First Lady Deborah Bynum Presents Girl, You Deserve Better

February 20, 2017

First Lady Deborah Bynum presents, “Girl, You Deserve Better” with motivational speaker and domestic violence survivor, Christy Pickering.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 in the Sutton Administration Building – Auditorium 103 in honor of Women’s History Month.

This event is free and open to the public.

Pickering will be on the Mississippi Valley State Campus to share her story of living in an abusive relationship and how she finally found happiness.

“In honor of Women’s History Month, MVSU is excited to kick off our activities with Christy Pickering,” said Deborah Bynum, MVSU First Lady. Christy’s story is one of strength, courage and perseverance.  These are qualities that we hope all women attending MVSU embody.” 

Pickering said, “Many women who stay in abusive relationships - whether through fear, lack of options or the belief that they can "change" the abuser - can become a link in a 'chain of abuse' if children are involved.”  

“In an unhealthy environment, sons can learn to emulate their father's behavior, disrespecting the women in their lives. And daughters can begin to think that this type of relationship, where physical, mental or emotional abuse happens, is normal and they can fall into a pattern of tolerating abusive behavior,” she added.

Pickering said this realization was the catalyst to empower her after enduring 21 years in an abusive relationship to finally walk out the door, children in hand, to reclaim her independence and inner strength. 

“On the outside, everything was normal. I was raised by a loving family and became a successful business woman and community leader.  As my career as a CPA was being spotlighted, the darkness in my own home was becoming more and more secluded. Recognizing that many strong, capable women are domestic abuse victims, I hope that by sharing my story, I can help expose what has remained behind closed doors for far too long.  My message is simple, stay strong...and girl, you deserve better!”

In 2008, Governor Haley Barbour appointed her to the state college board (Institutions of Higher Learning) to oversee the eight state universities. In the past few years on that board, Pickering has worked with the Title IX coordinators to implement the new changes mandated by the Violence Against Women Act.  

This work, along with her first-hand knowledge from living in an abusive relationship for 21 years, has led her to the point where she feels compelled to share her story about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned.