From the National Network to End Domestic Violence website:
Domestic violence is a crime of epidemic proportions and a public health crisis – affecting one in every four women during her life time and 15.5 million children every year.
Urge Congress to Reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)
FVPSA is the heart of our nation’s response to domestic violence – funding lifesaving services for victims and their children at over 1,600 domestic violence shelters and programs across the country. However, FVPSA expired in 2008 and must be reauthorized so federal funds can continue to support crucial work. Please help ensure victims and their children have a place to rebuild their shattered lives.
Too many of us can relate to victims of domestic violence. When I read about the resources that are available to victims today, I am reminded of my own experience back i nthe 1980′s. My then husband, a Nam combat vet, was coming home dead drunk about four nights of the week.
He’d usually arrive home about 3 or 4 am. I’d never know what to expect. Some nights he’d be in a romantic mood. Other nights, he’d be in an angry, hateful mood. One night he called from a bar, and was verbally abusive on the phone. I knew I would be in for a hellish night once he got home. I was at my breaking point, and decided I was not going to be there when he arrived.
Not wanting to go to my parents (too ashamed for them to know what was really going on in my life) I drove myself and yyoung daughter to a pay phone. I looked in the yellow pages and called a womens’ shelter. A female answered the phone. I told her I was frantic, and needed a safe place to spend the night.
She answered, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you. There’s no counselor here right now. I’m just staying here myself.” Hearing her words, I felt like I’d just been punched hard in my stomach. It had taken me years to get to this point of utter desperation. I hung up the phone and got back in the car. I looked in my purse, and counted out thirty-five dollars.
I started driving to a main drag in our town, that had numerous cheap motels. Soon, my befuddled daughter and I were inside a dreary room, with a double bed. We laid down and tried to rest, but angy, drunken voices next door made it impossible to relax (as if we could have considering the circumstances).
It was a horrendous experience; one that to this day I’d rather not recall..After that night, I felt more trapped in my situation than ever. I’d finally reached out fo help, and exposed my dirty little secret, and there was no help for me.
That’s why I feel so passionate about the availability of domestic violence shelters for those who are suffering abuse at home. I pray no woman (or man) who is being abused, will ever be turned away, as I was. Now, some twenty-five years late, I still get a knot in my stomach whenever I pass by a Scottish Inn motel.
Organizations such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence are working hard to make sure a safe place will exist for those who need it.