In a world where the shadows of domestic violence often remain hidden from public view, how often do we pause to consider the silent battles being fought behind closed doors? Alarming statistics speak volumes: one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. The silence surrounding this issue begs the question: Can one woman’s experiences and determination break the cycle of domestic abuse?
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith or class. Victims of domestic abuse may also include a child or other relative, or any other household member. Domestic abuse can be mental, physical, economic or sexual in nature.United Nations- Domestic Violence
We reached out to Chantelle Morrison, a woman who refused to stay silent and faced her own struggles. Her courage to reclaim her life and rewrite her story, despite all challenges she experienced, led her to establish Silent Rights—a movement of resilience, empathy, and unwavering determination for survivors of domestic abuse . ” We fight against Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Violence. We’re about bringing women from all walks of life together, to support each other, to help each other, and to stand together united in the fight against Women Abuse.”
As we witness Chantelle’s fight from victimhood to leading a great cause, we’re presented with a narrative that not only inspires but also educates, creating awareness against the insidious nature of domestic violence and the steps we can take to alleviate it. The statistics show a disturbing reality, but it’s stories like Chantelle’s that breathe life into reversing the numbers. When we hear about the struggles, the challenges, and the victories of domestic violence survivors, what is happening behind close doors can no longer be a private matter.
Empowering Lives Through Resilience: Chantelle Morrison’s Journey with Silent Rights
In a world often rife with silence and stigma surrounding domestic abuse, Chantelle Morrison chose a different path. In 2020, she founded Silent Rights, a safe space of hope for countless women who have experienced the trauma of domestic violence. Chantelle’s journey from victim to advocate is marked by a fierce determination to transform her pain and anger into tangible change.
“I felt angry, I was angry no one was taking me seriously,” Chantelle confides. She describes her frustration at the lack of support from law enforcement and the exorbitant legal fees she faced in her battle against domestic abuse.
“I was angry that I was in this situation, I did not ask for any of this to happen to me,” she adds.
Instead of allowing this anger to drag her into victimhood, Chantelle chose to channel it into creating Silent Rights—a platform aimed at educating women about their rights, holding abusers accountable, and rebuilding their lives.
Chantelle’s journey was a very lonely experience, fraught with fear and confusion. “I was absolutely terrified,” she admits, recounting her constant worry about her abuser’s actions and presence. The suffocating grip of fear ultimately gave way to a powerful determination not to let her abuser end her hope for a decent life. “I could not let him win,” she affirms. This fiery resolve served as the impetus to break free from the confines of fear and speak out against the darkness that had held her captive.
Navigating to New Shores of Hope
With everything working against her, Chantelle went exploring the legal system and contacting social services with her story. “I started researching the Domestic Violence Act, the Child Protection Act. I created a list of services I wanted to offer, then for each category I would research providers within that category and I emailed all of them my story and why I started Silent Rights and urged them to help me help more women.
We have witnessed women who came to us feeling broken and hopeless to becoming one of our volunteers who help women who reach out to us. The impact has been profound. We have grown with them.” she shares, detailing her relentless pursuit of understanding the mechanisms that were meant to protect her. Navigating through the bureaucracy of different departments, she armed herself with information and tirelessly pursued the answers she sought.
Chantelle’s battle wasn’t solely against the system—it was against financial barriers that obstructed her path to healing. “I was a working woman, I was a Branch Manager of a company and was earning a good salary, I was a single mom, I had money, I had income, I just did not have money for this. I have never really understood or been in a position where I was treated a certain way because I could not “afford” something. It was such a disheartening realisation to experience this, and that got me thinking about how many women are in that exact situation, where they feel helpless and hopeless because they do not have money.
I knew my main focus had to be on getting these services for women for free. It really fuelled the motive behind Silent Rights.” she reveals, highlighting the heart-wrenching realization that many women face similar constraints. This realization drove her determination to make crucial support services accessible to all, without the burden of financial strain.
Forging Transformative Partnerships with Empathy as a Foundation
Silent Rights’ impact extends beyond Chantelle’s personal journey. Through partnerships with various organizations, the platform offers free counselling, legal guidance, self-defence, and life coaching. “We have witnessed women who came to us feeling broken and hopeless to becoming one of our volunteers who help women who reach out to us,” she proudly states. The power of collective support has transformed Silent Rights into a haven for healing and growth.
Chantelle’s journey also led her to become a certified life coach, a path she undertook to better equip herself in aiding fellow survivors. “The Life Coaching courses I did helped me understand how to handle victims and their emotions,” she explains. Her training arms her with the tools needed to respond to victims with empathy, guiding them through their emotions and fostering a safe space for recovery.
Chantelle’s vision extends to Silent Rights’ blog, a space that echoes her own journey of recovery. “Many women do not want to reach out for help for fear of being judged or shamed,” she acknowledges. The blog serves as a resource hub, offering information and guidance to those who aren’t yet ready to share their experiences openly.
“Researching and reading blogs was the start of my recovery journey, I was not yet able to talk about it, I felt I would be judged or shamed if I opened up to people about it. So my journey started with reading blogs and getting information and through that I built up strength.”
Ultimately, Chantelle’s vision for Silent Rights is clear: to provide women with the information and resources they need to rebuild their lives.
As the driving force behind Silent Rights, Chantelle is expanding the reach to further support women not just in South Africa, but on a global scale “with information and resources. At the end of the day that is what we all need, information and resources so that we can rebuild our lives, break generational curses, and become the best versions of ourselves, not just for ourselves, but for our children!” she asserts, passionately advocating for the possibility of a brighter future.
Through Silent Rights, Chantelle seeks to instil hope, offer guidance, and inspire women to embrace life once more—because, as she believes, it’s a life worth living. “There is a beautiful life after abuse, this life is worth living. I hope through Silent Rights I can show women that, give them hope, give them guidance, give them another chance to experience life, because it really is worth living.”
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