Questions & Answers with Michael Cogdill, WYFF-4 News Anchor
How has the experience of moving from domestic violence victim to domestic violence survivor changed you?
Michael: Witnessing domestic violence often turns a boy into an abusive man. My witnessing held the opposite effect. Domestic violence formed me into an advocate for women and children who feel trapped in abusive relationships. It ignited a gratitude for peace – a high level of thankfulness that otherwise would likely have eluded me. Though, to this day, any loud noise in the house still troubles my spirit. The effects of my boyhood echo in that way into my adult years.
What has surprised you about yourself and others through your experience moving from domestic violence victim to domestic violence survivor?
Michael: I’m always surprised by the many barriers that keep victims from seeking help and freedom from abuse. So many resources now offer counsel and safe haven, yet we continue to hear of victims who stay rather than go. I’m devoted to helping victims to break this chain. If your partner is violent, then your partner is a threat to you and your children. Family ought to comfort and uphold you, NEVER make you feel afraid or on edge. That’s a crucial message, and I want to help it resonate!
As a childhood survivor, what would you share with a victim currently facing domestic violence about Safe Harbor?
Michael: Safe Harbor lives up to the name. Go!!! Get yourself and your children to Safe Harbor. It’s a peaceful roof, a physical oasis, sure, but it’s more. It’s an academy that will teach you how to live beyond your current mate, place and time. Not only live, but thrive! That’s the Safe Harbor legacy. Make it yours!!
What do you think will end domestic violence?
Michael: The only force that ends domestic violence is an absolute intolerance for it. Live utterly intolerant of violence in your life.
“Those who harm you call you to love them — from afar. Flee them. Forgive them, and flee them. Go from them. They do not deserve another moment’s attention from your precious life.” – Michael Cogdill
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain