Photo by Rachel Larue
Author and domestic violence survivor Leslie Morgan Steiner speaks to audience members in the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Town Hall, Bldg. 243, about domestic violence Oct. 9.
Author Leslie Morgan Steiner brought her tale of surviving and overcoming domestic violence to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Oct. 9 during a community-wide domestic violence awareness month training at Town Hall.
"I’m simply one woman with a story to tell," she said.
Morgan Steiner, who holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard University, documented her marriage to her first husband, Conor, in her 2009 memoir, "Crazy Love." She began her presentation by saying that she never expected domestic violence would happen to her, that it was something that was never a part of her world growing up. Morgan Steiner said that her mother "didn’t even know anything about it. That’s not unusual. I never in my life thought it was something that would happen to me."
But happen to her, it did, she said. Morgan Steiner met Conor on a New York City subway soon after she graduated from Harvard. At the age of 22, she was working for a magazine, he for an investment bank. They married and made plans for an idyllic life together. Things were great between the couple at first. Then, came the fighting, which she said she tried to ignore. He then pushed her down the stairs, choked her during an argument and even threatened her with a gun to her head.
Two-and-a-half years into the marriage, after suffering a brutal physical beating, Morgan Steiner fled the couple’s apartment with her dog. She obtained a restraining order against Conor and ultimately divorced him.
"The people who helped me the most were the people who were on the outside," she said. "There were a lot of people like that, people who took care of me."
Morgan Steiner also stressed that it is not only women who are victims of domestic violence, but that men are as well. JBM-HH Commander Col. Fern O. Sumpter held a copy of Morgan Steiner’s book as she told the audience about a male friend of her family who was a victim of domestic violence.
"We all have that responsibility to advocate for victims," said Sumpter, who thanked Morgan Steiner "for sharing, for being so candid."
Sumpter and JBM-HH Command Sgt. Maj. Earlene Y. Lavender presented Morgan Steiner with a plaque as a token of the joint base’s thanks at the conclusion of the presentation. Sumpter also presented Morgan Steiner with a commander’s coin.
To report domestic violence, contact the JBM-HH Military Police on the Fort Myer and Henderson Hall portion of the base at 703-696-3525 or on the Fort McNair portion at 202-685-3139 or the domestic violence hotline at 703-919-1611.