Jessica is a domestic violence survivor on a mission
By the time I was in high school, I was exhausted from chasing my dad’s love, acknowledgement, and acceptance—a lifetime of dead ends. I was so consumed with him that even though my mom was right alongside me at every step, I remember almost nothing about her. When the person who I thought would become my “knight in shining armor” appeared in my English class, telling me I was beautiful, smart, witty, and a caliber of woman that was way over his head, it was scratching where I itched.
Not only had I never felt like that before, I never even considered it. When he wanted me to be his, I didn’t inch. I jumped right in. He didn’t know it, but after what I had perceived as being my truth during the first 16 years of my life, I was likely the most needy person he had ever met. I didn’t know it, but due to abuse at the hands of his father and a lifetime of watching his father beat his mother, he was likely the most psychologically and emotionally damaged person I had ever met. I was the flame. He was the gasoline. Over the next 8 years I experienced a kind of emotional, physical, and sexual violence that most of us read about in fiction. Once I finally escaped I came to realize the importance of walking away from my shame and into a life of purpose and passion surrounding the elimination of domestic violence globally.
I am now the co-founder and President of NoSilence NoViolence, Inc., a non-profit committed to providing education, training, resources, and community development in order to eliminate stigma surrounding relationship abuse and sexual assault, while creating awareness, shifting perspectives, and facilitating change around the way we talk about domestic violence, as well as addressing the needs of those affected by this epidemic. In addition, I recently published her memoir Mine Until: My journey into and out of the arms of an abuser and a workbook for therapists’ titled: Help Me, Help Her; A Therapist’s Guide to Treating Survivors of Domestic Violence. I travel the country speaking at universities, hospitals, corporations, and nonprofit organizations including but not limited to: ASU, UCSB, MIT, Utah State, CMU, UCLA, SDSU, Missouri State, Starbucks Headquarters, Chargers, Balboa Naval Hospital, Ft.Hood Military Base, IAEDP, WAAT, and multiple treatment centers sharing my commitment to ultimately inspire a movement to end abuse globally. I currently serve as the President of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council and have been featured on both television and in print as one of the leading experts surrounding this topic.