Celebrating Women Who Have Reclaimed Their Lives After Abuse

An Evening of Thriver Spirit & Song, a multi-media event will take place on Saturday, May 5, 2012, presented by the Connecticut Alliance for Victims of Violence and Their Families (CT-ALIVE), a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower victims and their families to heal after experiencing the trauma of abuse.

“This is an enlightening, empowering evening about changing women’s lives that celebrates a growing community of women who are thriving, not merely surviving, after abuse,” says Katie Marinan Marino of West Hartford, President of the CT-ALIVE Board. “We hope that with live music, positive energy and uplifting success stories, this event will inspire anyone who is on a journey of self-discovery, heightened self-esteem and healing to permanently break the cycle of violence and create a new future for themselves and their children.”

The evening’s Special Guest will be actress Meredith Baxter who, while performing acclaimed roles on television including Family Ties and over fifty movies, has also faced domestic abuse, battled alcoholism and breast cancer, and started her own business while raising five children.  Meredith’s talk, entitled Breaking Family Ties: Empowering Ourselves to Overcome Domestic Violence, will be the highlight of the program for this event which is a fundraiser for CT-ALIVE’s Never Going Back to Abuse Project. This innovative project builds on the life-saving work of the domestic violence shelters and sexual assault crisis centers in the state. “While the goal of these programs is to get the women safely out of abuse,” Katie explains, “our project helps women stabilize their lives emotionally, financially and socially so that they will not return to an abusive relationship in the future.”

Susan Omilian of West Hartford, who is collaborating with CT-ALIVE to produce this event, had the idea to invite Meredith to this event. “I read Meredith’s book, Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering,” Susan recalls, “and I was amazed by the insight, wit, and frankness of the storytelling. It is an inspiring account of courage, hope, self-acceptance and happiness by a woman who has come into her own. I immediately saw Meredith as a thriver, not just a survivor of what she has experienced, and invited her to Connecticut.”

Copies of Meredith’s book Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering and The Thriver Workbook and Companion CD will be available for sale at the event.
Susan Omilian is also the award-winning originator and facilitator of My Avenging Angel WorkshopsTM that have helped hundreds of women take the journey of self-discovery and heightened self-awareness from victim to survivor to thriver. Susan’s workshops are now supported by CT-ALIVE’s Never Going Back to Abuse Project. She has also published The Thriver Workbook: Journey from Victim to Survivor to Thriver! setting forth the motivational guidance she has successfully used in her workshops. She has dedicated her work to the memory of her 19-year-old niece Maggie, killed in 1999 by her ex-boyfriend. Susan now helps other victims reclaim their lives as Maggie could not.
Producing the event with Susan is Vanessa Stevens of Waterbury, a singer/songwriter who created The Purple Song Project, offering survivors of domestic violence hope, healing & awareness through song. “Through my own original music based on my experiences as a survivor of abuse,” Vanessa says, “I hope to make the public more aware of the dynamics of domestic violence, its effects and how to break its emotionally destructive cycle.” Vanessa will be singing her songs of healing and thriving after abuse at the event, and they are also included on The Thriver Workbook Companion CD which she co-produced with Susan Omilian.
As was true in the case of Susan’s niece Maggie, “intimate partner violence” crimes are the driving force behind a consistently high number of homicides and assaults each year, and exacts a painful toll on the victims, their families and friends. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, women are most likely to be raped in college; 84% of assaulted women know their attackers; 57% of rapes occur on dates; 32% of college students are battered by an intimate partner.

The event will be held at the Mandell Jewish Community Center (JCC) at 335 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117. Advanced tickets are priced at $50 each and can be purchased on line at www.thriverspirit.eventbrite.com. Full-time student and senior citizen rates are available. A reception, included in the price of admission, will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the program will start at 7 p.m. A special half-hour “Meet-and-Greet” with Meredith will be held at 5:30 p.m. with an additional $25 donation.

For more information about the event, visit thriverspirit.com or contact Susan at 860-236-2401 or ct-alive@comcast.net. To become a business or individual sponsor of this program, visit thriverspiritsponsorships.eventbrite.com.