Barbara Ochoa aka Petra Luna
Musician Barbara Ochoa aka Petra Luna was an abuse victim her whole young life; sexually, emotionally, physically and by school bullying. Later, she like many others took the normal course of ending up in abusive relationships with her male partners. Fortunately, through extensive therapy, artistic expression and advocacy she overcame the crippling effects of her past and began her journey to help others who had been abused. After a few years of working with other nonprofits, Petra founded her own organization in 2008 she named the P. Luna Foundation. She has gained over 100,000 followers worldwide through social networking and her music and charity websites receive over one million hits per year. “In 2006 when I was working for Domestic Violence in Los Angeles, I met Ken Austin, a retired basketball player for the Detroit Pistons who was also working in the cause. He told me in a meeting once that if I really wanted to help abuse victims, I had to deal with the male perpetrators of Domestic Violence. This made me very angry and I never forgot it. As I matured in the cause and found my voice in the fight against child abuse, I came to the revelation that Ken was right all along. If I really wanted to help victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence in addition to other issues like suicide prevention, drug & sex addiction, etc., I had to help young men who were abused as children to lower their risks of going down destructive paths which hurt themselves and others. With time and after witnessing the effects of abuse on my brothers, cousins and my male friends, all that Ken said started to make sense. Today the main focus of our organization is to help the plight of abused boys and men through our Male Abuse Awareness Program.”
54 Barbara Ochoa Help 4 Guys from a Girl. #isharehope
Summary: Barbara’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
Hope gives you a reason to go on. Without hope, hope for a new day, hope for a new thing, hope for a new goal – it so intertwines with every action of every day. Hope is an everyday vehicle. It drives you forward.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
It wasn’t really a person. There were people who stayed with me on the phone so I don’t do something crazy. Those people gave me hope.
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
I was in a very abusive relationship back in my late 20s where this person had such a spell on me. I was allowing this person to do anything to me. This man literally controlled me. He was a true predator. I understood my vulnerability to getting connected to somebody who is a predator, but when I decided that it was time to break from him, I had a calendar on the day and every day I did not speak to that fool, I put an X. It wasn’t that I wasn’t thinking about him constantly, but it was just like a little exercise of hope. Another person can only do so much. You’re going to have to spend those nights alone and feel that cold bed and deal with your pain. I looked at this poster I had done with this singing trio group and here I was, I was this young woman, my whole life ahead of me and I’m sitting here wanting to die because some abusive fool needs to be out of my life. I looked up at that photo of myself and I was like, you know, I look pretty good. I’m a young, talented woman. What am I wasting my life away in this bed for?
People can inspire you to excel, but I think only you can give yourself hope. I’ve had people inspire me to succeed. You can only manufacture hope in your own self, in your own psyche, in your own will. Some people can find it through religion or exercise. You’re either going to go on a path to live or a path to go down. I think in society, people have an unrealistic expectation of what life should be. The struggle to survive is part of the human experience and it should be – to be a healthy, normal, balanced person.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
I put so much time in my non-profit. I believe in social improvement and social change. If you see something that’s messed up, you know, evil prevails when you do nothing. If you see something that’s messed up and you say “hey that’s messed up”, the people around you are going to hear that. When somebody is doing something messed up and other people didn’t see it, they want other people to approve of it. Little incidences, help the lady cross the street – it shows the society the way to go.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) Release the pressure by talking about it.
(2) Little incidences of helping – a step to show society the way to go.