Phoenix Rising – Violet’s Trash The Dress Story


Today I get to share with you a truly inspirational story from Violet. A woman who has seriously been through enough in her life. I don’t think I could be as strong as Violet has been if it had happened to me. With words and images from Dawn Kelly Photography, I present to you Violet’s Trash The Dress story.


Violet is the strongest women I know, and I’m inspired by her fight for life, and for happiness. 

In 1989 Hawaii, she was walking home, jumped, and taken by five US Marines. They kept her hostage for a few hours that felt like an eternity. Assaulted, beaten, and almost drowned at their hands, she fought for her life and escaped. She thought that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to her, but sadly, she was wrong.


On January 29 2013, her son and his girlfriend were approached by gang members in a park. When he protected his girlfriend, they stabbed him, which ended his life. His girlfriend survived because Tyler stepped between them. That was just one example of his love of people, his kindness, his generosity. This very powerful quote from him will live on forever: “Don’t let
the bad people bring a good person down.”


Violet was faced with years of dealing with the legal system. Her son’s murderers had been caught, but would they face justice? Right in the middle of the heat of the criminal court trial, Violet got even more bad news.


Her husband had been constantly unfaithful for the seven years they were together, and after only four years of marriage, they broke up. After two years of agonizing court dates, all three of the criminals who took her son’s life were found guilty. Of course they continue to appeal. And as they do, Violet fights.


This collection of photos is symbolic of Violet ripping through her old life, tearing it apart, and rising from the rubble and ashes into a new life.

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