A Mom’s Abuse Decides Football Player’s Future

In Creating Happiness, Domestic Abuse Posts By Barbara, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

I happened to catch the annual ESPN college football awards show on Thursday evening and was greatly moved by the story of the recipient of the Disney Spirit Award, Arkansas football player DJ Williams.  You see, DJ and his two sisters along with their mother are all survivors of domestic abuse.  I have attached here the

As far as I am concerned, Mrs. Williams is a true hero.  I wish that I could give her a great big award that acknowledges the level of a mother’s love that would allow her to risk her life to protect them.
clip of that award presentation which includes their story and although it is a little long, it is definitely worth watching the whole thing.  However, I must say that I had to watch the clip myself a second time because I became so very focused on TJ’s mother that I missed a lot of the rest of the story.

Here is a woman with 3 children, the youngest one being TJ who had just turned 11 when she knew that they had to leave their home.  She had been beaten for the last time and she knew that, not only for her own survival but also for the survival of her kids, it was time.  She knew that she had to leave everything behind and go into hiding and that she would have to start over.  And that is exactly what she did.

I watched each time that the camera was on her and I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through her mind.  She obviously allowed the entire focus to be on her son and his achievements.  She would definitely be proud of what he had to say about her part in his growing up.  She would know that not only has he done well as a football player but also will be receiving his college degree in a few days which should help to secure a better life for him than she had.  And she would know that for him to be selected to receive this award out of all of the thousands and thousands of college football players was just awesome.

But, none of these feelings were expressed on her face and I couldn’t help but think about what the life of this woman had been.  She had been in a most frightful situation where she was physically abused and that would have been accompanied by mental abuse.  Heaven only knows how long she existed in that situation except that we do know that her two daughters were older than the 11 year-old son that left from the abusive home and that was 12 years ago.  She left with nothing except her life and her children.  And somehow or other, over the subsequent years, she passed on to her son, and I am sure, her daughters as well, a work ethic and appreciation of life that only a few may ever come to know at that age.

As far as I am concerned, Mrs. Williams is a true hero.  I wish that I could give her a great big award that acknowledges the level of a mother’s love that would allow her to risk her life to protect them.  I would love to acknowledge what she has accomplished that has allowed for her children to find a better life for themselves than she had ever known.  I would award her humility and quiet demeanor that say that she does not understand the value of her contributions to the lives of her children.  And I would tell her that what she has done is such an inspiration not only to me but also to all of the others who have sacrificed themselves in order to protect their children’s lives and she is also an inspiration to those who are also considering leaving their abusive situations.

So, Mrs. Williams, this is my humble tribute to you. What you have accomplished is a greater achievement than most of us will ever know and I want you to know that others who now know of your story also feel the same way.  I hope that you have found or will find the realization of your own personal dreams and I want you to know that you are truly a “part of the magic” that is symbolized by Disney and the award that your son has received.  Congratulations Mrs. Williams!

If you or someone you know is affected by Domestic Abuse, you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)Share a COMMENT