Heroes of Domestic Violence Victims

Everyday Heroes Against Domestic Abuse 


The last few months have been quite hectic as I've jumped head first into this campaign against domestic violence. I've been very focused on raising awareness about the severity of this silent crime in addition to raising funds for victims.  Not a day goes by where someone doesn't reach out to me, posting a tragic story on my wall or sending me a personal message sharing their own battle.  I always feel their pain and offer personal insight from my own experience along with various resources.

Through all of this, I have hoped to inspire others to reach out to victims and get involved, letting victims know they are not alone.  If people only come away with one message from my campaign, I hope they know we can all be Everyday Heroes, it doesn't take superpowers. Whether you reach out to the neighbor who has been verbally abused, give funds, or become an advocate to victims - you are doing heroic deeds and making a difference in someone's life! One woman emailed me and told me that she had been inspired to become her own hero :) She finally had the strength and courage so she quietly packed her bags in the middle of the night, escaping years of abuse!

I'd like to honor a few heroes in the next few blogs, people who have demonstrated heroic deeds and that I am personally grateful for. The first is an officer of the law that is no longer with us:

Captain Ralph Braden

Captain Ralph Braden lost his life aiding a victim of domestic violence. He responded to a domestic disturbance and was attacked from behind by the suspect, sustaining critical injuries. Captain Braden was in a coma fighting for his life nine days following this attack. On May 2, 2011 he passed away leaving behind a wife and two sons.  Michael Braden, his son, tells me that his dad had to drop out of school at a young age to support his mother and seven siblings after his own dad died. He worked hard in the coal mines to provide for his family. He had always wanted to be a cop, having a strong desire in his heart to protect other people.  He began to volunteer as a volunteer officer and eventually moved into a full time position. The City of Wartburg Police Department was honored with his service for 22 long years. 

"Dad always had a burning desire to help people. It was something in his blood, I can't describe the commitment he had to do his job or the zeal he showed in his endeavors to serve and protect his community." Michael Braden, says remembering his father Captain Braden.

Police officers take an oath to serve and protect in their communities. Captain Braden wasn't just doing his job the day he responded to a call to help a victim of domestic violence. He was following the calling in his heart.  As a survivor of abuse, I am grateful for him and other officers who risk their lives everyday.  The city of Wartburg has a monument up in honor of the Captain and to remember him by. I honor Captain Braden's service in his community, his commitment to his family, and the ultimate sacrifice he made in the line of duty. A true blue example of a hero following the burning desire to put others before himself.




Oh...My...garsh i,m gonna cry

Yes, I cried when I first heard his story too. But its one I can not forget and I feel others need to know about. btw I have an update to post! Braden’s name will join more than 19,500 others carved into granite walls at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Judiciary Square!

My ex partner and mother of our seven year old fabricated a history of child abuse and domestic violence. I wasn't charged and as relieved as I am that common sense prevailed, I can't help thinking how unfair our system is that it allows women to completely belittle those who have actually experienced DV.

Preston, I feel your exact same frustration. It is a shame that some file false DV reports and take the attention and effort away from those who have truly suffered abuse. A big part of my focus in raising awareness is to educate people about the severity of real abuse and not filing false claims as it only hurts the innocent.

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