew about Shante’s story as it was unfolding, but she refused to remain silent any longer.
She took a year to discover herself again. She spent time in prayer, self-discovery, and soul searching. She started seeing a psychiatrist and began building her faith through her local church. As she felt stronger, she decided to begin volunteering. She felt full of life and wanted to give back. Shante knew she had been called to public speaking, she never dreamed it would be in the domestic violence arena. Shante has since gone through training with the Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau.
Realizing how many others are affected by domestic violence has motivated Shante to share her story and encourage other survivors. In 2011, Shante wrote a book called, “Broken Butterfly.” In her book she told her story and how she overcame the abuse. She sees her purpose now is to be an encouragement to others. As an empowerment life coach, Shante has created an initiative to photograph other survivors, putting a face with the stories, showing that these are lives, not just statistics. Shante’s desire is to remind survivors of what gives them hope, and that they are not just a number. Shante lives by the words, “I am more than enough.” And her mission is to help other survivors of domestic violence, realize that they are too.
Sunday Survivor Series is a bi-weekly blog series highlighting survivors of domestic violence and their success after abuse.