Tamiko Lowry-Pugh often referred to as The Empowering Diva is a voice for women’s empowerment. She is the CEO of EmpowerME! Life Coaching & Consulting – a personal development & lifestyle enhancement firm for women the CEO of Still Standing Publishing – a book publishing company that publishes memoirs and self-help books and the founder of The Still Standing Alliance – a nonprofit organization that focuses on domestic violence awareness, advocacy, and prevention. Tamiko has constructed a powerful movement dedicated to the empowerment and personal development of women across the world. She is a compassionate mentor and friend, an enthusiastic leader, and visionary.

Listen in on the heartfelt letter she wrote to Domestic Violence victims…

Dear Domestic Violence Victim,

You may not know me but I know you. Your troubled eyes, deflated spirit, and intense defense of the man you love are all too familiar to me. Just a few years ago, I was you. The monologues of defense that streamed from my consciousness became my morphine for the emotional anguish I was experiencing on a consistent basis.

Guilt: If I hadn’t been looking at my phone while he was talking to me, then he wouldn’t have had to cuss me out.

Embarrassment: I can’t tell anyone that he hurts me. I’m not the type of woman that gets abused.

Fear: If I leave, then what will I do? What will he do? He has a gun.

Denial: He only treats me like this because he loves me. Plus, it’s not like he leaves physical bruises.

And in the modern era of social media, these self-deprecating thoughts are only compounded by the numerous, unsolicited comments about domestic violence abuse and its implications. There are people blaming you for staying, blaming you for the abuse, and demanding your answer to the #WhyIStayed movement, instead of demanding #WhyHeHits. As a former abuse victim, I apologize for the miseducation of those who don’t understand that you can still love your abuser, and yes, even defend them. I know firsthand that money, lifestyle, and appearance plays a very little part in the decision to stick it through and “show the world what real love is.” Because despite the occasional arguments, fights, shoving matches, and mental kicks, you’re convinced that love is what brought you together and it’s what will eventually keep you together.

I remember on several occasions being choked until I almost passed out. Thinking to myself, I’m about to die. But the most horrific incident was the day that I left. We were driving up the interstate and I told him that I was leaving him for good. He got so angry that he forced the car to the side of the road where he began to hit, punch, and choke me. I think I passed out because the next thing I remember was being in the middle of the highway with cars swerving around me trying to prevent hitting me. Thankfully, someone saw what happened and called the police. I thought for sure I was going to die on that day. My life flashed before my eyes. I made it out, but not everyone does.

In case you didn’t know, one out of three female homicide victims are killed by domestic violence. 80% of domestic violence homicides have a history of prior abuse. Domestic Violence results in 18.5 million mental health care visits each year. Domestic Violence is not just an NFL, low income or celebrity issue; it’s a community issue.

I want you to know that you are not alone. Whether it happens again or not, take note that most abusers are repeat offenders, unless they undergo some sort of major anger management or treatment. Loving him is not enough to fix him or the situation. Right now, you need self-love. I know this, because like I said earlier, I used to be you.

One of the most powerful lessons that I have learned throughout my life is that loving myself is the very key to my happiness and emotional wellbeing. It is a fact that many of us are not even aware of. Self-love gives us clarity of mind and motivation to be a better person. It helps us to achieve greater things for ourselves – mind, body, and spirit.

Love yourself! It’s the real love that the world should see.



Tamiko Lowry-Pugh

Domestic Violence Expert, Advocate & Survivor