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Domestic Abuse Survivor Ewa Grochowska Tells Her Story at Eastern

Published on October 16, 2015

Domestic Abuse Survivor Ewa Grochowska Tells Her Story at Eastern

Domestic abuse survivor, activist and ceramic artist Ewa Grochowska came to Eastern Connecticut State University on Oct. 14 to speak about her personal experiences as a victim of domestic abuse, her story of survival and how she now helps families cope with their own experiences with abuse. Grochowska’s lecture was part of Eastern’s recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

Grochowska used firsthand accounts of horrific abuse to teach students about the importance of avoiding situations that put them at risk. “If you don’t have self-love, self-esteem and self-worth, unfortunately you do put yourself at risk,” she said. “Abusers are able to do whatever they want to their victims because they break the victim down completely and make them feel next to worthless.” She explained that much of the abuser’s power comes from manipulation and forcing victims to feel inadequate.

Grochowska now uses her art to help her cope with her traumatic experiences with abuse. In addition to being a successful ceramic artist, she also uses some of the proceeds from her work to provide art supplies to shelters like the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain, or Safe Futures in New London. “At first, I was drinking to cope with what I’d been through, but I knew I needed a healthier substitute. I focused all my energy on my art and now it heals me,” she explained. “Sharing my art with families at shelters is the most powerful thing I could imagine and reminds that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

She also offered advice to people who are trying to help a friend or family member escape from an abusive relationship. “Victims need sympathy and understanding, not judgment,” she said. “The biggest thing you can do for a victim of abuse is to be there and to show them that you care about them in a way that their abuser never could.”

Her experiences with abuse have been harrowing, but Grochowska hopes that through her struggles, she can help other people avoid those same issues. She offered these words of advice to fellow survivors, “Focus on yourself,” she said. “Find something your passionate about and immerse yourself in it. Use your passion to build yourself up.”

Written by Michael Rouleau

Categories: Student Activities