Advocates to Shares Stories of Survival During Domestic Violence Awareness Month at SC State

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

According to www.downstate.edu, between 91-95 percent of all documented domestic violence cases are women being abused by male partners. Approximately 1-2 percent is physical abuse of men by their female partners, and 3-8 percent of the total number of reported domestic violence cases involves same-sex relationship abuse. In light of these staggering statistics and in observance of National Domestic Violence Month, SC State University will host several events beginning on Oct. 8, 2012.  These events are designed to educate and provide assistance and preventative measures for anyone involved in or aware of anyone who is in an abusive relationship. 


Opening the month will be “The Faces of Domestic Violence” event, which will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the MLK Auditorium, on the campus of SC State University.  Kemba Smith Pradia and Dale Wales, dynamic speakers and advocates for domestic violence will tell their stories of survival as they were once faced with the horrific and senseless act. 


Growing up as an only child in Richmond, Va., Pradia graduated high school and continued her education at prestigious Hampton University.  What happened to her in her new campus environment was a nightmare.  In an attempt to “fit in,” Pradia associated with the wrong crowd and became involved with a drug dealer.  He was a major figure in a crack cocaine ring and drew her right in the middle of his life with physical, mental and emotional abuse disguised as “love.”


After enduring this turbulent four-year relationship in 1994, Pradia was sentenced to 24.5 years and served 6.5 years in federal prison.  Fortunately, she regained her freedom after former President Bill Clinton granted her clemency in December 2000.  Her case drew support from across the nation and the world to reverse a disturbing trend in the rise of lengthy sentences for first time non-violent drug offenders.  Her story has been featured on CNN, Nightline, Court TV, The Early Show, Donahue, Judge Hatchett, and a host of other television programs. In addition, she has been featured in several publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Glamour, People, JET, Emerge and Essence Magazines.


As a wife, mother, advocate, consultant and public speaker, Pradia has received numerous awards and recognitions for her courage and determination to educate the public about the devastating consequences of current drug policies.  Ultimately, she knows that there is a lesson in each experience in life, and she has embraced her experience, learned from it, and is now using that experience to teach others.


As a child, Wells was an athlete and scholar student and he always strived to do his very best. From elementary, junior and through high school, his hard worked earned him a scholarship to Wright State University. There is where he pledged Phi Beta Sigma in spring 1986.


Later, Wells relocated to Columbia, S.C. Using the education received in college, he began his career in business management, which he has done for over 20 years. He has received numerous public speaking awards from the state of South Carolina which includes the "Survivor of the Year Award" presented by Governor Sanford. Wells also does the yearly domestic violence training video for the South Carolina Police Department and is in the process of writing his very first book entitled "Secrets that Kill."


As a motivational public speaker and soon to be author, Wells is standing up for the cause to put an end to this horrific demon called domestic violence. Wells travels the country delivering his awesome message which inspires many on how to love and live up to greatness. It is a message that he has learned in his own life and one he is helping others apply to their own lives. After being shot five times by his ex-girlfriend, Wells came out of the hospital alive but with only one lung, two bullets still inside of him, and difficulty breathing and walking. While Wells’ ex had made death threats against him in the past and clearly displayed violent tendencies, Wells claims that “pride” was what kept him silent for too long. In 2007, He decided to become a motivational speaker. This was in hopes of defeating the Secret that Kills.


Below are additional activities that will take place during the week:
Domestic Violence Information Fair
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
K.W. Green Student Center (Bulldog Lounge)
Resources will be provided to include informational materials and community organizations/advocacy groups relating to domestic violence.


Remembrance Ceremony
Wednesday, Oct.  10, 2012
12 p.m.
K.W. Green Student Center (Front)
An array of purple balloons will be released in remembrance of victims of domestic violence.


Domestic Violence Forum
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012
7 p.m.
K.W. Green Student Center (Bulldog Lounge)
Individuals from various community and University organizations will advise of the different forms of abuse and share collateral damage and effects of domestic violence, along with the importance of awareness and prevention.


All events are free and open to the public.  Attendees are asked to bring wish list items to each event, which will be donated to CASA Family Systems in Orangeburg, S.C. Items include: Baby wipes, Clorox, deodorant, diapers sizes 1-5, Vaseline, dish and laundry detergent, and paper towels.


For more information on Domestic Violence Month activities, call Pinky Carter, director of Brooks Health Center at (803) 536-7055, or Adrienne Webber, dean of  SC State’s Miller F. Whittaker Library at (803)536-7045.