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Toledo podcast spotlights abuse survivor’s journey

A Toledo woman’s terrifying battle with domestic violence and verbal abuse is being heard across the country
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 10:30 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Alyssa Wright says she was stuck in the most difficult situation of her life, and now her struggle is on a radio podcast called the HIV Diaries.

The episode spotlighting Alyssa has more than 40,000 listeners in just over one week.

“Some of the things I went through on a daily basis was that I was screamed at, I was told that I wasn’t good enough, that I was worthless, that I was stupid. I got hit almost on a daily basis,” Wright said.

Alyssa, a new mother, said she was stuck with the man she thought she loved while having to deal with his violence and abuse daily.

“I had a child with a man who said he loved me, and we were supposed to get married, but in the long run he just treated me like crap and he abused me in so many ways,” said Alyssa Wright.

Alyssa is telling her story to make sure no one is trapped in the same situation.

“You’re putting on the makeup, covering up the bruises, you’re covering up the scars. He would punch you, kick you, slap you,” Joseph Smith said during his recording of an episode of his HIV Diaries Podcast.

A Toledo woman’s terrifying battle with domestic violence and verbal abuse is being heard...
A Toledo woman’s terrifying battle with domestic violence and verbal abuse is being heard across the country.(Jack Bassett)

Smith created the HIV Diaries Podcast as a way to detail his own difficult experience living with HIV.

“I made it to just kind of put that out there, about what I’m going through, and this is what I live with. It was a diary of an individual living with it and maybe I can help somebody with it,” said Smith.

Smith explains that The HIV Diaries has become larger than himself. He believes the audio series is a resource capable of giving a voice to all who are battling issues.

“This isn’t just a me problem, this isn’t just a her problem, this is a we problem,” said Smith.

As for Alyssa, she believes a podcast can be more than an audio recording but a way to save lives.

“I told my story for three reasons. For one, to heal, because no matter what I tried I wasn’t able to heal from that. Two, to finally get my voice heard, because no one was listening. And three, so that anybody who is going through this will know that they can reach out and it’s going to be OK,” Wright said.

The HIV Diaries can be found on all major podcast streaming platforms.

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