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St. Petersburg woman crusades against domestic violence

It's a cause that is rarely in the spotlight.

It lurks in the shadows because of the stigma associated with it.

Most associate this month with breast cancer awareness, but October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month.

The fallout from the effects of the abuse extends beyond the front lines. Like secondhand smoke, its younger victims — who are witnesses to the abuse — have no control.

One victim, Linda Mobley, set out to do something about it.

This week, the St. Petersburg resident and survivor will be featured in an hourlong special on ABC Action News that puts a spotlight on how domestic violence affects children.

"I wanted to share my story with the community in order to help save our youth from crime," Mobley said.

Beyond the television special, Mobley is volunteering this month at the Pinellas County Detention Center.

"I'll be facilitating classes there so we can have a healthy dialogue about stopping the cycle of violence."

Mobley, author, mother, grandmother and substitute teacher, stresses that there needs to be more attention paid to how the effects of domestic violence can influence children.

Her book: I Hate My Life: A Teenager's Story was published in 2011, but it started to gain traction in recent months.

The 25-page book is written from her son's perspective, based on what Mobley saw and heard.

"I just wanted to get it out there to save families. I just want to make a difference," she said.

The book has opened other doors as well — Mobley has begun talks on doing a documentary on the topic.

"I had no idea that it would be so well received," she said, adding that she wrote it so other families won't have to go through what she and her son went through.

"All the pressure, turmoil and violence — it was truly a nightmare."

The book was adapted into a play last year at the Coliseum and caught the attention of officials who deal with at-risk students.

Mobley had long been interested in working with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office as well as broadening her reach to Bradenton and Tampa.

"Too many young people are leaving the schoolhouse and going to the jailhouse and I'd like to be an influence to stop that cycle.

"If I can save one family at a time, then I think it will be something good."

• • •

There will be a presentation of the 34th Street South Corridor Plan at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the St. Petersburg College Allstate Center at 3200 34th St. S.

A corridor improvement plan has been in the works through a partnership of neighborhoods, businesses, property owners and the city for 30th to 54th avenues S.

The plan calls for creating a vision to enhance the area, through development and investment that includes economic development, transportation, streetscape, land use and site design, and marketing.

For information, visit stpete.org/34 or call Gary Jones at (727) 893-7877.

• • •

Hidden treasures are in store during Grand Central District Association's inaugural Grand Central Flea, an antiques and collectables market on the 2500 block of Central Avenue. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 2 and will feature more than 40 dealers and vendors selling antiques, collectables and handmade crafts from their vehicles. Free antique appraisals will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For information, call Lauren Ruiz at (727) 828-7006.

Sandra J. Gadsden can be reached at sgadsden@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8874 and on Twitter at @StPeteSandi.

St. Petersburg woman crusades against domestic violence 10/11/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2013 3:20pm]

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