Junction City woman leads successful life after domestic abuse

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JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) — A Junction City woman is showing you can always overcome the toughest times when life knocks you down. It’s up to you on how you get back up.

LaFarris Risby has a long list of accomplishments to her name. She’s a mother and grandmother, the owner and operator of Loving Arms, a daycare and preschool in Junction City. Most recently, she added author to her name. Like all successful people, her journey to getting where she is today wasn’t easy.

When LaFarris was six, she lost her mom. Then at 15 years old, she went through things no one should.

“I remember getting my very first black eye,” LaFarris said. “And I thought it was an accident.”

As a teenager, LaFarris was physically fighting with her now ex-husband, and the father of her two children. Without proper guidance, she didn’t know how to get away from it.

“In the back of my mind, I knew that I needed to figure out how to get out of it, but didn’t quite know how,” LaFarris said.

LaFarris had her first child at 15. Then she got married at 18. When her then-husband joined the military, they moved around a lot, all while still fighting. Something she details in her book, Dare to Dream.

She eventually made her way to Junction City, with $50 in her pocket and two kids attached to her hip, looking for a fresh start for her and her family.

“I don’t regret the marriage,” LaFarris said. “I don’t regret any of that because it made me into the person I am now.”

LaFarris and her first husband divorced in 1994, and looking to make a way for her self, she started working in childcare. Starting small in her home, then eventually opening Loving Arms in 2005. Showing others, there is life after tragedy.

“The failure is not falling down,” LaFarris said. “It’s deciding not to get back up. You have to decide that you want to become a survivor, and not stay a victim.”

“I think she is just the epitome of women’s power,” Morgan Burks said, LaFarris’ daughter-in-law. “You don’t have to stick with the cards you are dealt. Just because you come from a certain situation, or you have certain limitations in your life, it doesn’t mean that they are always going to be there.”

It wasn’t easy for LaFarris to become the mother, grandmother, business owner and author she is today. Without learning from the struggles that made her stronger.

This year, Loving Arms was recognized as the service company of the year by the Kansas Department of Commerce at the Minority and Women in Business award ceremony.

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