One of this month’s awareness themes is to ‘Rebuild Your Life’. The idea is very important in the scope of Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) awareness. It is never too late to learn about CDV and discover what it means to you personally. It DID define your life and what you thought of yourself in negative ways, but you CAN rebuild your life into the one that you are meant to have. CDV robs you of your potential by rewiring your brain to have a false belief system.
However, learning what CDV is, sharing your awareness with others that have experienced it too, is a healing path forward. Writing or taking a video of your story is something that empowers not only you, but opens the eyes and minds of others looking for answers. Did CDV impact them too? What can they do about it? These are answers that come from the sharing process. It can indeed be cathartic for those that share in your story. Read one remarkable woman’s CDV story and her path to empowerment through knowledge and a path to healing:

My CDV Story

My name is Rylie Fitzpatrick and this is my Childhood Domestic Violence story.

My mom’s abuser came into our lives when I was in fifth grade. At that time, my mom decided to get remarried to a guy who I thought was amazing, or at least at that time I did. He made everything we did so much fun and exciting, and at one point I wished he was my actual dad. (Tragically, my biological dad has not been consistently active in my life.)

However, that all changed, leading up to March of my tenth grade year, when my mom and stepdad got divorced after years of repeated struggles and mistreatment. My mom tried her hardest to hide it, she really did, and she didn’t want us to be around my step dad when he was “not himself”. For example, he would scream, spit, yell, punch, throw stuff, or threaten my mom. Growing up in this environment, I kind of thought this was normal behavior, but in the back of mind I knew how my papa treated my nana, and realized that what my step dad did was never acceptable.

As a young adult now, I researched and found out that all the lasting effects, such as constant anxiety I feel when talking to people or meeting someone new, or the depressive episodes I’ll encounter when I least expect, stem from my experiences as a child. When I found out it had a name and was called “Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV)”, I finally understood that I wasn’t alone. Now I know that I don’t have to fight this without help anymore, which in turn has provided me with instant relief.

Rebuilding your life & sharing your CDV story to have a voice

Though my experience came with its struggles growing up in that household, it did make me stronger emotionally and physically. Learning about CDV has shown me to never let someone walk all over me and to stand up for myself. 

It also helped me realize that I want to help adults and children that may be going through the same experiences. My goal is to bring awareness to others and make sure they’re safe, but most importantly, that they know they have a voice.
My life now is peaceful and full of opportunities that my mom has helped me achieve, like being able to speak up for myself, going to college, being crowned as Miss Georgia Coast this year, and being able to compete for the title of Miss Georgia, where I had the opportunity to share my Childhood Domestic Violence platform, #SilentHeros.

Lastly, I want everyone to know that you can rise above the hardships, and it’s okay to ask for help. Hold your head high, and don’t be afraid to tell your story.


Rebuild your life and take the first step!  Share your story at and make your voice heard and inspire others to do the same!