Author Spotlight – Simone “ShePhoenix” Higginbotham

I have always wanted to do more author spotlights. When I heard about this writer and what her book was about, I knew she had to be the first author under the spotlight. I give you, Simone “She Pheonix” Higginbotham!

 

       Simone O. Higginbotham, also known as ShePhoenix, is the Owner of SheProductions, LLC, ReBirth Magazine, Cool & Casual Sunday PHAT Girl Takeover Brand and a Community Volunteer. The community activist, AmeriCorps Alumni, and a 45 year old divorced and single mother of one, is a woman with ambition to make it to the top! Raised by a single mother in a bad neighborhood, she never allowed her situation to dictate her purpose or destiny. Simone does her best to be a pillar in the community, but also realizes that she is a work in progress. She admits that she has flaws and may not be what others want her to be, but she is all that she can be and loves herself, flaws, curves, and all.

As a determined, hardworking self-starter and obviously a woman who wears many hats, she could not stop and knew what she had to do to succeed in the business industry so she began to write her vision and made it plain. She immediately began developing her own brand, SheProductions, LLC. She has made many strides and developed great relationships with other companies, a rapport with her community, and now has established colleagues that she has partnered with to not only put her company on the map, but unselfishly help theirs also.

Simone is definitely moving in the right direction and has her eye on the prize. She feels giving up is not an option and will not let anything stop her. By stepping out on faith, Simone created ReBirth Magazine, a vehicle to give a voice to the voiceless. The third Anniversary of ReBirth Magazine will be celebrated on August of this year. A few more of Simone’s greatest accomplishments are releasing her first novel Caged by Words-Something like a Memoir on April 12, 2015. The novel details the emotional, mental and verbal abuse she endured during her marriage. She is currently expanding the PHAT Girl Brand by building the movement to encourage plus-size women to be confident and comfortable in their own skin. Although PHAT Girl Brand I her newest endeavor it will include events and opportunities for the Plus-Size woman to express herself in a positive manner for herself and other women like herself.

 

The Prelude…

God will I ever be happy? Will I ever be loved? I am just so tired of the way that I am living, but what can I do? I don’t want to be alone. Oh Lord! In actuality, I am alone. He is never home hardly, just long enough to bathe and dress.

In my head if I walk away, it makes me a failure and entirely my fault. I can hear my family now; Sydney had a good husband and couldn’t keep him happy. Doesn’t she know how lucky she is that a guy that looks like Kenneth would give her a second look, let alone marry her? I can remember when we first started seeing each other. They wondered how did this fat girl get this guy to date her. I wondered the same thing myself and still do this day.

Let’s face it. I have nothing to offer any other man and it is best that I hold on to what I have. I tried everything under the sun to get this man to see my heart and who I am behind all this weight. God please help to get where I need to be for Kenneth to love me and want me the way I need him to! I am just so tired of feeling bad every day of my life.

 

ShePhoenix Links:

Website: http://sheproductions10.wixsite.com/sheproductions

Purchase: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=5GDB4MFJJFNGS

Karen’s Story

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing story of Karen Elaine Smith, a teacher at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, CA. Smith taught a special education class at the school. Around 10:30a.m., on April 10th, Mrs. Smith’s estranged husband, Cedric Anderson walked into the school office, after a failed attempt at getting into the school through a side door. In the office, he told them that he had to drop something off to his wife. Anderson entered Karen’s classroom and shot her several times. He reloaded the gun once (it only held six rounds). Without saying a word, Anderson turned the gun on himself. An 8- and 9-year-old; both boys were caught by stray bullets. The 8-year-old, Jonathan Martinez, died. The 9-year-old, Nolan Brandy was wounded.

Smith and Anderson had only been married a few months before separating. The two dated four years before walking down the aisle. Smith’s mother said of Anderson, “He always showed his good side; until they got married. Then he changed.” Smith had heard rumors of Anderson’s dark side, but she paid them no mind. After all, he never showed an inkling of being dangerous. According to the police, Anderson had a criminal history of domestic violence and weapons charges that covered the span of 1982-2013. He was never convicted for any of the charges.

