The #WhyIStayed Social Activist Creates Escape Aid-‘Bolt Bag’ for Domestic Abuse Survivors


You may not recognize the name. It’s Bev Gooden, btw. But you damn sure remember her setting Twitter ablaze when her hashtag #WhyIStayed went viral in 2014, which nabbed TIME’s Top 10 Hashtags That Started a Conversation.

The Cleveland native is doing more than talking about her experience as a domestic violence survivor. She launched nonprofit org–The Ella Mae Foundation–to advocate for victims of domestic abuse (in honor of late grandmother, who the foundation is named after.)

Starting with ‘The Bolt Bag’ project. It’s exactly what you think it is. A bag full of essentials when you need to…you guessed it…BOLT from someone dangerous.

The Bolt Bag contains toiletries, first aid kits, brush, comb and even more essentials.

IMG_20170426_192401Good hearted folk, like us Blinkers, can donate needed items for the Bolt Bags by reaching out to Bev.

“The time when you leave domestic violence is so, so dangerous, Gooden told NowWhat Her. “And I just wanted to do something tangible, to remove that obstacle.”

“My marriage was abusive and I got out of that marriage.” She adds.

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Being in those shoes, Gooden designed Bolt Bag to emphasize anonymity and safety.

“You don’t have to give me your name, or address, or social or phone number. That was the whole idea of the project is anonymity.” the Hampton University grad explains.

NowWhat Her reports hundreds of Bolt Bags have gone out around the world to help all those in need of an escape from a toxic relationship.

To learn more about the Bolt Bag Project click here.

Bev is our #WCW for not only surviving an impossible situation, but giving others the tools to do the same.

Bow Wow, Sway Calloway, Ice-T and Blair Underwood Say No More to Domestic Violence PSA


Domestic violence is always an issue that falls off the radar of public awareness, even when forced to confront it. So color me surprised when Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay recruited some celebs for her PSA about preventing sexual assault and domestic violence.

Rapper turned “106 and Park” host Bow Wow (now going by his gov name: Shad Moss), MTV’s Sway Calloway, Blair Underwood, and of course Mariska’s L&O co-star Ice-T lent their voices to say No More to domestic violence.


The PSA campaign–airing on all Viacom networks: VH1, BET, MTV, Comedy Central, TV Land and Spike this summer–is a smorgasbord of celebs saying they won’t stand for violent relationships going unchecked. Can I get an amen on that?

The videos are a product of a collaboration between Mariska’s Joyful Heart Foundation, an org dedicated to empowering survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and Viacom Velocity Creative (they brought the talent).

“For the first time in history, the domestic violence and sexual assault movements are coming together under one symbol and one unifying message: “NO MORE. Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.” You can’t overstate the significance of sexual assault,” says Mariska in a press release.

From your lips to God’s ears…

Check out all the videos here

DYNAMIC DUO: Beyonce and Boots, Singer/Producer Create Soulful Duet Ballad for Charity

Image Courtesy: Consequencesof

Image Courtesy:

I know one name didn’t look familiar to you above. Well, let me pour some tea in your cup. Boots aka Jordy Asher is a producer/singer signed to Jay Z’s label Roc Nation. Boots (unknowingly) helped make our holiday season all the more brighter by contributing to “Drunk in Love” and “85% of Beyonce album.” For that, we thank you. And we may need to throw another gracias his way after hearing his duet with Beyonce called “Dreams.”

This haunting ballad is the cherry on top of Boot’s mixtape he’s been teasing us with piecemeal tracks on Facebook for two months. Well, you tell me if it was worth the wait by tapping your feet to King Bey and Boots’ “Dreams” beat below:

Tots worth the wait, amirite? Not only that but it’s also worth the $1 download because every bit of it will go towards an org spreading awareness for teen dating violence. Boots released a statement about the non-profit and why he wanted to donate money to them:

A while back I promised myself that if I ever had the opportunity to help others, or give back in some way, I would seize it. A friend recently told me about a non-profit organization called “Day One” here in NYC. In their words, “Day One is the only organization in New York City solely devoted to the issue of teen dating violence.” I feel that protecting women from these horrible and unthinkable acts should take precedence in our society. I feel passionate about this because if more women knew that safe places existed from the turmoil they experience, it could possibly prevent these situations from occurring or reoccurring. Every cent made from this song will go directly to

So refreshing to see famous artists get behind a cause that largely goes unnoticed. It’s beyond me how people can turn a blind eye to Gabriella or Alisa’s survivor stories. Thank God, for those that don’t.

