Tuesday, November 29, 2022

This domestic violence survivor is using her experience to help others

Onicka Daniel, a domestic violence survivor and author of the Holiday Boys (left) and Elizabeth Jones, founder and CEO of See the Light Be the Light and Out of the Ash. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Elizabeth Jones)
Onicka Daniel, a domestic violence survivor and author of the Holiday Boys (left) and Elizabeth Jones, founder and CEO of See the Light Be the Light and Out of the Ash. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Elizabeth Jones)

Elizabeth Jones was in a domestic violence situation for eight years before she left Southern Illinois and moved to Hampton Roads in 2000.

She now helps provide emotional support to other survivors of domestic violence as the founder and CEO of two nonprofits: See the Light Be the Light for adults and Out of the Ash for children.

Both nonprofits also refer people to other resources in the area for shelter and materials such as Transitions Family Violence Services in Hampton and Girls Recognizing Our Worth.

Jones founded See the Light Be the Light in Jan 2019 and last year hosted several domestic violence awareness events, including a purse drive to fill handbags with feminine products and a seminar with an exercise showing the layers and weight of domestic violence by draping blankets over the victim’s head.

The point of the exercise was to show the layers of domestic violence and the weight on a victim's head. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Elizabeth Jones)
The point of the exercise was to show the layers of domestic violence and the weight on a victim’s head. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Elizabeth Jones)

Jones founded Out of the Ash in January of this year after her daughter, Ashley, came up with the idea to provide services to children.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

“Nobody ever asks about them,” she said. “They assume if the mom is fine, the kids are fine.”

Jones plans to hand out literature to parents at the nonprofit’s first introductory event, Out of the Ash Kid’s Carnival on March 14.

Future plans for the nonprofit include working with schools and the foster care system to teach children about positive and negative relationships and having an after-school program where children can learn about healthy relationships and get support from other children who have experienced domestic violence.

RELATED STORY: Chances are you know someone who’s in an abusive relationship. There’s help out there

While Jones is not a licensed counselor, she said she feels it’s easier for survivors to talk with other survivors and work one-on-one with them offering emotional support and providing literature — mostly in Hampton and Newport News.

Most of the people she helps are college students.

Jones is a lead business instructor at Centura College and meets with some survivors in her office, where she can give them a hug and listen, and when they are ready for help, refer them to other resources.

She wants the community to come together to understand the signs of domestic violence and stop the cycle of generational violence since those who witness domestic violence can become the abuser or end up in another abusive relationship.

“You can look at any newspaper any day and a woman has died in domestic violence,” Jones said. “It touches almost every area in the community where they can can be touched and it’s sad and women are dying.”

If you or someone you know is a victim or domestic violence or would like to volunteer, call Jones at 757-342-7468.

Other local resources available on the Peninsula are the Transitions Family Services Center Center 24/7 hotline at 757-727-7774 or the Avalon Center 24/7 hotline at 757-258-5051.

If you are not comfortable calling local resources, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline number at 800-799-7233.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

Related Articles

MORE FROM AUTHOR