Feb 8, 2010
I got off the phone with my spouse. My mouth was dry and I was shaking in anger. After 14 years of abuse, he had just targeted my child. I had been praying for a clear path for months as things at home had been escilating. As I hung up the phone and whispered a prayer I heard the word “FLY”. That was my cue…it was time to go. I flew into action packing and planning. I had two days to get ready to drive across country to my family and safety.
First, I had to get the tire fixed. I knew I couldn’t travel 1400 miles on a spare tire but he’d left us with no cash, no checks and no credit card; expecting me to run three babies around on a spare tire. I also had no way to pay for gas or places to stay, but I was going to leave and God would help have to help me afterall he’s the one who said ‘FLY’.
Over the next 24 hours, everything miraculously fell into place for our departure. A
friend from church offered to pay to get my tire fixed. Old friends from years ago offered to let us stay with them on our first night away. Another friend gave us her hotel rewards for our second night and my cousin gave us a place for our last night on the road. My aunt and uncle paid for my dads plane ticket so I wouldnt have to drive alone and to this day I cannot tell you how we paid for gas or food but somehow, the money was there.
I pulled into the gas station and stepped out of my van to fill up. My head turned toward the sound of crying and a voice begging, “Please just try it one more time. I don’t have anything left. Please.” As I put the gas in my car, my heart reached out and connected with this womans pleas. The spirit moved and I knew what I had to do.
I walked softly over to the window and putting my card down I asked the teller to put
enough on it to fill her tank. She had been walking away when my words registered. She turned, tears streaming down her face. She tried to refuse the gift but I insisted. Both of us crying, we hugged and went to gas up our vehicles. When I was done, I pulled my car behind hers and rolled down the window. “Do you need any cash or food to get through the night?” She replied by telling me that she had fled her abusive spouse after she recovered from a major injury. Her car was leaking, her bank froze her account and she was trying to go one more days drive to safety. I hugged her, helped her and prayed with her. A few days later, I recieved a message that she had made it to her destination safely.
I was humbled to my knees and jumping for joy all at the same time!! I just recieved official notice that HAVEN, Helping Abuse Victims Escape Nationwide, was accepted and fully registered as a 501c3. I began dreaming and planning HAVEN after I met the lady in the gas station along with others who’ve I’ve had the privilege to help over the years. It took time, effort, prayer and bravery to see this dream come true.
HAVEN was created to fill the gap for victim survivors who need to leave their location to escape abuse. Whether its a tank of gas, a food card or a change of clothes, HAVEN provides tangible assistance to vicitim survivors so they can escape to safety. There are very few organizations that provide this service. Most domestic violence agencies are local and cannot fund out of location travel. HAVEN makes up for this gap in services.
We are starting small and helping where we can. Now that we can accept financial donations that will be used to fund gas, hotel and food cards, we look forward to assisting so many more people. We are working on setting up a network of Nests (places to stay) across the country so victim survivors have places to stay. We can even accept donations in kind to meet the needs of survivors who are traveling to safety.
I am so excited to start on this journey! Please spread the word and if you feel led, donate and help us as we provide HAVEN for survivors.
Check out our website www.escapefromabuse.com