Written by Denise Miller, Firesteel Advocacy Coordinator
In the Academy Award-winning documentary “Inocente,” the featured artist talks about growing up with a physically abusive father. His extreme violence toward her when she was just six years old led to his deportation from the United States. Without his financial support, Inocente, her mother and brothers wound up homeless.
What many people don’t know is that Inocente Izucar has also experienced domestic violence at the hands of a boyfriend. Sadly, she was caught in a cycle of violence that afflicts many survivors of domestic violence. Research shows that, as a victim of child abuse and as a witness to domestic violence, Inocente was very vulnerable to becoming a victim of teen dating violence.
In this video, Inocente shares how she got past that relationship, and encourages others to break the silence about domestic violence.
When she confided in caring adults, Inocente was connected with resources that helped her end the relationship and break the cycle of violence. Now, at age 19, she is a successful artist. She is currently touring the country, sharing her story and advocating on behalf of homeless youth and families.
I met Inocente before a screening of the documentary and panel discussion at the Seattle Art Museum last month. (See photos from event co-presenter Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness here.) She talked openly about her family situation, the healing power of art, and her advocacy efforts.
When I invited Inocente to record a video message for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, she immediately agreed. She told me she found it sad that many people don’t understand the complex factors that cause homelessness, including domestic violence. She wanted to send a postive message of hope to the millions of people who are affected by this type of violence.
One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. When they seek help, they most often go to friends and family first. Would you know what to do if a loved one came to you?
Calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) is a good way to start. Their staff can provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to support agencies.
Find Out More
- Stay tuned to Firesteel all month for videos and blog posts about domestic violence.
- Read a previous Firesteel post about Inocente, and watch the documentary.
- Explore PurplePurse.com, a website designed to help people talk about domestic violence and financial abuse. When you register your virtual purse by entering the code 01286, Allstate will donate $5 to YWCA domestic violence programs.