Domestic violence, sex assault event to help survivors and abusers heal

5th Annual From Pain 2 Purpose will share stories from both perspectives
The "From Pain 2 Purpose Conference" in Greenville Saturday hopes to help victims of domestic and sexual abuse
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Lakeisha Wilson doesn’t shy away from talking about her journey of recovery from domestic violence and sexual abuse. It’s part of her ongoing mission to help others heal from similar trauma.

“It took me years to forgive,” Wilson said. “I want them to know what took me years to do, you can get it one day.”

Wilson will hold her fifth annual “From Pain 2 Purpose,” conference at the Greenville Convention Center on May 13. The event includes group discussions, counselors and an array of resources to help survivors of domestic violence and sex abuse.

This year, the conference will also include the perspective of a former abuser.

“It’s embarrassing saying that I was an abuser,” Keith Lewers told FOX Carolina. “But at the same token, it’s standing up and saying ‘Hey, it’s got to stop.’”

Lewers said a major turning point came after he watched the 1993 film “What’s Love Got to Do with It” that featured Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne as singer Tina Turner and her husband, Ike Turner.

“I started crying as I saw the way he was treating her. He was very violent towards her,” Lewers said. “It was almost like looking at a reflection of myself and it made me sick to my stomach.”

Lewers is producing a movie based on his upbringing in a home and neighborhood where domestic violence was prevalent. “Keith Lewers: A One Man Show” will include how he was able to break the cycle of violence through counseling and by reconnecting with his faith.

Wilson also found a creative outlet to address the sexual abuse she suffered as a child by writing the book “Already Chosen.” She wrote “Already Chosen Redemption” to chronicle her relationships scarred by domestic abuse.

“I want people to be delivered,” Wilson said. “We hold onto that hate (and) anger for so many years and we don’t want to let go”

From Pain 2 Purpose starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. It is free to attend but people are asked to register here.