Perseverance is defined as steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Resilience is related: The ability to recover from, or adjust to misfortune. Grit is another term used to label an unyielding courage in the face of adversity. Young people who survive dysfunctional families are resilient. In fact, approximately 60-70% of people who experience trauma overcome it and adjust, living a satisfying life. (Meichenbaum, 2012) For the sisters in Witness to Violence, perseverance best described their experience of childhood. They didn’t feel as if they “bounced back” after each episode of violence or turbulent situation that ocurred. They simply felt that every day was a struggle to survive. At times each of them wondered if they would grow up and be able to escape the pain and chaos of daily life.
These photos show the sisters from 1969 to the present day. Their rewards for caring for each other and persevering are shown on their faces.