After the couple married in January of earlier this year, all that changed. Anderson began to accuse Smith of cheating. He also began threatening to kill her. Smith even told her mother about Anderson’s sudden attitude change. In March, Smith decided that she had to get out.

Anderson has been branded as a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, in the papers. The police explained that no one at the school knew of Smith’s marital problems. Had they known they would have never let Anderson go to her classroom. When he signed in at the office, personnel said that he didn’t seem agitated. In fact, he seemed calm. Now, we all know that when a person makes up their mind to do something, that’s when they’re most calm. Anderson’s mind had been completely made up about what he was going to do.

Smith leaves behind her children, family and friends, and a community to mourn her death. Everyone described her as loving and caring. Her mother spoke of Smith as ‘an angel who has gone on to gain her reward with the Lord’.

Gregory Green Serial Abuser & Killer

                   

 

In 2016, on the morning of Sept. 21st, Faith Green lost everything. Her four children, Kaleigh Green, 4; Koi Green, 5; Kara Allen, 17; and Chadney Allen, 19, died at the hands of Faith’s ex-husband, Gregory Green. Kaleigh and Koi were put in the car and died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Chadney and Kara were shot, execution style, in front of their mother. Faith Green was cut across the face with a box cutter, shot in the foot and tied up. She was the only survivor.

According to prosecutors, Green called the police and told them that he’d just killed his entire family. When the police arrived, Green was sitting on the porch. The police went into the home and found Faith Green tied up in the basement with the bodies of her eldest two children next to her. Her youngest children were found in their beds.

Believe it or not, this is not Gregory Green’s first time on trial for murder. Green spent 16 years in prison for the murder of his first wife, Tonya Clayton Green. She was six months pregnant at the time. Tonya and her unborn child was murdered in 1991. At the time, Tonya Green was trying to leave her husband. A close friend said that Tonya told her that Gregory was acting different. The last time Tonya was heard from, she told her friend after church that she was going home and pack. Tonya, was never heard from again.

Gregory stabbed his first wife multiple times and then called the police and waited. His first wife was also going to leave him. But before she could leave, he killed her. Like Tonya, Faith was planning to leave Gregory also. She’d filed for divorce and in 2013 she tried to get a restraining order, but was denied by the judge.

Faith had no clue that Gregory had been in prison for the murder of his wife. I doubt had she known, she would have married him. He’d only been out of prison two years, before they were married. Personally, I do wonder if he even told her he had been in jail at all. If he had, what reason did he give her for his incarceration. But all of this is a small dot compared to what ultimately happened to her family because of him. Mrs. Green will forever blame herself and him for what happened. It’s a human trait to blame yourself. But I do hope that she can find a way to go on keep the memory of all her children alive. I watched the video of her facing the man who ruined her life (the link is below) and she was incredibly strong. I pray for her and hope that she can find a way to somehow carry on with her life.

Gregory Green was sentenced to a mandatory two years, followed by 45 to 100 years in prison. He’ll be 97 years old when he’ll be eligible for parole.

 

Links:

Faith Green: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRkh8W27whs

Tips for Intervening If You Witness Domestic Violence

I read this article and thought there were some great tips listed. I’ve had to intervene in a couple of domestic violence situations and I probably only followed a couple of the tips listed. If you witness a domestic violence situation say something. Don’t walk by as if it’s not your problem. The link for the article will be provided at the bottom to visit the website.

More than 12 million people in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence each year. While domestic violence typically happens behind closed doors, in some cases it does happen in a public space or around friends or family members, meaning that other people may witness or be aware of the abuse. When we overhear or see something that doesn’t feel right, it can be difficult to know how to react. So, here are some tips and suggestions for what you might do to intervene and interrupt that violence.


If you witness abuse in public, it’s important to take into account your own safety as well as the survivor’s. There is safety in numbers, so gathering a group of people to stand nearby and either verbally or physically intervene is one option. Contacting the authorities is another option. You might even record the incident with your phone to pass to law enforcement if the survivor chooses to press charges (keep in mind, however, that some survivors choose not to take legal action).

