Matt, now 21, remembers his father strangling him then forcing his head in the toilet when he was 4 years old - a punishment for spilling milk at the table. Just one memory of violence that was too frequent to count. His father would go into a violent rage on a daily basis. His mother tried to protect him the best she could but they were Americans living in a foreign country - there were no child protective services, no domestic violence shelters, no one to help. Now Matt is ready to speak out.
Matt finally has the courage to tell his story. He hopes his story will help other child abuse victims, and will mobilize American communities overseas to take a stand against child abuse. He also wants to demonstrate that domestic violence is not a women's issue, that domestic violence and child abuse prevention should be the responsibility of men. Matt wants to produce a short, but powerful, video to tell his story and make a call to action.
Matt's video will be used to educate Americans overseas about the devastating effects of domestic violence and child abuse and the live long struggles victims have including depression and drug and alcohol addiction. His video will be part of the tools that are used by the organization for outreach, education and engagement. Matt hopes that by seeing his video, mothers will be motivated to seek help sooner and get their children out of abusive homes at a younger age.
The project serves 500 women per year empowering them to find alternatives to a life of violence so their children grow up in violence free homes with their self-esteem in tact with the hope of stopping the cycle of violence in future generations.
Today Show May 2007
Interview with Paula Lucas