The Will to Live The Will to Live

I am a survivor of domestic violence and so are my children.

My abusive husband, who killed himself, shot me in the head. He used to hit me and bruise me as we argued. I learned not to argue, but the battering never subsided. Police came and arrested him. We were separated and an order of protection was issued.

I got counseling, which then gave me strength to file for divorce. I was not afraid of him anymore. Not feeling well (because I was pregnant with my/our second child--a forced rape by my husband). I answered the door without checking who was at the door. My husband barged in and wanted to kiss and make up. We argued, then I realized he had a gun to his head. I began to cry--he shot me, then himself.

My oldest daughter was only two at the time, and I was pregnant with my second daughter. Now they are both grown up and eldest has a family of her own. My second is thinking of going to college soon. Since then (1987), I had my third child, whom I see as an opportunity to feel the joy had missed out on with my other daughters. They are all blessings.

This picture is to display (with use of my favorite color--Royal Blue) my victory of survival and the will to live! My daughters are also in the photo, taken just before my first grandchild.

Artist's Note: Although Denice survived the attempted murder, the gunshot wound left her partially paralyzed on the right side of her body. With a strong determination to live her life to the fullest, she has almost completed her BA degree at Arizona State University while raising a daughter on her own. She hopes to use her studies to work as a domestic violence advocate and liaison within the court systems.