The Taxi Ride

August 5, 2014

photo of a young girl looking into the camera smiling

by Brittny Speed, Safe Harbor supporter & guest blogger

Twenty three years ago, I took a taxi ride I will never forget. This taxi drive changed my family’s life. My mom had packed a couple of items for me (6 years old), my sister, Kayla (4 years old), and herself, but this was no vacation.

I remember the taxi horn blowing to let us know he was ready. As we left, my mom left a letter on top of the television. This letter was to inform my father that after several years of mental, verbal and physical abuse, we were leaving.

I remember the taxi ride so vividly. It seemed very long, but I guess any ride is long when you don’t know where you are going. Along the way, we passed buildings, people walking and other cars, but what stood out the most to me was this very large grave yard. Later in life, this grave yard came to symbolize the death of our past and the start of a new life.

For three months we lived at the Greenville Safe Harbor domestic violence shelter. During our short time at the house, we met several really nice people, staff as well as other families. We are still friends with several of the families to this day.

My parents were legally divorced July 1, 1991, after which we transitioned into our own home. We arrived at the shelter abused and broken, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. We emerged as renewed butterflies. The process to recovery was a long journey – a journey that I grew to appreciate.

So where are we now?

My mother works for Greenville Hospital System as a billing coder. She lives in a home in Piedmont, SC that she owns. She sent both my sister and I to college at USC Upstate where we graduated (myself with a Bachelors of Art in Nonprofit Leadership and Kayla with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology).

To Safe Harbor, thank you for helping us on our journey to a NEW LIFE!


My 6 year old self

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because...

I am a survivor of domestic abuse.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



When you give to Safe Harbor, 82 cents of every dollar goes directly to our intervention services and prevention initiatives to break the cycle of domestic abuse in the Upstate of South Carolina. 

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We are available to provide domestic abuse education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.





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