Going through tough times has a way of exposing hidden treasures.
~ Jodine Basterash
Let Go of Whatever
~ Jodine Basterash
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
~ Maya Angelou
Going through hard times has a way of exposing hidden treasures.
You can’t change your past, but you can design your future.
Growing up as the only mixed child in a Caucasian household in Milwaukee, WI, Jodine Basterash led a sad and sheltered childhood. She dealt with many obstacles not being accepted by either side of her race, African Americans or Caucasians. As a result, she suffered with low self esteem and self identity. Although she knew her father, he was not a part of her life. She made quite a few attempts for his involvement with no success, which led to the next phase inher life dealing with the spirit of rejection. At the tender age of 10 years old, Jodine's virginity was stolen from her due to rape by a grown man who lived across the street from her. Jodine blamed herself for not listening to her mother in speaking to strangers, and therefore never told anyone until her adult years. Her second sexual encounterment was a gang rape in the 6th grade and her third sexual experience, she was in the tenth grade and was raped again by a person she considered family. By her teenage years, in an attempt to fit in, she fell in the with the wrong crowd and began skipping school, smoking marijuana, alcohol and other criminal activities thus the continuation of her hatred towards her mother for giving birth to her. After numerous backfired attempts by her mother to help Jodine, she became a regular in the Group Homes due to the lack of control and disrespect.
By the age of 16 years old, Jodine became pregnant with her first child and prior to graduating from high school, she left the protective watch of her mother in an attempt to "be grown" and moved out on her own, not realizing this drastic move would lead her into the arms of her first abuser. What happened to Jodine in her new environment was a nightmare. She didn't grow up in a household watching her mother be abused or anyone else for that matter, so it was new to her. She felt that the power and control her abuser embarked on her, was normal. It was the "fathers love and protection" she yearned for by her real father, but never had. After two long years, Jodine decided she had enough with her abuser and moved on, only to become invovled with a drug dealer. He was a major figure in a crack cocaine ring and drew Jodine right in the middle of his life with physical, mental/emotional abuse disguised as "love." Due to the absence of her father in her own life, it was important to her that she gives her children a family with both parents in the home, and settled for the years of abuse. Once again, not realizing that she was in an abusive relationship. Eventually, after enduring a turbulent ten year relationship with him and three additional children, Jodine decided enough was enough and because of his threats of death or taking the kids from her if she were to ever try to leave, she began plotting to kill him thinking this was the only way of escape. Thankfully, she came to her senses waiting for that perfect day to come as part of her plan, and went into hiding receiving the help she needed.
She continued the cycle of unhealthy relationships and years later, she was married a second time to another abuser for two years. Her escape from this marriage is credited to him leaving her for another woman and moving to another state, leaving her devastated because she was determined not to have another failed marriage. During this grieving process, a Christian woman she met in her travels invited her to come to Cincinnati, OH to share her story, and this is when Jodine's healing journey began. Jodine has always been interested in personal development and was motivated to do the work necessary to get her life back on track. She prepared her first speech which later turned into her first book titled, "Your Ruby's Worth." This short read shares her research on the spiritual and gemstone perspective on rubies based off the Biblical scripture, Proverbs 31:10 with the analogy of her own personal struggles and victory path to restoration helping her to discover her own acceptance, self worth and self love in an effort to help others overcome their own personal obstacles into healthy relationships.
Highly motivated to help communities become aware of the stigma attached to domestic violence, Jodine is an advocate for domestic violence awareness. She has courageously come forward to speak about her own personal struggles by sharing her story through public speaking. She encourages victims to know that they have a voice and teaches audiences to recognize and acknowledge the early signs of domestic violence in order to avoid unhealthy relationships and curses within their children and families. She knows from personal experience with her children how domestic violence affects everyone in the family.
Jodine's involvement in domestic violence has included speaking and advocating to community groups, service organizations, schools, law enforcement agencies, nonprofits and shelters, providing assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has written for the Community Journal newspaper and appeared on TMJ 4, Fox 6, WISN 12 and CBS 58 News as well as the Journal Sentinel and Milwaukee Courier newspapers. She routinely speaks at conferences, workshops and press events on domestic violence, healthy relationships and growing up fatherless. She teaches at Sojourner Family Peace Center, the largest domestic violence agency in the state of Wisconsin. WIthin a 6 month period, she was invited to speak at two press conferences regarding domestic violence with the Governor of Wisconsin and has also served as a domestic violence and abuse speaker offering a survivors story at the Department of Justice Annual Training Conference in Appleton, WI. Those in attendance ranged from law enforcement, FBI, Judiciary, attorneys, educators, licensed social workers, therapists and counselors, as well as advocates.
As a mother, grandmother, consultant, model, actress, public speaker and growing renowned advocate for domestic violence awareness, Jodine has achieved extraordinary success in numerous arenas including awards and recognitions for her courage and determination to educate the public regarding domestic violence. With her creative non-traditional approach through her Speak Your Peace initiative, she shares ways that individuals and communities can do more to end violence and promote healthy relationships.
Tenacity. Conviction. Enthusiasm. Motivation. Activism. Spirituality and Speaker. All these are a part of Jodine Basterash - The Survivor. Whether addressing a secular audience or being asked to speak to a faith based group, Jodine always aligns her presentation to the needs of the particular venue in her unique manner. She is deeply passionate about domestic violence awareness and is a compelling, inspiring speaker whose hope and transparency shine through every presentation. She shares a dynamic message of having the courage to shine through adversity and the unlimited power of choice in our lives. Jodine has developed an expertise on domestic and dating abuse through her personal experiences being a victim. By using tact and compelling stories of real-life examples, Jodine provides insight, strength, encouragement, and hope to those who blame themselves. She has been sought out as a positive example of how we do not have to be products of our circumstances. She is a firm believer that we have the power within ourselves to rise above our past and create the life we choose. Her story is proof that it's never too late for a new beginning.