If you’re hearing suspicious noises from your neighbors, one option is to speak with the survivor in person the next day. You might greet them with a question like, ”Hey, I heard some stuff last night. Are you okay?” Make sure to approach them in a safe, private space, listen to them carefully and believe what they have to say. Never blame them or ask what they did to “provoke” their partner. Let them know the abuse isn’t their fault, and that they deserve support. You might give them The Hotline’s contact information or direct them to a local crisis line. If you are ever concerned for the survivor’s immediate safety (or your own), you do have the right to contact the police. If the survivor decides to press charges against the abusive partner, your statement can be one way to help them document what they’ve experienced.

At The Hotline, we often hear from family members who want to physically remove the survivor from the abusive partner because they won’t leave themselves. We strongly discourage doing this because that action, like the abuse, encroaches on the survivor’s autonomy. It’s understandable to want to step in and take care of someone you love, but it is important to remember that they are the only person who can decide what is right for them; this is a choice they must make on their own. Abuse is so difficult to witness, but you can’t “save” them or “fix” the situation. The hardest thing to realize is that even with your help, some people won’t ever leave the relationship, and they do have the right to make that choice. You also have the right to express your concern, offer support, ask them to talk about a safety plan with you, and refer them to those who can help.

But, with all of that being said, it’s still important to have hope. On average, it takes domestic violence survivors seven times to leave the relationship for good, so if it’s physically and emotionally safe for you, try to continue offering support in any way you can. Believing and supporting them can be a major factor in helping them stay safe or helping them find empowerment to leave when they’re ready.

Is someone you know experiencing relationship abuse? We’re here to help! Call 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

Article Link: http://www.thehotline.org/2017/05/intervening-domestic-violence/

When Your Family Member is the Abuser

I found this article this morning and thought it gave some great points on what to do if the abuser is in your family. I’ve had to deal with this side of abuse also and I have to say that it didn’t sit well with me. Of course that means I had to do something and do something fast! So, I’m sharing this for those of you that have the question: how do I help my family member’s significant other out of an abusive relationship?

The article was written by Anita of The National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

At The Hotline, we talk a lot about how to support someone you care about if they are being abused. But what if the person you care about is the one who is being abusive toward their partner? What if they’re a member of your own family?

This can be an incredibly difficult situation to deal with. You might love your family member, but you know that what they’re doing is harmful. You may not want to admit that it’s happening, or you may just feel like cutting them out of your life. These are all normal reactions. Relationships with family members can be complicated, and if someone is behaving abusively, that makes things even more complicated.

It’s important to remember that you have the power to be an active bystander. Ultimately, your family member is the only person who can choose to stop the abuse, but there are a few things you can do to encourage them to behave in healthier ways.

Educate yourself on the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse. Abuse is about power and control, and the signs are not always obvious. Learning the warning signs of abuse can help you help your family member identify their abusive and unhealthy behaviors. If you witness behaviors that you feel are unhealthy or abusive, try not to be silent about them. You might say things like, “I don’t think it’s healthy to talk to your partner that way,” or “If you care about someone, I think you should treat them with respect.”

Avoid blaming the victim or excusing abusive behavior. If you witness the abuse, or if your family member tells you about a time they behaved abusively, try not to place blame on their partner or make excuses for the abuse. For example, avoid saying things like, “Well, what did they do to make you act that way?” or “You couldn’t help it.” There is no excuse for abuse; it is a choice, and it’s one that no one has to make. Although you may care about your family member, it’s important to focus on identifying the abusive behaviors. Even if their partner stays in the relationship, that doesn’t mean they deserve to be abused. Remember, you’re not turning against your family member. You’re just trying to help them have a healthier relationship.

Realize that you can’t make them change. You can’t “save” or “fix” another person. It’s up to them to decide that they want to change. Acknowledging that their behavior is abusive is the first step, and change can be a long and difficult process. Encourage them to seek professional help or to reach out to a confidential, non-judgmental hotline. Remind them of the effects that their abusive behaviors are having on their partner and their family. And remember, your family member’s decision to be abusive is not a reflection on you.

