Friday, October 07, 2005

Drink Milk. OJ kills

The title of this post might be misleading, because it's not something humorous I plan to write on...

Many of you know I intern for a television program. My job is to find guests, bring them on the show and get good interviews. I am really excited because next week we'll have Tanya Brown, sister of Nicole Brown Simpson on the show. I heard she was coming to UND to speak about domestic/relationship violence and called and asked her agent if she would want to be on the show.

Luckily she will. I did a pre-interview over the phone today and it was a very surreal experience. Here's a family who not only lost a sister and daughter to domestic violence but lost her in front of the whole world. I can't imagine anyone in the U.S. not knowing the name Nicole Brown Simpson. It was very interesting to talk about Nicole's abuse and what it was like after she was brutally murdered.

I wasn't sure how to approach the "OJ factor" and Tanya mentioned it isn't something she spends any time on in her speeches. Her focus is helping other people escape violent situations or recognize a violent partner and get away.

She did tell me one interesting thing. It has been over 11 years since Nicole was murdered. On the most recent anniversary of her death, Tanya and her family held a memorial and fundraiser while OJ gambled and signed autographs in Las Vegas. *(Maybe he's still looking for the killer there?)

After talking to Tanya, I realized I don't ever want to forget Nicole. After my work this summer with battered women, something inside me changed. Tanya talked about this also. She tried working for hotlines or being an advocate but that didn't work for her. She eventually found her niche in public speaking. As she said, "If this cause is important to you, find a niche and help in whatever way you can." I hope I can do this someday.

I'll never forget Nicole, or speaking to her sister, Tanya. I won't ever forget the women I met at the shelter this summer. I hope we all remember.

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