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 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. Suggested audiences include human services professionals, law enforcement agencies, legal advocates, government officials, HR professionals, educators, and faith leaders.​

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.

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.

Dannie Dee

Dannie Dee’s story “On the Line” transports the audience back in time to when she experienced relationship violence during college. Using visual aids and dramatic techniques, she recreates her experience as a working single parent desperately pursuing post-secondary education. Dannie is interested in speaking on the negative impact intimate partner violence has on school and workplace environments.  

​Dawn R.

Dawn’s story “Motherless Daughter” 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 cyberstalking and the mental assault inflicted when victims are monitored by their abusive partners through computer, cell phone and internet intrusion.

Erica C.

Erica’s story “My Nostalgia Series” recounts all she loved and lost to domestic violence. Using the imagery of three treasured earrings lost at the hands of her abusive partner over three separate months, she makes a compelling case for needed change to the laws and statutes that govern cases involving relationship violence. Erica is interested in speaking on the effects of intimate partner violence to attorneys, judges, and government officials.  

​Esther V.

Esther’s story “Where is My Prince?” recalls the sexual assault and abuse she experienced since childhood and the violence she escaped throughout her life. Specifically, she shares how she survived domestic violence and the peace and security she experienced when she was able to safely move into her own space. Esther is interested in speaking about the various ways friends, family, coworkers, the authorities, and other community members can support victims and survivors.

​Kristin C. 

Kristin’s story describes the last time she was physically assaulted and how this experience shifted the trajectory of her thinking and ignited the courage necessary for her to reclaim her life. Kristin is interested in speaking about tools and techniques that can be used to heal from the emotional and psychological effects of intimate partner violence as well as other traumatic events.

​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.

Miriam “Tiana” D.

Tiana’s story “La Hora de Verdad” (colloquially “When the Penny Drops”) shares how she rediscovered her strengths while confronting the shadows of her past. She also touches on strategies to avoid entanglement. Tiana is interested in speaking to mental health professionals and those who work in criminal justice.  

​Ms. Shanay 

Ms. Shanay’s story “Layers” peels off the physical and emotional abuse she experienced while trying to nurture her family, escape, and survive. Specifically, she focuses on how to recognize when words and actions are not acts of love but abuse. Ms. Shanay is interested in speaking about the warning signs of intimate partner violence as well as the resources available for those looking for a safe place to flee.   

Nikki S.

Nikki’s story “She Survived a .45” discusses the near lethal gun violence she experienced from the man who claimed to love her. The last words she remembers him saying to her are, “If I can’t have you, nobody else can.” Nikki is interested in speaking on the unseen bruises of mental abuse.   

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.

Terry H.

Terry’s story reveals the hidden shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the lockdowns, isolation, and tensions, she describes how her home was not a safe zone but a nightmare where she was trapped with her abusive partner and struggled to know where to turn for help. Terry is interested in dispelling the myths and stigmas surrounding intimate partner violence while sharing about self-care and recovery strategies to heal the mind, body, and spirit.

Tory “Queen Survivor” B.

Tory’s story “I’m Still Beautiful” powerfully illustrates how despite all the trauma and hurt she’s been through, she’s reclaimed freedom, happiness, and joy as she’s learned to honor her inner spirit. She is on a mission to devour the generational curse of “what happens in this house stays in this house” and to educate on how the prison of abuse can start at home with grooming from a young age. Tory is interested in speaking to young people about how their feelings, dreams, and voices are valid and matter and about their ownership over their bodies and also to the adults in their lives about the difference their loving acceptance and support can make. 

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