a woman's write


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  • Beth, a 45-year old mother, came toBetween Friends two years ago in search ofcounseling and support. What she foundwas a welcoming, non-judgmental spacewhere counselors and fellow survivorswere ready to help her in the process ofhealing from domestic violence. In herwords, here is her story:

    I have [worked] in social services for 12years after obtaining a Master's in PublicHealth, but I discovered that I could not see [theabuse] clearly in my own life. My ex-husbandspent years staging accidents- he would step onmy toes, bump my hot coffee cups, shut my fin-gers in drawers, flush the toilet purposely toscald me in the shower, trip me as I walked pasthim,move the car abruptly before I could fastenmy seat belt- the list goes on and on.These acci-dents were always my fault, I was in the wrongplace, I was too slow, and I was too clumsy.AndI believed him, for years. He would yell in myface, with his big white teeth gritted into a gri-mace, telling me how inadequate I was, howpoorly I cleaned the house (a big complaint)and how badly I treated him. After the birth ofour son he would daily tell me what a badmother I was, what I was doing wrong.

    It was with the pregnancy that I began toquestion the marriage. As a five foot, 100pound woman at the start of the pregnancy-about the size of your average twelve year old

    child- I carried and delivered a nine pound twoounce boy. My ex-husband had me moppingfloors, carrying our elderly dog up and down thethree flights of stairs, climbing child gates allover the apartment. I worked a full timedemanding job right up to the week beforedelivery. I remember sitting on the couch vom-iting into a bucket- I did that a lot during mypregnancy- and he came in screaming at meabout walking the dog as if nothing was hap-pening. I almost threw the bucket of vomit athim, but managed to control myself.With a newbaby on the way I started to think, oh my god,I have to end this marriage, how can I do it?

    Through a series of calls I was connected toBetween Friends. I cannot express enough grati-tude! Learning that I was truly being abused,learning that [the abuse] was real was a liberat-ing, life enhancing experience. After over twoyears of help from Between Friends, who provid-ed me with individual counseling, counseling formy little son, art therapy, a healthy relationshipworkshop, self help groups, financial counseling,legal referrals, child care during all these servic-es, support and encouragement, I divorced myabusive spouse, moved on with my life, soughthealing, and recently married a wonderful friendwho is warm, supportive, encouraging andabsolutely in love with me. My life is so different,so whole. I still have more healing to do, but Inow have knowledge, (continued on page 2)


    A Survivors Story

    Wish List Training Illinois Educators National Council of Jewish Women

    Turns a Page Workplace Giving

    In this issue: A Survivors Story Executive Director's Corner Save The Date Donors List Bubble Ball a Success!

    B u i l d i n g a C o m m u n i t y W i t h o u t D o m e s t i c V i o l e n c e

    Channel 11 Spotlights Between Friends!WTTW/Channel 11 aired a piece on our long-stand-ing partner- Communities in Schools of Chicago. Ourown Yolanda Owens and Karen Seck were highlightedin this special segment as they presented thePreventing Early Adolescent Conflict through Education(PEACE) program to a classroom of 5th graders.Students learn how to prevent bullying among theirclassmates through the PEACE program.

    The Matt Reed Band entertains guests at the 1stAnnual Bubble Ball Gala on March 8th to raisemoney for Between Friends' programs and servic-es. See details and more photos on page 5.

    Carl Greer, a generous supporter of BetweenFriends, accepts our Friend of the YearAward inrecognition of his commitment to our agency overthe past four years.

  • A WOMANS WRITE Summer 2008 Volume 10, Issue 2

    Between Friends is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and abuse by providing education, support, counseling, and advocacy services.Between Friends works with individuals, families, and communities to create awareness about domestic violence and abuse and to reduce its prevalence and impact.

    2008-2009 Board of Directors: Frank Kern, President; Bruce Behrens, Vice President; Juanita Temple, Treasurer;Terry Rose Saunders, Secretary;Andrea France; andCarol Meynen.

    Staff:Quintina Brown,Prevention and Education Manager;Kate Coffield,Court Advocate;Sonya Crabtree-Nelson,Clinical Supervisor;Kathleen Doherty,ExecutiveDirector;Amanda Espitia, Director of Development; Brittany Futterman, Grant Writer; Danny Ho, Prevention and Education Specialist; Robert Hyde, Preventionand Education Specialist; Jennifer Lara,Children's Counselor;Kaori Liebler,Counselor;Colleen Norton,Court Advocate Manager;Ann Oorbeck,Counselor;YolandaOwens,Prevention & Education Specialist; Elsa Resendiz,Court Advocate;Yesenia Romo,Director of Programs; Karen Seck,Prevention & Education Specialist;and Carrie Villa, Director of Finance and Administration.

