'Breaking the Silence' features testimonials from author, poet, others who escaped domestic abuse

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, November 10, 2016

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'Breaking the Silence' features testimonials from author, poet, others who escaped domestic abuse
Nigel Beckett-Paden said he knows from experience how damaging a domestically abusive relationship can be.

As a child, Beckett-Paden said, he watched his mother suffer at the hands of an abusive individual for three years.

Beckett-Paden is raising money and awareness to help put an end to domestic violence through, “Breaking the Silence” at the Cannon Centre on Sunday from 4-8 p.m.

Poetry reading, guest speakers, and musical performances will feature some of the Upstate's most talented writers and speakers. Proceeds will benefit Safe Harbor.

"My mother was a domestic violence survivor so I've witnessed first-hand what it's like to be abused," said Beckett-Paden. "As a child having to listen to the verbal abuse, living in a household for two-three years with that abuse, that's one of the reasons I went ahead and started formulating this event."

Beckett-Paden is working with poet Kelsey Lanza and author and speaker Cherell Evans, both are domestic violence survivors.

Lanza, who writes poetry, will be one of the featured performers.

"I've done a couple of poetry events for Safe Harbor and that's the organization we're hoping to help out because of this event," said Lanza. "It really hits home because they've personally helped me twice out of domestic abuse situations and they helped me when I thought I had no options.

“I just want to reach as many people as possible, not only about the money, but emotionally and helping people get out,” said Lanza.

Lanza said writing poetry is a way for him to help cope with the trauma of abuse.

"Some people have trouble talking and the only way they can express themselves is through writing," Lanza said. "It's a soulful experience and it's a spiritual thing for me and I recommend everyone doing it."

Evans, author of the book ‘The Wrong Kind of Love'’, chronicles her experience in an abusive relationship that started in high school.

"It's my life experience dealing with mental and physical abuse," said Evans. "Where I'm from people don't realize they're in mentally and physically abusive relationships because they think it's normal. I touch on things like that and how it starts at a young age."

Evans wants women who are ensnared in abusive relationships to know that there is hope and a way out.

"It is, on a scale of one to 100, just like 1,000," Evans said. "It's really, really important. Some women are scared to leave for numerous reasons and they don't have the funds to leave. Another reason is mental.

“They don't love themselves enough in order to leave. It's really important that I can reach as many people as possible to get them to understand that you have to love yourself first in order to leave,” Evans said.

Admission is $10 for tickets at the door and $15 for advanced VIP tickets, which include preferred seating and a buffet meal.

"I hope to see it grow, not just locally but to a national level,” said Beckett-Paden. “Of course, we have to start at home and then grow from there. My plan is to use the Cannon Centre until (it) can't hold us anymore."

Want to go?

What: "Breaking the Silence" benefitting Safe Harbor

Where: Cannon Centre, 204 Cannon St. Greer

When: Sunday Nov. 13 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: $10 General admission and $15 for advanced tickets

Contact: Nigel Beckett-Paden (864-434-5079) for advanced tickets.



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