Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Natalie Hayden and LaVerne Badger, hosts of ExPOSED: The Podcast
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Natalie Hayden and LaVerne Badger are the hosts of "ExPOSED: The Podcast." They're both survivors of domestic violence. Their show covers a range of topics -- from pop culture to news events in the city of Milwaukee, they're focused on raising awareness and giving hope to those touched by abuse.
CBS 58 got to watch in-studio, as the pair recorded one of the first episodes of ExPOSED's fourth season.
"I'm Natalie Hayden, and I'm LaVerne Badger," the pair said into their microphones.
This season, they're recording inside the So Greedy Studio at Milwaukee's Sherman Phoenix.
"We are back! Season four, season four," they said with excitement.
Hayden and Badger have a lot planned for this new season.
"Did anybody catch the Netflix short series, Maid?" Hayden asked right off the top.
ExPOSED is full of timely topics, including the hit Netflix show Maid, about a young, single mom leaving an abusive relationship.
"She overcomes homelessness, because that's another tentacle of domestic violence," Hayden said.
They then transitioned to issues facing the city. On this day, reckless driving.
"Let's pause and take a deep sigh on the reckless driving. I'm annoyed," Badger said.
The show is also centered by both women's experiences with domestic abuse.
"When I walked away, I walked away," Hayden said, talking about leaving her now ex-husband, with whom she still co-parents.
The show's name contains a lot of meaning.
"The "Ex" was representing the ex, but then also exposing all of those myths and all of those things that come with what people don't know about domestic abuse, but then also exposing what they do know, but don't want to talk about," the two women explained together.
They met through the Sojourner Family Peace Center while serving on a committee of survivors giving back.
"We barely knew each other. I mean, that was the second time I had seen her," Badger said. "And she was like, oh, we need to do something together."
Badger took some convincing.
"When I responded 'no' immediately, it was definitely driven by fear," she said.
But she pushed past it and got to 'yes.' Over the past four years, their partnership has taken off. They have a studio and a producer now, but it didn't start out that way.
"I would be like pressing buttons, doing this, doing that, and having a conversation at the same time, and I'm like, not this season," Hayden exclaimed.
One thing that hasn't changed, though, is their three-fold mission.
That awareness, that prevention and that education, that's what we're here to do for our audience," Hayden said.
Badger added, "I can tell what happened to me and it can possibly help somebody else. You may feel like there's no end in sight, but I promise you, there is."
They've also expanded out of the studio. They've established a nonprofit, and also created a curriculum to take into schools.
"Now we go in and talk to the girls about healthy and unhealthy relationships," Hayden explained.
Then there's their baby -- the Let Her Live 5K in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
"We grew it together, we planned it together, it took about nine months," Badger said with a laugh.
They've discovered that helping others helps them heal, too.
"It causes us to look at ourselves and how we're showing up in the world," Hayden said.
As this season unfolds, they're excited to see where it takes them.
"We expect to continue touching lives. And we expect that lives are saved and changed based on just hearing our voice. We are the voice for the voiceless," Hayden said.
"Just keep loving on yourselves, keep making sure that we look out for one another," Badger added.
For more information, visit ExPOSED The Podcast.
If you'd like to nominate an Everyday Hero, send Natalie a message at [email protected]