Phillis Dewitt is a survivor of multiple forms of abuse. One amazing thing about Phillis is her willingness to share her story.
Long term sexual abuse starting at age 3
Foster care at the age 14-15
First foster dad arrested for bank embezzlement
Second foster dad was a deacon of the church and molested me
Became an emancipated minor at the age of 16
Had graduated from high school a year early and was working
Kicked out of the Baptist church when I told them my foster dad was abusing me
Attempted suicide and was hospitalized several times over the next several years
Married and had 3 kids in 3 years
Abuse and issues related to abuse continued for several years
Hospitalized several times – eating disorder
Self-abusive with a hammer when I wasn’t coping
The Healing Journey:
Started foster care
Started nursing school with 9 kids living in our home because I had a dream that I needed to get.
Graduated in 2 years with my associate degree in nursing
We fostered over 100 kids and obtained permanent legal custody of 10 of those over almost 30 years
My husband actually went with me to confront all of my abusers and not one of them denied what they had done
The year before my husband died he wanted to do a video meeting with him, myself, our pastor, his wife, our doctor, his wife and my psychologist - where my husband talked about how it was to be married to me during this healing from the abuse and what it was like to confront and talk with each of these people who abused me. He was fearful that when he died then much of the validation of my story would be gone and he didn’t want that.
My husband died in 2006 – I started my master’s degree 12 days after he died and took permanent legal custody of 3 more girls that year – single mom with 5 girls living at home and working full time – I graduated in 3 years and started my doctoral degree right away.
Met another man in 2009 and married in 2010 although when he met me – he told me he could not date a woman with 13 children.
Have traveled all over the world doing over 30 medical mission trips and caring for abused and neglected children in Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, India and other countries.
Have a doctoral and post doctorate degree as a Nurse Practitioner
My youngest biological son was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and passed away after a long battle of his cancer in November of 2022
Recently co-authored a book about my life called I’m Still Standing: How God turned my pain into purpose
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