As women, home is the center of our universe, the place where you lay your head, your sanctuary, the place where you raise your family. We all know the saying “Home is where your heart is”. As victims of domestic violence, home is where your nightmare begins. The place you are beaten, humiliated, called a stupid bitch and further verbally abused. The kitchen right there by the refrigerator was the place she stood rubbing her jaw wondering what she possibly did to turn this man into a monster, a beast who raised his fist and followed through punching her in the face.
The bedroom is where he threw her down and took what he wanted even after she said no. The corner of the living room is where she slid down her back against the wall, lowering herself to the floor and crying begging God why me? For some, home is where she lost her life, beaten until her body could take no more, gasping for air as his hands closed around her neck. For those who are lucky enough to get out how do you change your prison back into a home?
Is it possible to erase the memories haunting your every waking moment? Will you ever feel safe again? Lucila Matos, author of “My Life Was Guarded For Christ, Can’ t Stay Quiet About The Love Of God “ makes it a part of her life to educate and assist women to do just that find their way back home. She was a mentor to Krystal when she exited her situation. She found her purpose helping others.
“My life has a purpose. My story is important. My dreams count. My voice matters . I’m born to make an impact” Lucila lives by these tenements daily.
Founder of a domestic violence walk in Rochester, Lucila Matos finds purpose in her own life by helping reach back to others giving them the final pull they need to leave from their own domestic violence situation. Lucila suffered as a victim of domestic violence herself for many years. In Lucila’s story it differed from Krystal ‘s where Lucila and her significant other also had substance abuse issues. Leaving for any victim is a big step, but staying away is the challenge. The monster becomes Prince Charming to reel the person back in and often it works.
“As days went by I asked myself what was going on with him ? You might not believe this but, I was missing him already. I didn’t know how to tell my friend how I was feeling. She used to tell me, you would be crazy if you go back with that monster. I told her that I would never go back, but inside of me , I missed him so much. I can’t explain what it was that I was missing. I cried day and night. It was a love that I couldn’t explain.
One day while my friend was at work, I called his mom and she said: “ Lucila , my daughter , where are you? My son is going crazy, he is suffering a lot. He doesn’t eat or sleep, he looks like a bum. Please, daughter come back. Tell me where you are and I will go pick you up right now. Please, my son needs you come back Lucy”. Those were the words I needed to hear…”Please forgive me. Don’t ever leave me again…Everything was happiness for that day and on the second day hell came back”, Lucila recalls.
Lucila did finally find the strength to leave. She is now happily married. Lucila inspires women daily when they read her story. She also runs a support group for women who were victims of domestic violence. Out of her darkness, Lucila inspired her mother, Sonia Rodriguez to also become involved in changing people’s lives. Sonia created a program to assist people suffering from drug abuse (Over Comers Outreach) and Out of the Darkness Ministry. Out of the Darkness Ministry provides shelter to victims leaving domestic violence situations and provides housing for women returning to the community from prison.