About HRM Storytellers

HRM Storytellers, House of Ruth Maryland’s storytelling project, equips and empowers survivors of intimate partner violence to construct and share their stories, increasing their sense of meaning, purpose, and control over their experiences while providing opportunities for personal and professional growth and skill-building.

Designed by survivors, for survivors—learn how our 8-week program can support you in your healing journey!

Special thanks to our community partners Baltimore Center Stage, Listen To Your Mother, The Stoop Storytelling Series and Toastmasters International.

Learn from HRM Storytellers

House of Ruth Maryland believes survivors of intimate partner violence have the most to teach us about how to have healthy relationships within our communities. Our storytellers are available to speak at your event or for your group or organization.

Meet the HRM Storytellers

Apostle Linda

Apostle Linda and her abuser were very involved in her faith community, and her story “The Girl in the Box” speaks to how this influenced her decision-making while trying to escape abuse. Additionally, she describes how the other traumas she suffered growing up affected her. Apostle Linda is interested in speaking on domestic violence in the context of intimate partner violence and teen dating violence.

Bernadette C.

Bernadette’s story, “Important,” is powerfully and creatively delivered in the form of a letter to her deceased mother discussing all that she has experienced and learned. She includes topics such as the impact of loved one’s suicide, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence and speaks of the counselors that helped and those that caused more harm. Bernadette is interested in speaking on forms of abuse, the scope of the problem, myths surrounding intimate partner violence, the lasting effects of trauma and the effects of trauma on children.

Bill M.

Bill’s story recalls the murder of his daughter, Kristin, by her ex-boyfriend twenty days after her college graduation. He passionately brings awareness to and educates about the dangerous consequences of abusive relationships. Bill is interested in speaking on the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, the template abusers follow, and best practices for guiding loved ones to safety. 

Colleen D.

Colleen’s story “Lessons Learned” discusses her previous abusive relationships and how they shaped her behavior. She also touches on the effects of these relationships on her other relationships and how she has found resiliency, peace, and happiness by practicing boundaries. Colleen is interested in speaking on the lasting effects of trauma symptoms from previous violence, emotional and mental abuse in relationships, and how it is possible to overcome the trauma and shame associated with intimate partner violence.

Demetri C.

Demetri’s story, “A Promise to My Cousin,” reflects on how the trauma she experienced as a young girl shaped her into a caretaker and a giver who accepted abusive behavior in her relationships. She describes how easy it was to forget she deserved better and how relationships can appear healthy even when they’re not. Demetri is interested in speaking to teenagers, young adults, and students about how even if abuse was normalized growing up , it’s wrong and also that it’s possible to expect more.

Dawn R.

Dawn’s story is about her mother and her life leading up to her murder at the hands of her abuser. She explores the many factors that impact survivors’ decision-making by recalling her memories of her mother and the series of events that took place before her death. Dawn is also interested in speaking on the dangers of cybetstalking and the mental assault inflicted when victims are monitored by their abusive partners through computer, cell phone and internet intrusion.

Lady T.

Lady T’s personal story focuses on parenting in the context of abuse and being isolated by your abuser. In addition, she discusses the experiences of being the family member of a victim killed by her abuser. Lady T is interested in speaking on the dynamics of intimate partner violence, navigating the legal system, and raising children after intimate partner violence.

Norwood “Woody” J.

Woody’s story, “My Survival,” demonstrates intimate partner violence impacting men is common but rarely recognized, exposed, or addressed. Although physically stronger than his female abuser, Woody uses a combination of storytelling and poetry to recount how his faith and healthy masculinity guided his decision to seek help. Woody is interested in speaking on the dynamics of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and police responses to male and female victims and hopes to remind survivors of their worth, while encouraging the general public to be vital partners in combatting abuse.

Minimalist portraits by HRM Storytellers volunteer, Abi Lightner. Contact @abi_lightner_art on Instagram for commissions.