Self Discovery: The Way Out

April 9, 2015
Hosted by Reesee Zigga Zagga and Denyce Watkis

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Episode Description

Our guest for this show will be Grace who has survived domestic abuse, several rapes, & human trafficking. She joins us to talk about her incredible story of perseverance and healing.

Abuse: Survival Stories presents I Reclaim My Voice

Abuse: Survival Stories presents I Reclaim My Voice

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

Abuse: Survival Stories presents I Reclaim My Voice, provides a platform for men and women who have experienced domestic violence, psychological abuse and sexual abuse, to share their stories so that they may reclaim their voices and help put an end to suffering in silence.

I Reclaim My Voice features survivors of domestic violence, psychological abuse and sexual abuse sharing their stories, as well as powerful spoken word performances and interviews with renowned advocates against abuse. Our message is one of growth, compassion, and peace.

We believe that abuse thrives on silence and ignorance. By sharing your survival story, you can help educate and save lives.

I Reclaim My Voice was created to not only support survivors as they own their stories, but to celebrate their courage, strength and resilience. Join us, not in the war against abuse, but in the name of peace and healing for all.

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Reesee Zigga Zagga and Denyce Watkis

Reesee Zigga Zagga and Denyce Watkis

Reesee Zigga Zagga is an entertainment photographer whose portfolio includes Dr. Oz, NBA star Chris Bosh, and recording artists Drake, T.I., Ciara and Mya. After experiencing a psychologically abusive relationship, her focus shifted to humanitarian work and in 2012 Reesee launched nonprofit event series Abuse: Survival Stories with the hopes of helping other survivors reclaim their voices.

Since the inception of the Abuse: Survival Stories series, she has organized over twenty events, performed spoken word poetry at renowned platforms like TEDx to raise awareness about abuse, and has received the 2014 Yinnergy Appreciation Award for her work with survivors. Through her work, Reesee strives to bring hope and healing to the lives of others.

Denyce is a writer who uses poetry to help young girls and women heal from the trauma of sexual abuse.
A survivor of sexual abuse, by sharing her story through poetry, Denyce would come to find out that there were others who were suffering in silence and wanted to have their voices heard, but did not know how to go about doing so. In an effort help others find their voices, she created Healing Through Poetry, a foundation devoted to giving a voice to sexually abused young girls and women who may feel that they don't have one. The goal is to enable them to positively deal with the negative feelings that sexual abuse can evoke.
Denyce believes that when it comes to abuse, silence kills. She makes every effort to speak honestly and unapologetically about her own experiences so that others going through the same situations know that they are not alone and that they can heal past the pain and shame. In 2010 Denyce hosted an internet radio show called REFLECTIONZ with the goal of bringing more awareness to sexual abuse and how to help break the silence.
She has now teamed up with Abuse Survival Stories to use the platform of internet radio to help share the same message.
A writer, a poet, a mother, an entrepreneur, and a motivational speaker, the accomplishment that Denyce is most proud of is that of no longer seeing herself as a victim but as a survivor. She is dedicated to helping others who have been in similar situations to see themselves in the same way.

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Episode Directory

May 2015

April 2015

  • 4/30/2015: Becoming Listen Now
  • 4/23/2015: The Boomerang Effect: How You Can Take Charge Of Your Life Listen Now
  • 4/16/2015: I Determine the Path of My Life, Not the Spirit of Abuse Listen Now
  • 4/9/2015: Self Discovery: The Way Out Listen Now
  • 4/2/2015: How I Saved My Life Listen Now

March 2015

Mary Anne Ansley

Touched by abuse and a birth defect, Mary Anne has now found a fertile soil through the caring ministry unto others who need to be lifted up. Mary Anne's journey is a story that took her from an inner hidden bondage to a slow walk through freedom's door. She spent many years working through her healing process and now for the past six years has been diligently involved in volunteer work with "Women in Crises" through a number of community agency's in the Peterborough, Ontario, Canada area. Mary Anne's work has involved public speaking engagements, committee work, workshops, seminars, community events and representing the YWCA in a number of facets. She is now in the mist of creating her own non-profit group called "Survivor's Give Hope" and is excited about where this new endeavour will lead her on her journey towards helping others to take the steps needed to new found freedom. View Guest page

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Nicola Bird

Nicola Bird, Ph.D. is a new generation, visionary psychotherapist who pioneered a ground-breaking approach to personal transformation and brain retraining. After seeing the same patterns in herself and her clients, she created a powerful, fast moving, and effective system for healing and self-empowerment. During her almost 20-years of practice, she’s helped people to breakthrough negative tapes, liberate themselves from struggle, and triumph over obstacles. Her one-of-a-kind method gives people the tools to free themselves from limitations, fears, and past hurts and to empower their lives. Nicola received her doctorate from the University of Toronto. She is the author of “The Boomerang Effect: How You Can Take Charge Of Your Life.” View Guest page

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Cher is an alumni of U of T. She studied English Literature and Women’s Studies and graduated having found a calling towards helping women. A mother of two amazing and beautiful children, she is devoted to raising two strong and resilient individuals and her goal is to teach them to always speak their minds and the truth no matter what. She has been a part of Abuse: Survival Stories since it started and feels personally honored to have met and heard so many brave women and men who have suffered from abuse. As she continues to grow and share her story, she hopes to inspire all those who are suffering in silence to speak their minds and let the voice that they were once robbed of, sing loudly again. View Guest page

