Tag Archives Domestic Violence

War Twins Share Powerful Story of Healing and Survival in New Single, “Right or Wrong”

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Gaetana and James fell in love – and then decided to start a band. To Gaetana, songwriting for War Twins provided an opportunity for her to express the pain of a life marred by abuse. Inspired and encouraged by meeting fellow abuse survivors at the East LA Women’s Center, Gaetana felt emboldened to share her truth. She hopes that their new single “Right or Wrong” will provide a message of hope and strength to other survivors. The song gave her a safe space to process her own feelings and recognize that healing can include multiple and sometimes confusing emotions, but all of them are valid. “Right or Wrong” is just one of the tracks on War Twins’ new record, American Kids, produced by Grammy Award-winning Sylvia Massy. Listen to “Right or Wrong” HERE.

Cliché: How did you meet?
War Twins: I was a small town girl and had booked my first ever show on my own in Boston for UnRegular Radio. James worked for the radio and I immediately fell for him. I struck up a conversation and then we fell in love over the next few months. After about a year and a half, he asked me if I wanted to start a band. I said no, and he convinced me it was worth a try, so here we are! 

Your first tour took you to over 80 cities! Did you bond while you were on the road? 
Definitely. Living in a van, with no space or creature comforts for 7 years can really do a lot of humbling and bonding to two people. James and I literally ate oatmeal everyday with nasty protein powder and spirulina so we could have basic nutrition. We had some incredible moments and learned how to survive off of about $50-$75 a performance (if we were lucky) , while we drove anywhere from 5-6 hours to each gig. Damn, I mean it really proved to me that we love each other through thick and thin. 

Talk about your new record, American Kids
It was an incredible experience to work with Sylvia Massy. She really brought this whole record to light. My hope with all the songs on this album was to be straight forward and honest in my songwriting with all the different sides of myself and James. I feel that we achieved that in this music.

You identify as pansexual!  What advice do you have for people who might be struggling with their sexuality or afraid of family rejection? 
I would say to find the people who love you for who you are and support you. When you feel ready, open up to them first. Also, learn to love who you are, despite what anyone says. In my experience, there are always people who like to stir up pain and trouble and they are just not worth your time or any space in your mind. How someone else feels about me is none of my business. But how I feel about me? Now that is more valuable then anything else on this world because I live with me everyday.

 One of the tracks in American Kids, “Right or Wrong” details your (Gaetana’s) experiences with being a survivor of domestic violence and rape. What gave you the courage to be so vulnerable in your music?
To be fully honest, War Twins has been a project that was my emotional release and deep expression of all the abuse I have seen in my life. To me, it was safe to wrap up my experiences in metaphors and scream them from a microphone. It has only been with this song release that I have been willing to publicly open up about this and that was thanks to meeting the women from the East LA Women’s Center. It was there that I first saw women like Norma Basitas open up and show their strength. They gave me courage and I realized that I too could share my story and give others strength that they too are empowered people. 

You’ve said that writing the song helped you to heal. Do you think being so intensely honest in your lyrics gave you closure or reminded you of your true strength? 
Maybe. Truly, it just gave me a safe place to be free in my expression, and I feel that when I am able to get out what I do not understand, then I have more clarity. 

What message do you hope the song can send other survivors or people currently in abusive situations?
That they are not alone. 

What has this whole process taught you about reclaiming your identity and reaffirming your own resilience? 
It has taught me that the journey of healing and empowerment is messy, weird, uncomfortable, rewarding, joyful, supportive and entirely my own. It has taught me that I do not need anyone else to understand, approve of me or accept what has happened to me. As my beautiful friend Cathy would say, “Be a Warrior for your own personal truth”. I feel now that my life is about standing in my truth, being open, honest and authentic and being willing to be empowered despite what is around me. When I have the opportunity, I share my experience with other survivors so that they too can be reminded of hope, and that they are not alone.

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
War Twins Share Powerful Story of Healing and Survival in New Single, “Right or Wrong.” Photo Credit: Cory Ingram.

