Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abuse Crosses All Socioeconomics

Here are tragic highlights from the show Wife Swap found on YouTube portraying the Stevens-Fowler and Long family. Abuse takes place in many forms regardless of socioeconomic background. Steven Fowler attempts to subjugate and demean Gayla Long through verbal and emotional abuse in addition to alienating his children from her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

From Poverty to Providing for Her Family

This story is from the Second Change Employment Services Winter Newsletter:

From Poverty to Providing for Her Family - One Second Chance Client Shares Her Story

by Pamela Johnson

When I first married, my life was wonderful. My husband and I were blissfully happy, and I had a great career as an accountant. We wanted children, but we wanted to wait until the right time. Both my husband and I wanted a stay at-home parent while the kids were young, which meant I would take a break in my career to raise our family. Things changed when our first child arrived. When I was no longer contributing a paycheck, my husband mysteriously began holding this against me. He started calling me a “leech” and a “liability.” Despite these signs of abuse, we had another child, and I continued to stay home. I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I knew I was a good mother, and I hoped he would change. So I focused on the love of my children.

Ignoring the abuse didn’t make it stop. After our second child, I was living with a man who controlled my every move. He controlled our money, and I had to beg to buy groceries or clothes for the children. I no longer asked for anything for myself. By the time our third child arrived, I knew I was living with domestic abuse—emotional, financial, and physical. I had lost all independence, and my livelihood—and that of my children—was in the hands of a man who acted like he despised me. I wanted to leave, but with no job or savings—and with everything in my husband’s name—I couldn’t see a way out that didn’t mean poverty. I remained a prisoner.

Then one day my son fell ill. He was running a fever and needed medical attention. I went to my husband and asked for the money to go to a doctor. He refused. I begged him. He still refused. I took my son to the doctor anyway, only to discover I didn’t even have the $10 copay for the visit. Sitting in that doctor’s waiting room, I knew it was time to leave. Before Second Chance, I was living in poverty with three children to support.

Today, I’m an accountant again! Of all that Second Chance did to help me rebuild my life, for me, the most important was that they provided the money to pay a deposit for day-care. They got me a job, but with no daycare, and no money to pay the deposit, I couldn’t work. It was a Catch-22, but Second Chance paid the deposit, making it possible for me to support my kids. My ability to provide for my three children means everything to me. I can give to my family, save for the future, and never worry about being a victim. I want all of you to know that I truly could not have accomplished this without Second Chance. I ask from my heart, and from the hearts of my children, please continue your support for their work. Financial independence is the key to never going back to abuse, and Second Chance gives all their clients that key!