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Gabriela is a survivor, advocate and public speaker. She has volunteered in various organizations and continues to work on projects that will inspire and empower other women to speak out. She is also passionate about raising awareness, prevention and engaging men and boys to end violence against women. Gabriela is a member of the Survivors Committee for the Violence Prevention Coordinating Council (VPCC ) Durham. She is a member of the United Way speaker’s bureau and shares her story at corporate events. She has also volunteered at Ernestine's Women's Shelter acting as an Ambassador and member of the Ernestine Affair committee. In January 2014 she participated in a challenge called "Mothers and Sons Against Violence Against Women" and climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in an effort to raise funds for programs to engage and educate men and boys on violence against women. She is currently pursuing a career as a life coach and is very passionate about providing resources and support to women who find themselves in abusive relationships, and engaging the community to eliminate the stigmas attached to violence against women and support the victims . View Guest page

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Grace is a mother & entrepreneur. She is a survivor of domestic abuse, several rapes, & human trafficking. She has found her healing process is within herself and is ready to share that with the world. View Guest page

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Michael Marks

Michael Marks is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and an advocate for ending the silence that surrounds abuse in the black community. Michael is a professional speaker, youth worker and has run many recreational programs throughout the Greater Toronto Area. His experience with children and youth for the past 15 years have helped Micheal hone his message of healing and support to one that has helped many men step forward and seek help with their past. View Guest page

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Deb Maybury

Before she was 11, Deb Maybury had been sexually violated by four different people. Her mission is to break the stigma and taboo that surround sexual abuse and encourage healthy dialogue focused on healing. She is a Harmony Integration coach, facilitator for individuals and groups recovering from sexual abuse and best-selling author of Unlock The Door: Beyond Sexual Abuse; Ready Aim, Inspire and What Is Your Teenage Daughter Afraid Of? View Guest page

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Aiesha Murray

Aiesha Murray is a full-fledged, no apologies, into-the-trenches, women survivor advocator, and Founder of non-profit org, 3 Little Birds. When she isn’t planning for her twice a year pop-up shop events for 3 Little Birds, she is collecting gently-used or new clothing and accessories from family, friends, friends of friends, and other prominent non-profit organizations, in support of her smaller and more personal project initiatives. She collects everything from baby diapers, to women’s accessories, to perishable foods, to women’s casual and business attire. You can read about and watch her journey with 3 Little Birds at, and may email her at for information on donating. View Guest page

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Grammy Award Winning Artist Mýa is celebrating 17 years in the entertainment industry as an internationally known, respected singer, songwriter, producer, dancer/choreographer, designer, actress, activist and philanthropist. As a philanthropist, Mýa continues to devote her time and resources to various causes. From 1998 to 2001, she became the spokesperson for Secret to Self Esteem. In 2005, Mýa founded TMATF: The Mýa Arts & Tech Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged youth growth and opportunity through arts & technology education, in which she serves as both executive director and teacher. Mýa is also an advocate of breast cancer as her mother is a 16-year survivor. She’s collaborated with the Lifetime Television Network in the Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign, recording “My Bra” a song sold on iTunes donating 100% of proceeds to breast cancer research, participated in numerous Revlon Run/ Walks & Susan G. Komen & Habitat for Humanity charitable events. In 2007, from the Global AIDS fight, to aiding homeless LGBT youth via Skool’d, to advocating equality with the NOH8 campaign, Mya also ran the 26.2 mile NYC ING Marathon to raise funds for the world’s largest no-kill animal shelter & organization, North Shore Animal League America in 2011. Most recently, Mýa partnered with the Human Rights Campaign for their #LoveConquersHate campaign and currently serves as celebrity ambassador for Africare addressing health, economic development, women’s empowerment & youth engagement. View Guest page

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Jeff Perera

Jeff Perera is the Community Engagement Manager for White Ribbon, the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, and a new vision of masculinity. He curates the annual What Makes A Man conference and organized the first TEDxWomen’s event in Toronto. Jeff has also delivered two TEDx talks including ‘The Ladder of Manhood.' View Guest page

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Quiet Storm

Born in the city of Wilmington, NC on 3Feb69....... I grew up in a household with both Parents & a Sister by the name of Keisha, I called her "ShortCake", She was my best friend. God saw fit to take her home at the age of 9. My early years were a bit awkward, but, that all changed one day while listening to Gospel records that my Mom owned. This was the beginning of my Love for Music & that changed my Life. I started playing the Piano at age 10, taking lessons for 8 years. I sang in my Junior & Senior High School Choirs, During High School is when I began to write & kept doing so until my Sister Died in February, during my 11th Grade year of High School, after that point I just didn't have the desire to write. I, however, continued to play the Piano and sing. One of my Life's lowest points was the catalyst in behind me writing again. Eighteen years later....I'm still writing. SpokenWord came into my life about 10 years ago. I started doing SpokenWord as a form of expression & therapy. I continue doing what I do, because, I know that I'm a Messenger. I speak for those that may not be able to articulate themselves to the point of getting People to really understand or hear them....the Voices most People try to tune Out....I also do what I do in order to execute My Part in Making a Positive Difference in this World..... I Am QuietStorm Of SpokenWord.......I Have Much To Say To The World View Guest page

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Dianne Robinson

Dianne wears many hats, which include that of a Mother, Writer, Spoken Word Performer and Entrepreneur. Her expertise lies in the areas of Event Planning and Volunteer Co-ordination/Training. Miss Robinson strongly believes in helping others to achieve their full potential, and firmly believes in giving back to the community or communities you are a part of. View Guest page

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