Being Women

Putting An End To Abuse – I am The She!

Our Sixth Power Woman, Cheryl Bradshaw from the UK, tells us how she fought abuse from a very young age.

Learning the strategy to survive abuse at a young age

Raised in the late 1960s in an abusive family home, Cheryl learned survival strategies from as young as three years old. She began working full-time at the age of eleven years old to support herself and to get through school.  By the time she was twenty-three, she had succeeded in her first career in Law before pursuing her Masters’s Degree in Psychology and Forensic Medicine.

In her final year at university, her first husband and the father of her unborn baby, beat her until she was unconscious. To make sure that she and her baby die, he set her home on fire. 

Despite the abuse, she remained unbeaten…

Unbeaten, courageous and tenacious she went on to Graduate from University in the same week she gave birth to her now 25-year-old daughter. Over the years, she coped with her Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cheryl raised her daughter single-handedly and worked full-time. Her daughter grew up to achieve two University degrees herself.  

Love comes knocking again, but…

This unbeaten woman decided that no man would ever become part of her and her daughter until Cheryl met her second husband fifteen years later! They fell in love.

But life had a test lined up for her.

Her husband needed a kidney transplant. Getting a kidney is one challenge. The other is battling the post-operative care and effects of such an important surgery. Cheryl stood by him like a pillar taking care of everything. She commuted long distances to be with him in the hospital. At times, the exhausted woman slept on the floor. Even when her husband was on dialysis, she would book trips, arrange everything, take care of every detail and take him out.

Kidney failure, dialysis and transplant were common ailments and not a challenge.

Preparing for the battle

Fate dealt a cruel blow when she found that her husband was being unfaithful to her. Not the woman to accept it, she left her husband, sued him and got all her papers ready for another battle – the divorce.

Soon Cheryl realised that the lawyer was charging an exorbitant charge for fighting her case. She decided to fire him. In her words, ‘I do not want to afford a lawyer to fight my legal case with my ex-husband when God has gifted me with a brain to learn the intricate areas of the law that I face at present. So I grabbed the books. I spent a total of 238 hours slogging it. I achieved what I needed to achieve and with that same power of knowledge, I can go to help others free of charge, who find themselves in a similar position and are not confident enough to fight for what is right!’

Living life on her own principles…

So here is a woman who lives life by her own standards. She has been a doting wife but not a doormat. An ideal daughter who does the best for her elderly parents. A great friend who doesn’t forget the ones who stood by her and a selfless mother who has raised her child well and stands proud of her beautiful daughter.

Cheryl is an advocate for “justice for women”. Besides being passionate about such causes, she loves sports, reading and creative activities. She loves to travel!

She says, ‘I’m hungry for the world is at my feet. It’s culture, beauty, and so much more!

My house is small

No Mansion for a Millionaire

But there is room for friends

There is room for love

That’s all I care!’

She has a message for all the women here.

To those women out there who are inwardly and outwardly struggling….. 

How we can escape Abuse and Adversity on EVERY LEVEL….. 

  • Remember that we are strong, courageous and tenacious….. 
  • And that it is a complete and UTTER MYTH that men are the stronger sex …..

My passion is for life itself! How so precious it is despite what life throws at us. I am a firm believer that ‘it takes rain to make a rainbow.’

  • I witnessed many deaths during my ex-husband’s transplant journey and those two years of his stay in the Intensive Care Unit. Since it was during the Covid Pandemic, I witnessed death DAILY with my own bare eyes. It became more frightening rather than easier. I value life more than anything else in the world. Life beyond just the human race. Flowers, plants, trees. Animals, nature and the life of the oceans. How time and Tide wait for no man.  
  • I succeeded because I REFUSED to fail.
  • I stand strong because I REFUSED to be weak
  • In my weaknesses, I act like a swan…Gracing along to the outside world…Albeit I might be flapping my feet beneath…
  • A bad day only lasts a day! Brush yourself down, reapply your lipstick and start again with a smile!
  • We get one chance at it. Success is failure turned inside out! 
  • Our brains are the organs that are hungry for exercise. An investment in education pays the best interest! 
  • I also thrive in my own company as it gives me time to think, reflect and enjoy who I am.
  • You are your own woman…you are stronger thank you think…more courageous than you know, more able than you give to yourself credit for.

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