How Recipe For Hope is Baking A Difference

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In society, there’s a saying: “Actions speak louder than words,” and these two women, Kim and Alina, are the prime example of that. Not only the creators of Pizzscotti, a gourmet baked goods company creating handmade gourmet Italian pizzelles and biscotti, which opened in 2013, the law enforcement officers are putting their money where their mouth is with their non profit organization, Recipe For Hope (RFH).

 
Their focus is directed toward giving back to victims of domestic violence. Both Alina and Kim have not only see this type of behavior in their profession on a daily basis, but also in their past, as they both have experienced domestic violence in previous relationships. They overcame their abusive relationships and now dedicate their time and passion to help others.
Recipe for Hope provides survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and homelessness a continuum of programs that educate, train, and empower. In addition, the two lead other initiatives, including F2F (Finance to Freedom) and PSP (Protect and Serve Program) self-defense awareness. They are raising funds to help get their programs off the ground, as well as to help pay for equipment, supplies, and space to rent.
Here is where the community can help: The goal for RFH is to have a place of their own where they can teach, bake, and provide these programs to those who so desperately need it. As of now, a portion of the proceeds from Pizzscotti are funneled back into Recipe For Hope. So for every purchase from Pizzscotti, customers are providing hope to these individuals and raising money for the additional programs to get off the ground.  
Together, we can Bake A Difference. To donate, please visit Generosity.com.
For more information please contact recipeforhope2@gmail.com or call (818) 216-8848.
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Featured image courtesy of Recipe for Hope

Knicks Point Guard Points Gun At His Wife

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Raymond Felton the well-known New York Knicks point guard points gun at his wife during a domestic dispute. The pistol was loaded with body armor-piercing bullets, and this is surprisingly not the first time Felton waved the gun at his wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton. The brunette beauty who is  24, told cops that Valentine’s Day was the second time in a month that he pulled the weapon on her. There had also been two other incidents since mid-August, and the fights were fueled by his alleged cheating.
The gun Felton used was illegal and was packed with 18 of the savage armor-piercing bullets, with one in the chamber ready to be fired, according to various sources. Felton was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday evening on one felony and one misdemeanor count of illegal weapons possession and freed on $25,000 bond. (New York Post)
Felton is set to practice with the team Wednesday and play against the Miami Heat in Florida on Thursday. As for his wife Ariane, she is filing for a much needed divorce. You go girl!
(Featured Image courtesy of New York Post)

Face Forward: Helping Domestic Violence Victims

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Face ForwardDeborah Alessi
Founder of the Face Forward Organization.
I founded Face Forward in 2007 to provide pro bono physical and emotional reconstruction for battered men, women and children victimized by domestic violence. Before I began my non-profit to help survivors, I once was a victim of domestic violence myself. While attending Glasgow University in my native country of Scotland, I was involved in an abusive relationship with my ex-boyfriend, whom I was dating at the time.
After receiving my degree, I moved to the Middle East to escape from my abusive past and to start my career in the aviation industry. After working for the royal family of Bahrain, I moved to the United States to advance my career at the top of the aviation industry.
I have always been an advocate of ending domestic violence, but did not think of creating the non-profit, Face Forward, until I met my husband, Dr. David Alessi, renowned facial reconstructive surgeon. For many years I took care of numerous indigent trauma patients when they had no other doctor to turn to for reconstruction. I’ve realized that, although these patients could be physically repaired, there was inadequate aftercare support systems in place.
With my strong passion for ending domestic violence, and Dr. Alessi’s expertise in the field of facial reconstruction, our mission as an organization and contributor for Cliche Magazine is to bring readers pertinent information and to create awareness, empowerment and emotional and physical transformation to those affected by this terrible epidemic, as well as make people aware of the signs of an abuser.
Face Forward’s overall mission is to provide physical and emotional reconstruction for men, women and children who have been victimized by domestic or gang related violence. Face Forward vows to provide each victim with the best possible treatment pro bono.
Today, Face Forward is able to provide treatment for hundreds of survivors of domestic violence. More than 90% of all donations are directed toward victim treatment and recovery. I have dedicated my life to this cause, and I lead the Face Forward team year-round.
Face Forward welcomes any questions you may have. You can also visit us at www.faceforwardla.org.
Photo credit: Dimitry Loiseau