Dee Dee is passionate about following Jesus to help others.
1 in 3 girls will be in an emotionally, verbally or physically abusive relationship between the ages of 16-24.
Twenty-nine percent of girls who have been in a relationship said they’ve been pressured to have sex or to engage in sexual activity when they didn’t want to do so.
I was one of those girls.
From the age of 16 - 19, I was in an abusive dating relationship - verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually. Thankfully I eventually found the strength and courage to break free from the relationship, but I was held captive by the pain, hurt, anger, isolation, fear, shame, and guilt of that experience well into adulthood.
It was only after fully accepting God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness that I finally healed. As I healed, I felt him lead me to write a book about my experience to help others recognize the signs, understand abusive relationships and hopefully save someone else from enduring one. As I researched for the book, I discovered our children are at risk of succumbing to various risky behaviors, including drinking, drugs, sexual activity, eating disorders, and unhealthy or abusive dating relationships.
As I learned more, I felt God lead me to start a prevention program to protect youth from all risky behaviors but wasn't sure how. God showed me the way, and for seven years, several volunteers and I ran a non-profit organization, Positively Impacting Communities, volunteering with youth, mentoring and engaging them to learn about healthy character traits, and to be aware of risks associated with what many deem “normal” teenage activity. We also created opportunities for teens to help youth and families in their community. It was an honor to watch God at work in the faces of these youth, the students, and the families they touch. I was constantly in awe.
God continued to pull at my heart to share my teenage experience with a wider audience in order to help others avoid or identify unhealthy or abusive relationships, seek and build healthy, positive relationships, and, if in an abusive relationship, have the tools to leave and heal from it. In addition to the book, Dee Dee shares her story at churches, schools, and organizations to help parents, teachers, youth directors, and any adult who can help a child recognize the warning signs and learn how they can help.
Dee Dee treasures spending time with her kids, family, and friends. In her free time, she enjoys running along the San Antonio Riverwalk, cycling, and hiking.
Dee Dee is available for speaking at schools, churches and other organizations to help raise awareness and protect our youth.
"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25