    Newsletter: Brittany Futterman, Editor. Production courtesy of Brian Franklin. Printing courtesy ofAllstate Print and Communication Center. Bubble Ball photoscourtesy of Brian Steiling Photography.

    The Executive Directors CornerDear Friends,

    I wanted to share with you an articleI wrote for our May alumni newsletterentitled "Always Friends".

    Between Friends participated in apress conference on April 7th at theChicago Metropolitan Battered Women'sNetwork alongside U.S. Senator DickDurbin and Representative JanSchakowsky. The press conferenceurged the President to restore the feder-al funding cuts he made to programs thatserve victims of domestic violence. ThePresident slashed the $2 million balancein the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fundmeaning a 29% cut in funding for pro-grams in Illinois. Currently there is over$2 billion in the VOCA fund, and the Bushadministration refuses to distribute thesefunds for the purposes intended. Theadministration also cut $120 million in lifesaving DV services created and provided

    by the Violence Against Women Act(VAWA.)

    Due to these cuts, both services andstaff in the Chicago land area and acrossthe state are being eliminated.Unfortunately the state has not been ableto make up the shortfall. Due to theseongoing and increasing funding cuts fromboth the public and private sector,Between Friends also sustained a staffreduction this year - the first time in ourhistory.

    This comes at a time when you can'topen the newspaper without reading howMersaides McCauley was shot by herex-boyfriend outside her church; CindyBishoff was shot by her ex boyfriend; andSophia Garcia was found dead with aplastic bag over her head while her hus-band abducted the children - Oscar 6,Karla 7, and Fernando 11. An 18-year oldwoman was doused with lighter fluid andlit on fire by her boyfriend. He put her in a

    bathtub to put the flames out and droveher to the hospital telling them it was abarbeque accident. She was so badlyburned that it took 2 months before shewas able to tell the police her boyfriendset her on fire. Luz Villegas was stabbed29 times by her husband. Her sister-in-lawsaid, "She was just trying to surviveeach day" but she didn't.

    Your call to action is simple.Contribute your time, your talent, andyour treasures to Between Friends.Become a board member, a Circle ofFriends donor, or a Court Advocacy vol-unteer. Call your federal, state, and locallegislators and ask them to reinstateand/or increase funding for domestic vio-lence services.Take action that will makea difference in the lives of the women andchildren we serve.

    Kathleen A. DohertyExecutive Director


    tools and support to nurture that healing.Our Women and Children's Program

    provides support, advocacy, community,and most importantly a safe space for sur-vivors to express their range of thoughts,feelings, and emotions after living in andsurviving an abusive relationship. Oftenpeople reach out to us because they haveheard of our program through our CrisisLine (800-603-HELP), a friend, or anothersupportive place. People find us in manydifferent ways and often we find them,providing off-site groups and trainings forothers in the community. Currently ourcounseling team is focused on enrichingour group programming, realizing the valu-able experiences that occur when we pro-

    vide space for victims to heal in connec-tion to other survivors of abuse.

    Every year, our Women and Children'sProgram provides services to approxi-mately 125 women and 64 children.However, we need your support to con-tinue to provide these services, especiallyin light of a number of funding cuts in thecoming year. You can donate directly toour Nancy Clay Freedom Fund which pro-vides emergency funding for transporta-tion, security deposits, medical bills, gro-cery store gift cards, and dental and eyecare expenses for domestic violence sur-vivors. If you are interested, please contactour Director of Development, AmandaEspitia at 773-274-5232 x 16.

    A Survivors Story cont.

    Double Your Dollar!One of our generous donors hasoffered to match the next$100,000 in donations to BetweenFriends! A $50 donation is actuallyworth $100. So help us reach the$100,000 goal.

    You Can make a Difference! With a donation of $50, $100, or$250 your money will go twice asfar to help end the cycle ofdomestic violence.

    Challenge Grant

  • Angela Acciari Mohammed And FarruqAhad Claire Alfus Betsye-Rose Altschul Cameo Amato Don Anderson J. P.Anderson Dina April Wayne &Margaret Arden Laura Bartlett KelleyBarton Kristina Beck John Becvar Mike & Diane Beemer Karen Begley

    Judith Behrens Bruce Behrens Lynda Bell