Beka Marin wrote -I know and understand firsthand, the effects that domestic violence can cause. In the aftermath, the importance of resources, community, and support from friends and family, is invaluable. Rather than talk about my assault or the injuries I sustained, I would prefer to spend a moment recognizing the people that were instrumental in my recovery. First, to Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania. This was a group of strangers that became my voice, my encouragement, and the friendly faces that I needed to take the initial steps in securing my safety. This organization is a gift and I am eternally grateful for their assistance. I am also lucky enough to have an incredible support system that surrounds me and I wouldn’t be where I am without this group of family and friends. To my sister, who comforted me from the moment it happened, as only a big sister ever could. To my mom, for inspiring me to keep moving forward with dignity and strength, each and every day. To my Heather, for her daily check in's, her unwavering support, and her ability to be the most amazing and encouraging friend. To Val, Kathleen, Emmi, Nonnie, my family, and all of my coworkers who simply had compassion and concern for my situation. These people allowed me to adapt to the normalcy I so desperately needed. To Trent and Scott, for helping me to find my courage and strength, (both physically and mentally), while providing me with a safe place to retreat, revive, and relearn who I am. To my son, Jordan, who makes me proud every day and who will always have the ability to find my happiness...even in the darkest times. And to Brian, who teaches me every day that men can be respectful and honorable and that love is a gift and a partnership that is cherished, full of laughter, and does not hurt. Inevitably, those that I have known forever, and those that I have met along the way, are the people that have helped me transition from feeling as though I was a victim of domestic violence, to feeling as though I am a survivor of domestic violence. So lastly, I am thankful for me...for my life, my strength, and for having the courage to find my voice. Please help me to raise awareness and take the pledge to say ‘No More’. I will be walking with my team, a day before my 39th birthday, and there is no better way to celebrate the day that I was born, then to celebrate the day that I survived. I would appreciate any assistance in reaching my ambitious goal of raising $2,000 for a charity that helped change my circumstances with their resources and support...the organization that was the first step in "taking back my life".