Purple doesn’t define me.

By: Jessica Bonardi

V Teamer Amber Nakamura shares her courageous journey with domestic violence.

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On today’s edition of Up To Speed, host Jessica Bonardi introduced an important video focused on V Teamer Amber Nakamura and her journey as a survivor of domestic violence.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it’s an important time to remind V Teamers that resources are available. Verizon’s commitment to providing assistance to employees in domestic violence relationships continues this year with a JBWS toolkit that explains how to get help or be an ally all year round.

When conceptualizing this project, Amber turned to her V Team family. She selected her former colleague and photographer, Dion Lawson, to capture this healing moment.

Amber, who is currently a Senior Account Manager within our Business Department in Aurora, CO, was compelled to share her story to continue the conversation and be an advocate for survivors everywhere.

Amber began her story by introducing her family and describing her parents' marriage as an ideal partnership to emulate and look up to. She then described the difficult passing of her father due to a heart attack and how she had to begin to work to support her family.

She described how one day she received a random friend request from someone she didn’t know. “Usually I don’t just approve or accept messages but he and I oddly had about over 50 mutual friends, so I figured ok, why not,” Amber said. “We ended up starting seeing each other, and that’s how it started.”

She mentioned that her family did not like him and she let a lot of red flags slide. “He tried to guilt trip me all the time,” Amber said. “If you love me you wouldn’t go to work, if you loved me you would stay a little longer.”

One day, he called her a name that she had never been called. She didn’t know how to respond and that’s when he slapped her across the face. Amber says that was the start of everything.

Amber decided to give him another chance but then recalls another incident in which he spilled boiling water all over her lap. “It was pretty intentional, but he did really well in acting, making it seem like a mistake,” Amber said.

Amber recalled the final straw that led her to end the relationship. She described how she couldn’t find her beloved puppy Masami anywhere. She eventually found him under a pile of blankets, bleeding. “The vet was able to identify that Masami’s jaw was broken in half,” Amber said. “We tried to go to the Sunnyvale police department and they actually arrested him.”

She described how she woke up one day and decided she wanted to make another better life. Amber moved to Colorado and describes the move and working with Verizon as a wonderful decision with a company in which she’s felt welcome since day one.

“When you decide to commit to changing your life,” Amber said. “You’ll find this new glow when you make that first step.”

For more information about resources available to the V Team please visit the Verizon Employee Assistance Program website by clicking here

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