I AM ASKING FOR HELP.
I need help for a friend.
I, and several other dear women, are walking with a friend who is escaping an abusive situation. We have been walking this road together for many weeks now.
Just to add to the story and help it hit closer to home for many of you...these are people who look like many of you and like me. White, lower middle-class, church-going, upstanding citizens. Respected in the community.
This strong and brave woman took the first step and fled her house to go to a shelter with her many young children (I'm making this story as anonymous as possible, but she has more than 5 children). She then spent weeks trying to just get a lawyer who would help her to get in to see a judge. The children's lives have been completely upheaved in every way. They are all living in one room in a shelter with many other women and children. There are sicknesses spreading through the building...and there has even been talk of lice. While she is thankful to have shelter, she must get out of there...it is filthy, roach-infested, there are 35 people there sharing 2 bathrooms and 1 stove, fights break out all the time. These are rough conditions, folks. The children are STRUGGLING. And the conditions in the shelter only add to an already incredibly bleak and scary time for them all.
Not only that...I cannot tell you the things that have come against this friend since she left. The battles and the accusations from people closest to her she has had to weather. The betrayal. And she is battling it largely alone.
She tried to get help by contacting a "Family Justice Center" who claims to be able to help women in this exact circumstance with legal aid.
However, they refused to help her because her husband was not abusive to her "physically." It did not matter that his behavior was frightening or that it was escalating to the point that it would turn physical at any time. She had to wait until he actually hurt her before they would help her. (You guys, he has held her down to have sex, i.e. rape...but that is almost never prove-able within marriage; they wanted a police report for this before they would help her)
We thought sure that if she could JUST get to the judge, if they could just hang on until then, things would turn around. We had faith in the system. We had faith that the judge would order the husband to leave the house, he would have a restraining order put on him, and the mom and children would be able to return to their home and at least a semblance of a version of normalcy. They would have the comforts of home, at least, to help them walk through this.
This was not the case. The restraining order went through, yes. But, the husband was allowed to stay in the house. The wife and children told to stay at the shelter. It was incredibly disheartening and defeating.
She filed for divorce. But, she needs help in starting over. Once she left, her husband went on a selling spree, selling all her posessions. SHE WILL BE STARTING OVER COMPLETELY. We are currently raising money for her.
With first and last month's rent, utility deposits, pots and pans and beds and towels and ALL things needed for a house (they are a family of 7)...we are setting our goal at $5000.
Please PLEASE, give any amount you can.
And PLEASE share this far and wide. She and her children have been through so much. Let's just blow them away with generosity and help them feel so loved and taken care of.
- Christah Cato
- Karen Toews
- Naomi Beeman
- Hannah Mullikin Lutz