Domestic violence survivor advocates for other women facing abuse

CHARLOTTE — A domestic violence survivor is making it her mission to help other women facing abuse -- especially single mothers.

As a child, Valerie Simon said her mother was her first abuser. Then, her ex-husband.

“I’ve experienced physical mental, emotional, financial,” she said.

“I’ve had it on all levels and that’s what makes me passionate about what I do and the individuals I serve in the domestic violence community,” Simon said.

Simon said it wasn’t until she sought counseling that she found healing -- not just for herself, but for her four boys who lived through the abuse at home. And later, she mourned the death of their father. Simon said he was murdered in another domestic violence situation.

“We have to forgive those who have done some very ugly things to us in order for us to heal,” Simon said. “Forgiveness is not for that person, forgiveness is for you.”

It’s this type of advice Simon hopes to give on Saturday. She’s speaking at a single mother’s conference called “I Survived the Crash.”

>> In the video at the top of the page, Simon told Channel 9′s Gina Esposito she wants to provide women with the tools not only to survive, but to thrive.

Saturday’s event is happening at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church – the Michael Harding Center, at 255 Logan Avenue Southwest, Concord 28025.

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