Practice Self-Care. It can be very difficult knowing that someone you care about is an abusive partner. You might feel stressed or emotionally drained, and that’s totally normal. You have the right to take a step back from the situation when you need to and practice lots of self-care! By self-care, we mean doing things you enjoy or that help you feel calm and relaxed. Your own wellbeing is important, and you can’t put energy into supporting others if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

If someone you know is being abusive, we are here to help. Call 1-800-799-7233 (24/7) or chat here on our website between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. Central time.

Website Link: http://www.thehotline.org/2017/05/family-member-is-abusive/

An Introduction to Remember

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Cora Walker is the new State Representative of the 74th District in Missouri. She will be joining other representatives in January at the Capitol. To introduce herself to her colleagues, Walker sent out an email that gave her name and the district she would be over. Walker also introduced herself as a victim of sexual assault. She wrote: “My name is Cora Faith Walker. I will be in the Capitol in January as the Representative of the 74th District. Earlier this week, I reported a sexual assault to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. I named my rapist as Steven Roberts Jr., who hopes to be in the Capitol in January as the Representative of the 77th District.”

This is a small quote from the email, which she sent out to Republican Speaker of the House Todd Richardson, Minority Floor Leader Jake Hummel and Assistant Minority Floor Leader Gail McCann-Beatty. She went on in her letter to ask them not to swear Roberts in until an investigation was over.

Cora Walker is a Ferguson, Missouri lawyer, who at the time of her attack was running for a seat in the Missouri House. Walker said that she and Roberts, a former assistant prosecutor, had a meeting on the night of Aug. 26th at Robert’s home. She went to discuss how they could work together in their new positions at the Capitol. She said she arrived around 9:30p.m. and that she had two glasses of wine and doesn’t remember anything else after that. Walker woke up the next morning in Robert’s bed. She said that she told her husband the next day, but that they waited several weeks before going to the police. To read Walker’s letter, click here.

Sources in the police department have confirmed that there is an active investigation into Walker’s accusations; even though Roberts has not been arrested or charged. Of course, Roberts strongly denies that he assaulted Walker, but we’ll get to that in a moment. In response to Walker’s letter, Todd Richardson said, “The letter I received from future colleague Cora Faith Walker containing extremely serious and disturbing allegations against another potential future House member, Steven Roberts, about an incident last month in St. Louis. The kind of conduct alleged cannot be tolerated in our state and will not be tolerated in the House of Representatives. While the House has no jurisdiction over non-members, we will monitor the criminal investigation closely and continue to have a zero tolerance policy for a sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.”

The Missouri minority leader in the House, Hummel and the assistant minority leader, McCann-Beatty sent out a joint statement saying, “Cora Faith Walker has shown great courage in publicly seeking justice for the assault against her. It is vitally important for the legal system to diligently pursue this matter to an appropriate resolution.”

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Now, as I said before, Roberts has denied any wrong doing on his part. His lawyer, Scott Rosenblum said that the allegations are unfounded. He said that he believes that they will be “able to basically undermine those allegations pretty quickly. Whatever happened between these individuals was absolutely consensual and I think we have what I would call objective evidence to support that.”

I would love to know what kind of evidence he and his client could possibly have. Roberts, who was interviewed on This Week in Missouri Politics, made a statement, click here to read. In Walker’s rebuttal, she denies having an ongoing affair with Roberts. She went on to say, “His words are an example of why victims and survivors of sexual assault don’t come forward.” Walker continued and said that she is not the first woman to accuse Roberts of assault.

Back in April of 2015, a college student accused him of sexual assault. Roberts was arrested on suspicion of second-degree sodomy, but he was not charged due to the allegations being “unfounded”. (There’s that word again)

Through it all Walker has stayed strong and stood by her allegations against Roberts. When asked her thoughts about what may happen in the case, she said, “The odds are against me. But I know what happened to me. And I know I don’t want it to happen to anybody else. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But it’s OK to speak up. It’s OK to be afraid.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

~Be Blessed~