SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, recognizing the one out of four women, and one out of seven men who fall victim to abuse. Local comedian and survivor Tonja Roberson found comfort in the novel, “I’m Not Stupid, I Just…Chronicles from an abusive relationship,” by Isabella, a Shreveport woman.
“It makes you smile to know that a home-grown person from Shreveport decided, hey, let me put this in writing so that other people can know,” said Tonja Roberson. “As a survivor, I can tell you, after reading this young lady’s book, it’s just like, Oh, my God! It made me realize, you know, I’m not the only one going through this.”
Roberson’s comedy career was formed out of her own trauma with domestic violence. Now, she’s a comedian with a cause, using her platform to advocate for victims.
“I just want us to know that domestic abuse… it’s a broad spectrum, it comes with black eyes, it comes with an empty bank account, it comes with being raped by somebody who says that they love you,” Roberson said. “It comes in so many forms. And it’s time for us to stand up and be a voice for those who cannot be a voice, and cannot speak for themselves.”
Louisiana ranks No. 5 in the nation when it comes to homicides that are linked to domestic violence and violent crimes against women.
“When it trickles down to the Caddo-Bossier area, there are many of those incidents that have come from our area,” said Dr. LaTienda Pierre of the Caddo-Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force.
“Now as we start to turn from the pandemic, we will see how those numbers have been impacted. We have already seen the signs that there was an increase because of the lockdown and abusers having easier access to the victims,” she said.
Roberson wants victims to know there are better days ahead, but it’s important to start a journey to self-love and independence.
“I can tell you now that I’m free, I’m living my best life,” she said. “And I do know that there is life after domestic abuse – I do know that there will someday be love after domestic abuse. So I advise them to get out, know your self-worth, and love yourself… before you ever try to love somebody else.”
The Caddo-Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force serves to help abused and battered partners. Head to their website to find support and resources if you or a loved one is in a dangerous situation.
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