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My Contribution

Bringing Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows

As a child, Carolyn Inmon taught daily lessons to her dolls. It was the first step toward a 40-year teaching career during which Inmon would teach students ranging from kindergarten to community college, and obtain tenure three times.

Inmon met her first husband before she entered the profession, and by the time she was 19 the couple were married. By that time, Inmon’s biological father had been married seven times and her mother three. Inmon resolved that her marriage would last.

“I wanted my number to be One!” Inmon says today, adding, “I put up with a lot for that dream and it didn’t even work.”

Inmon’s new husband became emotionally abusive almost immediately. Family and friends noticed a shift in her personality, but Inmon dismissed their comments, continued her efforts to “fix” her marriage, and prayed that her husband would change. Instead, the abuse continued until she was 43.

“When the pain of the present exceeds the fear of the future, you leave,” Inmon says. “I couldn’t change him, but I could change myself.” She left and never looked back.

Inmon, who lives in Irvine, Calif., continued to teach for several years, and then retired. Next, she launched three unsuccessful political campaigns. Along the way, she realized public speaking was her strength, and she began to help candidates, elected leaders and representatives of non-profit organizations hone their public speaking skills.

The work led Inmon to Tanya Brown, the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson—O.J. Simpson’s former wife, who was found murdered outside her home in 1994. Like Inmon, Brown had also left an abusive marriage, and she was preparing a speech about domestic violence when Inmon offered her expertise.

Today, Inmon is a full-time domestic violence advocate, married to her second husband for nearly 27 years. Inmon says her advocacy work brings her great joy because it helps people gain “a deeper understanding of the problems in their relationships, and ways they can combat abuse.”

Once the domestic violence is discussed freely, Inmon believes, people will be less fearful of being judged and more willing to open up. Best of all, they will learn about options.

“It’s time to have those conversations,” Inmon says.

If you, or someone you know has questions about domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-(800)-799-7233.

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