Domestic violence is something I am very familiar with, and due to the unbreakable bond between Ben and me, he is too.

Until two years ago I had never said this publicly and only a small group of extraordinarily close friends (including our friend Mitchell Olson, above) knew, that- - I am a survivor of domestic violence.

The particulars I will keep to myself. But suffice it to say that after years of being treated for what is referred to as long-term depression, I arrived at a breaking point. Why PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) reared its ugly head then, I don't know.

Vivid visions and remembrances of violence from my youth would come to me suddenly and graphically while I was at work, driving, shopping, socializing, or simply at home. That, combined with the stresses and anxieties of my current world, pushed me to consider suicide, again.

I followed in the footsteps of my younger sister, who had gone through the same nightmare earlier in her life and I finally sought out help.

Hope. It can be that fleeting light at the end of a tunnel, but it is what keeps us moving forward.

Children's Home Shelter for Family Safety has been offering hope to survivors of domestic violence here in Sioux Falls since 1977. Ben, Mitchell, and I are proud to be supporters of their work and vision.

We ask that you become a supporter of Children's Inn by donating to the Drive Out Domestic Violence Campaign. You can also purchase t-shirts like ours and many other styles along with hats at the Drive Out Domestic Violence store online.

You will find them on Facebook@CHSShelterforFamilySafetyonline at driveoutdv.comTwitter@chssdorg, and Instagram@chssdorg.

No one should live in fear of a parent or partner in their own home. No one should have a childhood like I did.

I wish there had been a Children's Inn for me, for my mother, and for my sisters.

Learn more about how you can #DriveOutDV at Drive Out Domestic Violence.

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