TEMPLE, TX — Last year, Teach Them To Love Outreach Ministries brought together a group of domestic violence survivors and threw a ball in their honor, and this year the organization will continue those efforts.
On Wednesday, survivors shared their stories with Central Texas News Now and what the ball means to them.
Kim Dobson grew up in an abusive household.
"I grew up in Korea, and I have been witness of family violence. My father use to abuse my mother all through my childhood," said Dobson.
She always hoped she would not follow her mother's footsteps, but she shared that it is exactly what happened to her.
"I was also abused by my ex husband through the 10 years of marriage," said Dobson.
She was not the only one with a similar story.
"I never expected to live to get to be 60. I thought I'd be murdered," said Lexie Davis.
Davis is also a survivor.
"During the courtship it was nice, it was proper. But the day we got married, he said, 'you're mine now. I can whoop your butt,' and I laughed because I didn't think he meant it, but he meant it," said Davis.
Now, the two do what they can to give back to others like them and also spread awareness.
"I knew that there were many people going through family violence, but you know I felt alone a lot of time, but meeting with them was like gaining a support system immediately," said Dobson.
"And I also act like as a den mother to all the ladies for support system, and they come to me with different things they have going on," said Davis.
At last year's Shades of Purple Domestic Awareness Violence Ball, Dobson and Davis were crowned as "overcomers" and survivors of domestic violence, and this year they will crown even more.
"The gala we have coming up is a phenomenal event. It's a celebratory opportunity to bring young ladies together who have overcome maladies of domestic violence, sexual trauma, trafficking... Last year we had 12. This year of course we have a total of 20, 17 women, three males," said Lolita Gilmore, founder of Teach Them To Love Outreach Ministries.
Dobson said she looks forward to this year's event.
"I'm very honored, very grateful very excited to see the new 'overcomers,'" said Dobson.
The domestic awareness ball takes place Saturday night in Temple at the Frank W. Mayborn Civic and Conference Center.