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Help allows woman, kids to move on from abuse

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Sal Dimiceli | November 4, 2013

Dear W.C.,

My daughter is in desperate need of your help. Her husband was just sentenced to ten years in prison for beating a man nearly to death at a bar. His going to prison was the best thing that could have happened to my daughter. Maybe now she can move on with her life and my grandchildren can grown up without his terrible anger. I know he was abusing my daughter and keeping her in his control for years. I was not allowed to see her or my two grandchildren for the last two years as he became more and more controlling. I tried to sneak to see her and was threatened by her husband that he would beat the grandchildren if I tried to see them again.

Now my daughter has come to me for help. I am barely getting by and living in a subsidized studio apartment.

Her husband always had control of all their finances, making her work two jobs as a waitress, counting all her tip money. My daughter said he took all the money she had in for rent and food out of their account. He sold their car for cash before going into prison. She does not know where he put the money. She is stranded unable to pay her rent and does not have a car to get to work. She has been riding a bike at all hours, in all weather, for miles in the dark after work. It breaks my heart that she has been living this harsh life and raising my grandchildren in this harsh life for so long. Please help her.

Dear Readers,

We can all ask the question why this woman did not leave her husband years ago. I have seen so many women take years of abuse living in fear. I do my best to stop the abuse when I see it. This mother did not know how to help her daughter or grandchildren. I do not know why she did not go to the authorities. Many times people do go to the authorities, but without proof of the abuse it is hard to accuse someone of the crime. And then the abuse gets even worse...That is what this mother was afraid of.

Our mission was to help this woman and her children move on from the abuse and regain their independent lives. When I met the woman at her mother's apartment I saw a woman that looked tired and worn from the stress of her life. When I spoke to her she would not look me in the eye, instead staring at the floor. We spoke for a few minutes about the children and her husband's prison sentence. I asked her if she was ready to move on from her previous lifestyle, if not for herself for her children. With this she looked up and I finally saw a light of her spirit inside her. She said, "That man will never come near me or my children again." That was the fighting spirit I wanted to see, not the beaten down depressed person I had seen just a minute ago.

I told her she needed to use that drive to move on with her life. I asked about her income from her two waitressing jobs. She earned enough money to care for herself and two children. The lease on the apartment they were renting was nearly up and she hoped to find something more reasonable, along with getting rid of the bad memories of her past life in those rooms. One of the women she worked with wanted her to share a house with her and share child care duties. This would be a big help as they could work different shifts and care for each other's children. The reduction in rent and childcare costs would make her budget work.

What the mother needed for immediate help was her overdue utilities. We also helped with food and toiletries. The mother offered her car to her daughter to use to get to work until we could have a donated vehicle serviced and ready for her. This took a few days but was extremely appreciated by the woman and children. All our assistance and advice was gratefully received. I spoke with the landlord and was able to receive the security deposit back even though I asked to get her out of the lease two months early. The landlord was very understanding and actually said he was glad she was moving on as he had often felt sorry for her. He had often seen abuse but was afraid to call the police. The landlord told me, "Her violent husband told me if I called the police he would break both my legs and I know he would have. I am glad he has been locked up for a long time." 

At my last visit I asked some questions I would not have asked in front of the children. I asked the mother if she planned on staying married to her husband and being there for him when he got out of prison. I could see these questions hurt but I had to voice my opinion about the abuse I felt she had sustained over the years. She began to cry and told me some things she said she hadn't shared with anyone--howw her husband had repeatedly threatened to kill her and the children if she called the police. She told me she was ending her marriage. She was already seeking legal counsel. The lawyer was making a full report and was also going to file charges to extend the abusive husbands jail sentence.

After that conversation she wiped her tears and shared how the move had changed all their lives. Her roommate had two children as well and they all were getting along great. The childcare arrangement was ideal. The mother was enthusiastic with her praise of the car we provided. She said it was the first car she had called her own in years and she and the kids were taking great care of it. The mother said, "My children are living like normal children. They are happy all the time, not living in fear for me or themselves."

While we often do not see abuse in our communities, it is going on around us. Often people say they had no idea that this was going on and are shocked when they hear of it. Other times people are aware of it but do not know what to do. The effects on the women and children are devastating. Whatever the reason may be for people to continue to live in these conditions, we at The Time Is Now to Help are there to help.  Thank you for your Caring and Sharing.   

Together we do good works, as we continue to remove the pains of poverty for those in desperate need. Together we restore hope and faith in the goodness of creation.

Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal                                                       

Please note we have a new mailing address: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.                           

A Very Special Thank You: The Summertime Foundation, Fox Charities, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Mark & Natalie Reno, Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Petco Foundation, Lake Geneva Area Realty, ITW Foundation, SPX Foundation, Oasis Salon, Robert & Rita O'Brien, Tim & Laura Kolnik, Frank & Ann Huml, Dr. Mark & Cindy Brower, William & Linda Priebe, Beth Rendall, Donald & Anne Ogne, Jackie Hennerley, Walter & Florence Strumpf, John Poiron, Anthony & Mary Hauet, John & Violet Hotzfeld, Michael & Kathe Beach, Albert & Ellen Burnell, Anna Kiel, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000, or visit www.timeisnowtohelp.org.     



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