While perusing Facebook, this writer came across the name Angela D. Wharton. She was planning a book release/birthday party event. With interest piqued, this writer made contact and requested an interview. The interview concluded Saturday January 24,2015.
Angela D. Wharton has dreams and aspirations. She wants to be a face of hope to people who are suffering in silence. She has written a powerful book about her struggles called ‘Life After the Silence: From Pain to Power to Purpose’.
In the book, Wharton is sharing her story of surviving sexual violence twice. At the age of 14, her mom’s boyfriend was trying to groom her for sex trafficking. Then at the age of 24, she was raped at gunpoint in the wooded Cedonia area of Baltimore.
She turned the pain into power and purpose by breaking her silence. She feels it was and is a way for people to realize that abuse is not their fault. Wharton says, “If you are a survivor of sexual violence, understand that the experience is not your fault. There is value in your voice; you can break free from the bondage of suffering in silence from being sexual violated by using your voice.There is power and purpose in the pain you experience.”
This is only a piece of her story. It is a part of her healing process. She finds it therapeutic to share her story. Wharton used to get sick from just trying to talk about her experiences. She took a leap of faith, however, and left her corporate job as an administrative assistant for a investment firm to fulfill her purpose.
She started writiing the book during the summer of 2013. She said it took about a year and a half to complete. The soon-to-be 43-year-old Wharton will have a book release on January 30, 2015 along with a special event. It will be entitled, Angela D. Wharton Book Release and Birthday Bash. and be held at The Living Well, 2443 N. Charles Street from 7 p.m. -11 p.m. The book release will take place from 7 p.m. -9 p.m. followed by the birthday bash.
Wharton does cite some challenges. She said she had a fear of what people would think of her story as well as a fear of being blamed for being a victim. She thought people would ask, “What did you do?” or “Why did you do that?” She had a fear of actually sitting down and reliving the details of the events of her life while putting them down on paper.
Angela D. Wharton grew up as the eldest of five children. She says her influences are her mother, Linda Brady, and Mrs. Smith, a teacher who gave her confidence by using the word, exemplary, to describe her behavior. When she tried to demonstrate her new-found knowledge, Wharton says she was shot down by her cousins, which began her journey to lose her ‘voice’. Another influence Wharton cites was a science teacher named Ms. Sestile.
She attended Baltimore’s famed Dunbar High School and also Essex Community College, from which she received an AA degree.
Her future goals are to continue growing her ministry, especially since she had run from her vision for 15 years. She started Phynyx Ministries in 2011, a 501c3 non-profit organization, as a result of being sexually assaulted the second time.
Her ultimate goal, which she has achieved, is to have a Christian-based organization that provides a pathway to healing for women who are sexual assault survivors through love, support, advocacy and education. Her website is phynyxministries.org.
Wharton also hopes to release an autobiography and to open a Phynyx House, which will be a sexual assault recovery center,
Her advice to young people is this: “You are enough. Sometimes we feel like we have to measure up. Sometimes young people think they are not good enough and do not matter, due to experiences and feelings of abandonment. Because of the sexual assault at age 14, I felt invisible. But you need to know that you do matter. You are important and you are enough. Whatever you are dreaming of doing, you can do it. Just don’t let go of the dream. It will take hard work to achieve it, but you can do it.”
Angela D. Wharton can be contacted at email@example.com.