SENECA FALLS, N.Y., Nov. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- For the next year, Meljourne Women will continue to shine a light on domestic violence by celebrating survivors in a unique, nationwide campaign called #CouragePersonified. Amy Ballon (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and Cortina Jackson (McKinney, Texas) – two women who bravely turned traumatic abuse into passionate advocacy missions – are the first survivors to be featured. Through the campaign's Meljourne It 360 story-sharing platform, Ballon and Jackson will connect with other victims around the country in a variety of meaningful ways and assist in drafting legislation inspired by their personal experiences requiring new accountability measures for organizations and individuals who violate their duty to protect victims.
"Amy and Cortina are quintessential Meljourne Women," says Founder, Melissa Matthews. "By honoring them and sharing their courageous stories, we are able to show other victims that it is possible to break free from abusive relationships, overcome the trauma, and turn the pain into purpose."
The real-life stories of Ballon and Jackson are as heart-breaking as they are inspiring. In October 2014, Ballon was ambushed by her soon-to-be-ex-husband; framed by him as the attacker; and wrongly arrested and charged under a state law enacted to protect domestic violence victims. After finally having the charges dropped and her record expunged, Ballon was then re-victimized by an employee of a local domestic violence organization. Yet, instead of succumbing to these horrific tragedies, Ballon chose to use her experiences to help others. In addition to her popular "Raising Awareness for the Innocent" group on Facebook and her recently published book, "Fabulous to Framed", she is also an advocate for the Florida Innocence Project. "If I can teach victims how to be fearless in using their voices to advocate for themselves, I will have made a difference," says Ballon.
Similarly, Jackson has also persevered through multiple, life-changing adversities. She was molested at the age of seven by an older cousin; raped by a man she met at Church; mistreated by her first husband; and nearly killed by her second husband – now a former police officer. She has sustained intense physical, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse. The physical abuse she suffered was especially brutal as she has been beaten with metal bars, phones – even a metal dog crate. Thanks to the action plan she had safely and quietly implemented, Jackson was able to escape her life of violence. Since then, she has turned those years of mayhem into meaningful life messages. Her book, "On Earth As It Is In Hell", is a fictional story inspired by her journey. She also uses multimedia to share her experiences. "For me, domestic violence was very isolating," states Jackson. "I hope that by sharing my story other victims will realize they are not alone and that there is a way out."
"With our Meljourne It 360 platform sharing the stories of our #CouragePersonified survivors through multimedia, a new federal bill, story-inspired products, and related charities, we are able to reach multiple audiences and demographics," explains Matthews. "The more people we can reach, the more lives we can impact."
If you are a survivor of domestic violence who would like to join the #CouragePersonified campaign, please visit www.meljourne.com.
"Fabulous to Framed" (Amy Ballon) and "On Earth As It Is In Hell" (Cortina Jackson) can be purchased at www.meljourne.com/store. *10% of every sale is donated to charity.
SOURCE Meljourne Women