Not Safe for Work
When I was in 7th grade, I made mostly D’s and F’s on my report card. I am certain that the teachers referred to me as a troubled child. I could be seen on any given day with my feet up on the desk, popping gum and talking back very disrespectfully to the staff. I attended a school named Howard Bishop. And at the time, the school’s reputation was on the mend from many unfortunate mishaps due to an increase in gang activity and so called turf wars.
One could assume that I was just like every other kid at the school. One major difference was that my mother worked at the school. Most could not understand how my behavior was justified. I was not a product of my environment.
My mother was a leader in the community, degreed and a true professional. From the outside looking in, we were a middle class single parent family working hard to achieve.
What many didn’t know was that at home, we lived in hell. We were not safe. My mother was not safe for work, public outings or anything else for that matter. When domestic violence is present in a home, no one is safe.
After dedicating her entire life to care for me, my mother discovered love. Or so we thought it was love. She eventually married a man that turned our world upside down. He violently attacked my mother on several occasions and I witnessed the aftermath. And although I write words for a living, I am still left speechless when it comes to expressing those moments of witnessing my hero and the only person in the entire world that I could count on experience powerlessness.
Powerlessness is crippling. It is equivalent to suffocation. I now own the truth that if I can say or do anything to inspire someone to walk in their power, I will do it.
I’ve decided to use my theatrical production The Heart of A Man to speak about this topic in a way that we don’t often discuss. I wanted to know why men hurt women? Why?
No matter how hard or how hurtful, we must find ways to open the floodgates for these critical discussions. Our lives depend on it.
A moving clip was created for the show that gives a peek into a character that I created named “Charles” portrayed by cast member Clifford L. Harris. Charles candidly speaks about his rage and engagement in domestic violence from a man’s point of view but in language that women can understand.
I felt beyond moved to write this character into the play because we can’t afford not to discuss it. Statistics show that every day 3 women are killed due to domestic violence.
My wheels are turning as to how I can do more to be impactful and take a stand but I will start with speaking out and creating awareness through The Heart of A Man.
We take a simple act like going to work for granted but when violence prevails, victims are not even safe for work. Not one of us deserves to feel powerless. Together, we don’t have to. All my love. ❤️
Ardre Orie, Writer|Film Director|Advocate
Checkout a sneak peak of character “Charles”:
WARNING: Clip contains strong language.
VC: Raimon Norris
Purchase Tickets for The Heart of A Man