Today I’m talking with Victoria Cuore, an advocate, speaker, best-selling author and CEO of A Contagious Smile. She is a survivor of domestic abuse and has undergone over 100 operations as a result of the struggles she overcame. Today, she’s here to speak loud about fighting for yourself and acknowledging that everyone can get lost in the journey of life.
Recovering From Domestic Violence
Victoria always knew that she wanted to be a wife and a mother, which was the card that her abuser played in order to drive her into a toxic situation. After pushing her to get married, the abuser began physically assaulting Victoria once she was pregnant. Even as the abuse escalated, he continued to deny and gaslight her, to the point that Victoria even doubted herself.
Victoria underwent dozens of surgeries and operations and is still affected by a history of abuse. At one point while in the ICU, she was told that she had a 2% chance of making it through the night. Then her daughter was born early, and Victoria found the strength to fight for her child. She soon received a restraining order on her abuser and terminated all parental rights.
Letting Go of Hatred After Abuse
Much of Victoria’s healing process has stemmed from her daughter. She describes her daughter as a ray of light who is an advocate for other special needs peers. Victoria was encouraged to become an advocate both for those with special needs and abuse survivors and stopping the cycle of abuse with herself and her daughter.
Victoria still has ongoing surgeries that are a direct effect of her abuse. Some of the injuries were exacerbated by her refusing medical treatment in favor of treating her daughter’s needs first. Despite all of this, she says she has forgiven her abuser and prays for him to this day. Victoria explains that allowing an abuser to hold place in your heart through hatred continues to give them power over your life. Letting go of hatred and forgiving opens up the heart for more love.
Spreading Light and Positivity
“Every smile has a story,” Victoria says, “and we want to share yours.” This is the goal of her company, A Contagious Smile. She seeks to share light, inspiration, and positivity. A smile is always contagious no matter what it looks like. Who doesn’t want to smile? Victoria’s website shares resources for those with special needs and people suffering from domestic violence. She also uses her platforms to provide support groups, fundraises, life skill classes, and more.
Victoria believes in a world that’s full of love, laughter, and life. She encourages listeners to not carry negativity and hate in their heart when they could be carrying love in that place, and she hopes that those tuning in know that they are worth fighting for.
Listen in to learn more about Victoria’s resources for domestic violence survivors, podcasts for teens and adults, and her work breeding emotional support and service animals.