Why Is Violence Against Women Still So Prevalent in the World?

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Whether you live in North America or somewhere in Africa, violence against women is still a very real problem.
Air Date: 4/1/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Kelly LeBrock
Kelly-LeBrockKelly Le Brock, celebrated actress model, and soon to be author is taking #weirdscience to a whole new level through creating her foodie platform by blending social media channels, and a APP developed by Priceline founder and TEDMED curator Jay Walker. She is launching her lifelong passion project called Kellys Kitchen, leading into it as a "very busy" CHANGE AGENT for healthy eating and launching #calories4good, helping FOOD BANKs across America. You can see more on her social media and website.  She started this journey by participating in Partnership for a Healthier America's Twitter Chat in 2014 resulting in over 100 million impressions. Kelly and the Food Network were the most retweeted #cookathome activist six days after the chat which had over 175 contributors.
Why Is Violence Against Women Still So Prevalent in the World?
Kelly LeBrock recently gave a talk at the UN about violence against women and why it is such an important topic to bring to light. 

She is personally passionate about the subject, because she suffered from abuse at a young age; first physical beatings, then eventually rape.

She remained quiet about this abuse for a very long time, but has learned that others can benefit from her coming forward.

How can women start to heal and overcome the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from which many abused women suffer?

LeBrock suggests transcendental meditation as one way to come to peace with the history of the abuse. This type of meditation is simple enough for anyone to do, and can help you sort through all of the past pain. 

Tune in as LeBrock shares portions of her speech, her personal experiences with violence, and why this topic is so important and so very relevant.

RadioMD Presents: Naturally Savvy | Original Air Date: April 1, 2015
Hosts: Andrea Donsky, RHN & Lisa Davis
Guest: Kelly Le Brock

Whether you are new to the healthy living lifestyle or a healthy living veteran, this is the place for the honest answers to your questions. Naturally Savvy with registered holistic nutritionist, Andrea Donsky and health journalist, Lisa Davis, on RadioMD.com.

LISA: We are so thrilled to have Kelly Lebrock back on the program. She joins us every month and Andrea and I were so moved by a talk she gave at the UN about her own personal experiences with violence against women and things that have happened to her.

Kelly, we're just so thrilled to have you back.

KELLY: Thank you. It's lovely to be speaking to be speaking Boston and to two beautiful ladies. I tell you, speaking to the United Nations, I think rousted my mother from the dead. She loved politics. She loved government and to be speaking there was such an honor and they didn't even ask to read my speech before I read it, so that was even more of an honor. But, yes. It was very moving. A lot of women had been abused who were in the room. There were about 300 dignitaries and ambassadors and just to be in a room filled with such love with women all trying to move, to try and stop this hideous violence against women and children.

LISA: It brought tears to my eyes, really.

KELLY: And the beautiful Ilene Fisher, who is a designer, gave me some amazing clothes to wear for the event as well. I have to say, Ilene Fisher rocks because I am not usually comfortable in clothing, but I felt very comfortable in her things. That's for sure.

LISA: Oh, the clothing was beautiful. You looked just absolutely, absolutely gorgeous.

KELLY: Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.


KELLY: But, I have to say that I think in this society today that most of us know about most things, but there was a talk that some beautiful lady gave from Cameroon who talked about breast ironing where the grandmother takes the young girl's breasts and stones them with hot stones that she's put in boiling water and she pounds down the tissue of the mammary glands so that the girls won't be looked at by these hideous people that rape. Is that horrific?

LISA: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh.

ANDREA: That is horrific.

KELLY: One of the things in my speech was that we're not going to be able to do much with the monsters that are doing this right now, but we can try and stop these young boys who are watching their papas beat their mamas. We have to try to help them from the sandpit to 3rd, 4th, 5th grade. There have to be classes where these kids know that it's not cool to hit a woman. It's not cool to bully. We have to make these people targets so that we know, you know, to stay away from them.

ANDREA: You know, something you said in your speech which, again, was super moving is you talked about listening to an abuser who took responsibility and you said how that really changed things for you. Tell us a little bit about that experience.

KELLY: Well, I can really do that part. My ability to feel my own pain came only about one day when a complete and absolute stranger stood up at a charity dinner to address the room of us blood-spattered women to apologize for his hideous part in beating his partner time and time again. His bravery and courage to face us all, somehow, for me flipped a little hope and healing into a very dark and sordid secret. His tears and mine fell together and I was, for the first time, thankful to an abuser for his promise and mission to stop himself and others from the monster that fuels their hands.

ANDREA: You know, what do you say? Words leave me. Speechless when I hear something like that. What I want to hear, and Lisa and I are both interested. We'd love to hear a little bit about your experience because for those who are listening who didn't necessarily hear your speech and I encourage all of you, we're going to put a link on Facebook of your speech at the UN and I encourage you all to go and listen to it. But, tell us a little bit about your experience and why you're so passionate about this topic.

