Domestic violence survivors square up for empowerment


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Today, domestic violence survivors ‘squared up’ in the ring for an empowerment event at Match- Bout boxing gym in Chesapeake.

Neisha Himes, a survivor of abuse and founder of the GROW foundation, put on the event to encourage survivors and those experiencing abuse to try to leave a toxic relationship safely.

It’s called “Square Up: Surviving the Ring and Yourself.”

Several guest speakers shared their story, including Christy Martin, a domestic violence survivor and former American boxing world champion.

In 2010, Martin’s ex-husband stabbed her over 60 times and shot her in the chest. Now she travels all over the country as an advocate against abuse. 

“This event is awesome because it marries my two passions, boxing and domestic violence awareness, to get people to be more aware that this is happening in a lot of households more than you think,” said Martin.

“Everything is real solid on the outside, but behind closed doors are often a different story.”

“So many people can’t understand the connection between domestic violence and boxing. It goes hand in hand because when you really know how to box. You don’t need to fight on the street because you’re confident. Just doing the workout, becoming more physically fit, a little stronger, more confident. When you walk down the street, you’re holding your head a little higher.”

The GROW foundation has a boxing support group that meets every month.

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