By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
MAYS LANDING — Aseealah Davis does not want to live in the pain, hurt and abuse of her past growing up in Newark and has bravely put those experiences on paper to help others.
Recovering from a life of sexual assault and domestic violence is difficult for any woman with many never finding their way out of such tragedy. Davis recently told Front Runner New Jersey that without judgment she understands that difficulty because she’s been there herself.
Her book “Her Eyes of Awareness” bares all on paper her experience and her turn to embracing faith as her way of finding a new life. Agape Water International Safe Haven (AWISH) is a nonprofit she founded in 2017. Although not connected with the book, it is also born out of her personal experiences.
“‘Her Eyes of Awareness’ is about different things I’ve been through and how I overcame them,” Davis said. “So, it’s how I see things. Then I have biblical scriptures, about how God sees them. I talk about how I overcame domestic violence, how I overcame sexual assault and molestation and how I overcame drug-addicted parents while growing up in the inner city of Newark.”
Davis said she started writing the book while isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. She realized that she had blocked out many of the horrific events of her past until they came flooding back to her in a dream. She said she actually saw herself writing the book in her dream.
“When I woke up, God showed me different things that I went through that I had forgotten about,” Davis said. “It was like I blacked out. He brought it back to my memory and I just started writing. I started writing and he showed me the scriptures of where to go to find it and went through like that.”
Agape Water International Safe House has been around since 2017 and she hopes it serves as a vehicle to help youth and women as well.
“AWISH is a lifestyle changer that focuses on the youth and their families,” Davis said. “Our target age ranges from 11 to 18. Our organization is trained to help anyone that needs assistance based on eligibility requirements.”
AWISH’s four programs including Pink Star Diamonds (P.S.D.), Young Men of Valor (Y’MOV), Hands Everywhere Adapting Relating Teaching Strong (H.E.A.R.T.S.) and Community Service. The nonprofit is now taking the next step to improve the lives of those facing challenges in the Mays Landing area.
“Before COVID, we used to meet once a month with the youth and mentors,” Davis said, “We would cook for them and they would learn different life skills. When COVID happened, we just started meeting virtually. So now that things are opening back up, we’re getting ready to start bringing the community back together.”
Agape Water International held a successful Juneteenth event in Mays Landing in June. The festive celebration filled the air at Gaskill Park in Mays Landing with celebration, music and joy. Agape Water gave out scholarships to two high school students and honored individuals in the community.
The group named Aisha Pearson as Mother of the Year and honored Silas Bogin Sr., former coach of the youth sports group Hamilton Knights, and local parent Jackie Rodriguez. Other board members of Agape Water, who attended the event, included vice president Karen Diggs, treasurer Tasha Burroughs, secretary Hasanah Robinson and Melissa Viens.
They also recognized Keisha Whaley, the widow of the late popular Atlantic County Institute of Technology assistant track coach and youth community advocate Johnny Whaley, who died in May.
Davis said she hopes her book serves as a lifeline and a game-changers for those facing dangerous and unhealthy circumstances.
“I hope that people will really take this book and it will help them overcome different things like child abuse, being molested,” Davis said. “I just hope that they can read my book and understand that you don’t have to go through all of this.
“If you just put God first, then a lot of the stuff will be eliminated. I didn’t put God first in the beginning. I had to go through all of this stuff. And now I have a testimony.”
Avanzar empowers individuals and families by working to secure their physical safety, emotional well-being, individual freedom and economic equality.
Through Agape Water International Safe House and God, Davis has learned to turn tragedy into a life worth meaning and continues in her work to help others do the same. It’s a dream come true.
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