If you’ve been following along, this is the basic outline of her story: she lives far away, she’s young (early 20s), and has been imprisoned in an abusive marriage. The man to whom she is married has beaten her repeatedly, breaking ribs and causing injuries which have required multiple surgeries, including the installation of a metal plate under her eye and a spinal fusion. She comes from a somewhat insular community and has (literally) no one outside of that community to turn for help. Just under a month ago, she made the courageous decision to leave her home, her husband, her community, everyone and everything and to start anew. She left home to start fresh, and, within 24 hours of her departure, her husband had found her and delivered a fresh set of beatings that sent her once more to the hospital. Where she’s been since then.
As you might expect, making such a decision hasn’t been easy. It wasn’t easy to make it, and it’s proven even harder to sustain it. She daily faces the sense that perhaps she should just return – return to the abuse, but to the comfort of at least the devil she knows. She’s had moments of weakening resolve, and moments of strengthened resolve. Thankfully, while she’s been in the hospital, her moments of weakening resolve have generally been met and cushioned by professionals who say things like, “Over my dead body will you return to that motherfucker.”
But Monday, she’ll be discharged, to a hostel. She has nowhere to go, no job, no home, no visible means of support other than what the government and local women’s groups will provide. She’s a “low priority,” among survivors of domestic violence, because she has no children. She continues to be adamant that she won’t accept my, or anyone else’s help. She keeps protesting that there are so many others who need so much more than she does.
I call her every day. We chat – about my life, about her life, about matters big and small. I’m providing her with a bit of a connection to what human interaction can be like. She has a few virtual relationships that provide greater or lesser degrees of comfort and solace. But not much.
You can help.
You can help by e-mailing her – I’ll happily forward any e-mail sent to me, or message posted in the comments below, to her, and I’ll pass along your e-mail address if you want to be part of her support network.
And you can help by donating here. She says she won’t take a penny, but so far, through this site and private pledges, I’ve got $500 for her. I’ll deliver it to her the moment she allows me to. And, in a year, if she hasn’t said yes, I’ll donate anything I raise to a domestic violence charity of her choice (or mine, if she refuses to engage).
You can’t give by Paypal – even though the page makes it look as if you can. (When you try, it’ll reject your gift, saying I gotta configure the account to accept Paypal.) But you can by credit card. So go. Please. Please?