Her husband stabbed her 13 times in front of their 5-year-old daughter. In 2002, Renita Hills was sliced head to toe requiring 150 staples and stitches to put her back together. Four stabs to the chest punctured her lungs, her face was sliced on the side, front and back. Stabs and slashes to her shoulder affected her ability to use her hands. The stab along her spine was within millimeters of taking her out. Three days later Renita regained consciousness fighting for her life. It was the first time she had been physically assaulted, but abuse in her relationship existed for over fifteen years.
Abuse is so much more than fist to face. Abuse encompasses physical, mental, emotional, psychological financial, sexual and even spiritual aspects. This is not just happening to women. Look around the room. Count 5 men and realize 1 out of 5 are victims of abuse within Indiana. Count 4 women and recognize that 1 out of 4 are being abused within Indiana. The national average is significantly higher. Renita defines abuse If you are being stripped of your self-worth, your self-esteem, who you are, making you feel less than the perfect creature God created you to be, you have the right and the responsibility to walk away.
Voice of the Victim
Renita Hills is an outspoken advocate for the victim of domestic abuse. She is Founder and CEO of Voice of the Victim, a non-profit organization that works with victims and survivors of domestic abuse and abusive behaviors.Our goal, our desire, our mission and our vision is to put an end to domestic abuse. We want to stop it by way of education. We want to teach what abuse looks like. We give victims the tools to leave their abuser safely and to live successfully and independently of their abuser. We teach you how to learn to love you.
15 Years of Abuse
Renita endured every kind of abuse imaginable before it ever got physical. She was a wife and mother with three kids. I worked full time, worked part-time plus handled the books for my husband?s martial arts business, I took care of the kids, cooked the meals, got them bathed into bed and my husband comes home at 11 o?clock at night and wakes me up because he wants to have sex. I have been raped and sodomized by my own husband. After getting his sexual thrills, He would spend hours telling me all the ways I was a failure. I was not sexing him enough, did not cook well enough, did not look good enough, was too heavy, was not smart enough.? The only thing he said I was good at was birthing babies and after that, I was not good for anything else. He accused me of being a lesbian and then in the next breath he accused me of having an affair.
She endured emotional abuse when he used a technique called ?gaslighting,? as a manipulative tactic to gain power.He would say it one way to me but then in front of others, maintain I had gotten it wrong. He would wake me up in the middle of the night saying things like I wonder what it would feel like if you just quit breathing.? ?You know if I hit you just right, a bone from your nose will go up into your head and cause you to die instantly.? Renita knew this to be true from his martial arts experience. Each time she would report his threats and behavior to the police, she was told there was nothing they could do because he had not hit her. He separated her from her family and friends and Renita knew something was wrong, but did not know how to get out of it. She had not yet learned her ?NO.
Sadly, the abuse can be spiritual. God?s word can be taken out of context and used to justify abuse. When she confided in her pastor, she was told to get her emotions in check, to calm down. She was told that he was not threatening her, he was merely asking questions. The church advanced him in his ministerial training by giving him a scholarship. The church arranged for a vow renewal at a Valentine?s dinner trying to force a reconciliation from being separated. The church ?encouraged? Renita to take him back and when she would not, they stripped her of her leadership duties at the church and told her she could not do anything but attend church until such time she took her husband back. Churches are made up of people and sometimes they can be woefully misdirected. In fact, Renita?s husband threatened her the night before he tried to take her life, telling her that she needed to take him back because the separation from him was keeping him from being ordained as a minister.
Renita became a licensed minister and missionary in 2009. She later became an ordained minister through New Wineskin Ministry in 2013. As an ordained minister, Renita encourages those who are being abused, especially spiritually, to know their Bible and God?s complete Word. While God?s Word does encourage women to submit to their husbands, there is also God?s command that husbands love their wives as Jesus loved the church. Marriage was designed as a symbiotic relationship, not a dictatorship.
Radio Talk Show Host – Voice of the Victim
Radio show host, Renita Hills interviews experts in the field of domestic abuse. Her show “Learn to Love You”? airs every Tuesday from 4-6 pm on RadioNext.tv at the Cool Groove site. She records the radio show on Facebook Live as well. Send a friend request to Renita Hills.
Getting Laws Changed
Renita is a warrior. She shines a bright light on a very dark subject. She stands up to authority when they are wrong. She has effected change in the General Assembly in Virginia to successfully change rape to a felony for both married and single people. The use of a foreign object being inserted into the body is now defined as rape and punishable as a felony. She even met with the President Barak Obama to discuss domestic violence and the coalition of unregistered guns and domestic abuse.
Public Speaker for Education
?Education is the key to combat this massive problem. I want to speak before elementary age children. We need to teach young people at a very early age what acceptable behavior is. In most cases, abuse is a learned behavior. It needs to be recognized and exposed.? Renita says, ?My goal is to speak to church groups, youth groups, employers, women's groups, college campuses, schools, summer camps, conferences and to any organization interested in eradicating abuse through education.
Behind Your Eyes is a Beautiful You
Renita boldly proclaims, ?We cannot be silent. We must come alongside those suffering. We have a responsibility to speak up and speak out for those who cannot do it for themselves. Together we can help both men and women transition from victim to survivor to thriver.
Renita Hills is the author of Never Alone?Heartstrings of a Sister, a compilation of poems and short stories of a woman's failures, triumphs, hurts pleasures, love and losses. The hope and prayer is that the women and the men who read this book will realize their emotions are natural and most importantly, as difficult and lonely as you may feel, you are never alone.
Schedule Renita as an Educational Speaker
Voice of the Victim, Inc. (501c3 Non-Profit)
PO Box 361382
Indianapolis, IN 46235
Facebook: Voice of the Victim
Radio Show Tuesdays 4-6 pm?RadioNext.tv?- Cool Groove
Dial 211 for resources
Dial 911 for emergency
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233)
Polly Riddell writing under the pen name of G. Polly Jordan is The Story Teller. She is a freelance journalist writing business spotlight stories and positively in love with telling the God stories. TheStoryTeller.net