My Sister's Place: Protecting Battered Women One Purse at a Time

10/23/2012, 3:53 p.m.

"Last year we launched the spirit of service award to honor our late, former executive director and her legacy and commitment to helping those in need," said Lauren C. Vaughan, MSP's executive director. The event commemorated Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and "celebrated the incredible spirit of survivors," Vaughan added.

Also marking this month was D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, a Power of the Purse honorary co-chair, who presented a recognition resolution at the Council's legislative meeting on Oct. 16. It highlighted the prevalence of domestic violence in the nation's capital and the far reaching impact on survivors and their families.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, also an honorary co-chair, said it was a "fabulous turnout" but she attended for another reason.

"I'm here to pledge that this Congress won't be a lame duck without passing the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act," she said, adding that the act has done wonders for the city. Originally introduced 1994, the act has been credited with raising awareness about the problems of domestic abuse.

Mabry, who is now a mother of a 17-year-old son, is working with her mother as a realtor at Faith Realty. She said after they left MSP, she and her biological haven't reconciled, but she's happy with her mother's decision.

"I learned so much from my mom, who gave me an old soul," Mabry said. "I'm so glad she did what she did as it has made me who I am today."