Every woman is, or has been, a prisoner to something. Every woman is captive at some level in an area of her life where she wishes to experience freedom. Many women feel powerless, bound by circumstances or relationships, or their own lack of identity, voice and purpose. All of the founding members of Libera have experienced and identified some of their own barriers to freedom. Each has realized there were things holding them back.
West Virginia is a state that was created around the issue of freedom for enslaved peoples during the Civil War. Its very identity is anchored in the idea that all should be free, and echoed in the state motto: “Montani Semper Liberi” [mountaineers are always free.] The name “Libera” is the feminine form of the word “Liberi,” which means “free.”
Our own state’s motto gives women the permission to break free from the prisons that hold them, but often women are unable to identify the areas where they need freedom or they feel helpless to change their circumstances.
We want to carry out our state motto and see every West Virginia woman be truly free! Many women we have talked with feel they struggle with emotional, relational, intellectual and spiritual freedom.
In a survey we did with a few hundred women in recent years:
- 92% struggle with being emotionally healthy and free
- 88% struggle with being relationally healthy and free
- 87% struggle with being spiritually healthy and free
- 74% struggle with being intellectually healthy and free
- 69% struggle with being financially healthy and free
- 64% struggle with being physically healthy and free
There is a great need to address freedom on both a general and individual level. Sometimes growth and steps to freedom seem impossible. Often, hope is lost. A lack of freedom can be the underlying cause of many issues.
We choose to be proactive in identifying and addressing those barriers that hinder women’s freedom.