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Local singer shares inner turmoil of breaking free from domestic abuse

"Creepin' Under My Skin" music video
Courtesy Sight & Sound Productions
"Creepin' Under My Skin" music video

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and one local artist aims to give hope to those struggling through the chaotic cycle of abuse.

Oʻahu-native and domestic abuse survivor Rachel Cruz recently released a music video for her single, "Creepin’ Under My Skin." Her song answers the question of why victims stay, and expresses the inner turmoil of their journey toward breaking free.

She said she wants anyone who feels trapped in an abusive relationship to know: “you’re not crazy and you’re not alone.”

Rachel Cruz
Courtesy Rachel Cruz
Rachel Cruz

"I want them to feel encouraged that they’re not insane for staying. There’s an actual reason, but I do think it’s very important for them to take a look at why they’re staying. And that’s a really hard question to answer," she said.

"But if they can tap into that, if they can reach out to the different resources that are available to them — that most of them don’t even know are out there and exist — that they’ll be able to pinpoint the root of why they’re stuck in it. And that it’s okay to not be ready," Cruz said.

"But also, I do always stress the importance of not waiting to find the help that you need to break out of it," she added.

Cruz said those dealing with trauma or abuse need coping skills to be able to deal with their triggers.

She recommends researching topics like cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as reaching out to local nonprofits like Parents and Children Together, for help in getting out of an abusive relationship.

Click here for more resources from PACT. This interview aired on The Conversation on Oct. 25, 2021.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation and host of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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