Kelly Rowland Joins Movement Against Domestic Violence & How to Wear Fearlessness

Kelly Rowland teamed up with photographer to the stars Derek Blanks to create a PSA for Domestic Violence Awareness month of October.

It’s a cause close to home for Kelly after revealing being in an abusive relationship with her former fiancè this summer. Her latest album (Talk a Good Game) aired her “Dirty Laundry”…no, I mean literally that was the name of one of the song’s on her record, which goes into detail of a relationship filled with verbal and physical abuse. Check the song below…

It takes a fearless woman to leave that situation…

…and speaking of being courageous, we found just the right apparel to illustrate that spirit.

L.A. implant Arian Simone created a limitless brand that includes clothing, magazine and a non-profit that specializes in mentoring young kids. Her efforts have garnered the attention of Meagan Good, Tia Mowry and VH1’s “Marrying the Game” star Tiffney Cambridge that’s modeling their Breast Cancer Awareness customized tees.

photo credit: fearlessmovement

photo credit: fearlessmovement

To take it a step farther, the Fearless movement coordinated an A-list dinner with Ms. Cambridge for $300, and the money will go towards Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

To join the movement click here. Offer expires November 1st.

IF YOU BLINKED:  Diana Nyad raised $105 Gs for her 48-hour swim. Now that’s fearless!! Someone get this woman a fearless towel asap.


Kelly Rowland and Monica Promote Domestic Violence Prevention month

Sports Illustrated 2013

Sports Illustrated 2013

If you’re anything like me, your eyes were glued to both the TV screen and newspaper headlines this week for the latest developments in the Oscar Pistorius murder case. It’s still hard to believe that the man shivering and weeping in a small court room in South Africa is the same guy  I was cheering for five months ago at the London Olympics as the first double amputee to compete with able-bodied runners in the 400M race. Despite his last place finish, I admired his courage and stamina for making Olympic history, and living up to the nickname ‘Blade Runner’ with his carbon fiber blades that pierced the track. Fast forward to today where I imagined he would be prepping for his Olympic comeback in 2016, not a court case where he is suspected of premeditated murder charges against his girlfriend.

Nor could I envision the stoic, yet focused CBS 2 anchorman Rob Morrison having a history of domestic violence that dates back to 2003. The New York Daily News reports today that Morrison’s wife made repeated calls to cops to complain about her husband’s drunken abuse that involved choking her until she became unconscious.

And the list goes on and on and on. Yet, the shock and surprise remain the same. Violence against women has always been an issue whispered about with a shake of the head, but never publicly scrutinized or condemned by the media or within the abuser’s community. However, no one could turn a blind eye towards wild child Rihanna’s rekindled romance with former abuser Chris Brown. Rihanna explained her reasoning in Rolling Stone:

I decided it was more important for me to be happy. I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of that. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake.

I think everyone gave the pop diva the side eye for that comment. Not just because she chose to go back with her abuser, but, at her naivety to think her actions wouldn”t have ripple affects on the millions of fans that worship her. Which is surprising considering her 2009 interview with Diane Sawyer; Rihanna admitted she couldn’t live with the fact that someone in a similar situation getting killed because they chose to follow her example of reuniting with their abuser.

A mistake that resulted in 1,336 domestic violence deaths in 2010, 82 percent of those deaths were women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Domestic Violence is an ongoing cycle that we hear about nearly, on a daily basis but very few calls for action are being made. The re-authorization of The Violence Against Women Act (landmark legislation that is a buffer against domestic assault) is still locked in limbo waiting for the House’s approval, which was ordinarily supported by both parties in Washington.

House Speaker John Boehner says the House “will act in a timely fashion in some way.”

R & B superstars Monica, Kelly Rowland and rap legend MC Lyte saw the need to get involved and will participate in a PSA that helps young girls coping with abusive relationships. The PSA is part of the Yell Campaign Initiative hosted by Saving Our Daughters. In an MTV interview Kelly said it was important to address this issue head on.

I wanted to use my voice to save young girls. This domestic violence thing has gotten so out of control. As I travel around the world for IHMG (I Heart My Girlfriends, an empowerment group Kelly founded), I meet so many young girls who openly admit to being abused and they are so young…my heart breaks. We have to take a stand against this and let young girls know that this is wrong and try to break some of the silence about domestic violence.

Even Ms. NeNe “I”m Rich, Bitch” Leakes wanted to support the cause by participating in a Celebrity Price is Right Match held this week. Leakes was a victim of domestic violence and is also a supporter of Saving Our Daughters that aims to develop programs that aim to empower women against bullying, date abuse, hate crimes and violence.