La Sena’s story

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 

 

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

– Malala Yousafzai

The tears streamed down her face as she shared the horrors she lived through. La Sena Elrod pushed through the pain, though, determined to share her story on Misty Chaviers’ “I’m a Survivor” podcast.

She was 18 when she left home, got married six weeks later, and discovered she was pregnant three weeks after that. Within two weeks, the abuse started.

“I thought everything would be fine,” she said.

Everything wasn’t fine and her nightmare had just begun. She endured 14 years of unfathomable abuse.

“I knew I had to get out,” she said. “I got on a plane with five pairs of clothes and $50. I just knew I had to get back to Alabama and away from Arkansas.”

But La Sena remained silent for many years, the pain still real and living in a world where the victim is often questioned as much as the abuser.

La Sena Elrod is a survivor of domestic abuse.

La Sena Elrod is a survivor of domestic abuse.

“Victims don’t talk because they’re afraid,” she said. “I didn’t know who to trust, and I didn’t know where to turn. It’s hard to believe that even today it is a taboo subject for us to speak out about. But if speaking out helps one person to get out, it’s worth it.

“We as victims need to speak out so we can help ourselves heal. There has got to be more help for domestic violence victims. The situations don’t get better. Abusers don’t calm down; they get worse. You can’t put a number on how many women are going through this. One victim is too many.”

Through La Sena’s journey of healing, she crossed paths with Misty Chaviers, a licensed domestic violence advocate.

“This wonderful lady, Misty Chaviers, is a true advocate for victims of abuse and their children, helping them to try and come to terms with what happened to them. She puts herself out there to be a voice for victims. She is there for all of us morning, noon, or night. And she is a friend.”

Misty Chaviers, Jamie Clowdus, and La Sena Elrod are more than statistics. They are daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors. They are fierce, compassionate, passionate, strong, determined, brave… They are survivors. They are a voice for the voiceless and a light for victims. And they are my heroes.