ST. LOUIS – Friday’s St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting began just like it has thousands of times before, but within minutes, the gathering took a decidedly different direction.
Advocates against domestic violence gathered at the meeting and listened as Resolution No. 120 was read. Sponsored by 6th Ward Alderwoman Daniela Velazquez, the resolution formally recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month in St. Louis.
Velazquez invited Mary Ann Owens, Executive Director of the Women’s Safe House, to address the board.
“I want everyone in St. Louis to know there is help for women,” said Owens. “So many women do not know where to go or what to do. Spread the word. We’re here to help them with all the services they need.”
What followed was an emotional and courageous conversation on domestic abuse involving board members who had experienced it firsthand.
“I never told my family. I never told anybody that I was being abused. That was a secret I kept for so long. I want people to understand, this is nothing to joke about,” said 13th Ward Alderwoman Pamela Boyd.
“As many of you know, I’m also one of the one in four people who is a survivor of domestic violence,” said Board President Megan Green.
Green explained how confiding in a friend helped her take steps to get out of an abusive relationship.
“I want people to know that abuse can happen to anyone. It’s not a failing on your part,” said Green.
Following the board meeting, FOX 2 spoke with Green about the importance of sharing her story and the board fully supporting the Domestic Violence Awareness Month resolution.
“I think I’ve prided myself as a leader who uses my personal experiences to be able to break down walls and break down stigmas. That’s what I sought to do today,” said Green.
On a Friday that featured a full agenda of city business. City leaders made domestic violence awareness their business, a call to action, and a challenge to advocate long after October ends.