KELLY: Well, I grew up in a very bloody childhood. When your mommy beats you, then it sets off a very bad dynamic for being a grown up. You know? And, being beaten early on sets up a lot of trauma and post-traumatic stress and you sort of go into that. At 15 ½, I started to be raped and then you become a victim and then you become a victim again and again and again. Then I listen to people like Bill Cosby who's not even being investigated and that is a crying shame that in this country there's not even an investigation, yet 20 something women have come out. The abuse that I have suffered I will try and stop that for other people because it is just not…It's not on and it has to stop. Social media, I think, can help a lot with that.

Yes. I've been beaten and raped a number of times. It'll be in my book which, you know, hopefully will be coming out next year. I want to help people. It's not alright to hurt inside. I looked like the perfect woman, but it was just a big burden to hold all that nasty stuff inside and I just want to help other people. So, here we go.

LISA: I'm so glad.

KELLY: Also, before I did my speech, I had this crazy massage. Nobody gets a speech before they go into the UN and it was called somatic release response and the guy worked on me and had me crying in 5 minutes. Amir Saloom or something. A healer. I had a healing before I went out and spoke all these hideous things and it's sort of great the way things come about when you need them, you know?

LISA: Oh, definitely. Well, what do you recommend for people to start healing? It's so incredibly difficult. You mentioned PTSD and I actually know some women that have that from trauma, from childhood and rape and other experiences.

KELLY: Most people have it. I would look into transcendental meditation. It's not goofy, weird, strange. It is helping a lot of children in war torn areas. Transcendental meditation. Look up the David Lynch Foundation. That can put you into a beautiful, quiet place where you can start to feel the healing; where you can start to feel the forgiving. You don't have to forget but you do have to forgive because that's the only way the journey ends. Otherwise, these monsters win.

ANDREA: You know, just listening to you speak, it's so profound. Again, for those of you who are listening, Kelly's mission has really been to end this violence against women.

Kelly, tell us a little bit more about what your speech at the UN was about. Like, what could people do? If they're listening to you talk and they're like, "Okay. I need to do something now. What could people do to take action?" Well, it's a very dangerous situation. There was a beautiful woman from India there and she was telling me that her husband was abusing her and I'm like, "You're not in India anymore. This is America. This is why you came to America. It's not cool for your kids to see your husband treat you this way." People are too scared to talk. I don't know where to send people. Maybe they have to go and…I don't know because a lot of the time, too, these people, if they find out that the woman that's getting beaten, if the husband finds out that they're talking about it, they might do something even worse. You basically have to pull yourself together. Get the hell out of there. Take your kids. It's not okay to feel the way that you feel. Get help. Go to relatives. I don't know how bad it is, but if it's bad, get the hell out of there.

LISA: Yes. Those are true words of wisdom and it makes such a difference. You sometimes hear people say, "Well, why do women stay?" Sometimes they don't have relatives or they don't know where to go.

KELLY: Well, we're scared. We're scared.

LISA: Exactly.

KELLY: We're downtrodden. We have no self-esteem. Self-esteem is our friend. We need to feel good inside and that does not happen when you're staying in a bad place. You just have to take the bull by the horns and get the hell out of there. I don't care what it takes, just get out.

LISA: Now, Kelly, I know you left your home at a young age, correct?

KELLY: Fifteen and a half, I left home. At 16, I was paying my parents' mortgage. You know? But, my mom had a lot of love in her, but she had a very violent hand and temper. I still feel like I grew up in a house of love which is funny. There was a lot of love, but there was a lot of smacking, as well. I mean, my arm was opened up. I needed stitches and actually, to punish her, I didn't go to the doctor. We didn't go to the hospital, I just left the wound opened so that she could see. I guess I sort of punished her. But then, my mother was in a very, very violent childhood as well. Six poor Irish kids, you know, one bath on Fridays, all 6 kids took the same water. Her parents were very violent. So, you know, you live the life you've learned. But it's not okay. It's not okay and it was very important to me that I did not hit my kids. I may have smacked them a couple of times on the butt, but usually not, because when you're beaten, you tend to do the same things. You can control it. You have to control it.

ANDREA: Well, Kelly, unfortunately…

KELLY: And that crazy stuff about henna having lead in it. We're silly enough. We don't need any more metal.

ANDREA: Yes. Definitely. Dr. Fratilone is pretty awesome.

Kelly, we're out of time today, but as always, we love having you on the show and continue doing your incredible life's work and we're going to post a link to your UN speech. It was fantastic, as we said.

You can follow Kelly at Twitter @KellyLebrock. I'm Andrea Donsky along with Lisa Davis. This is Naturally Savvy Radio on RadioMD. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @YourRadioMD and @Naturally Savvy.

Thanks for listening, everyone and stay well.