OOP Survivor Blog
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Abused seniors turn to
by Brennan Smith - Dec. 8, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
C.J. suffered domestic abuse throughout her
In 2005, she fled her husband in Indiana
and came to the Valley.
The then-62-year-old seemed to have no
place to turn - most domestic-violence
programs and shelters serve younger
women with children.
C.J. lived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International
Airport and in downtown buildings while she
desperately sought assistance. She was
finally referred to the Area Agency on
Aging's DOVES program, which provides
services for older people who are victims of
domestic violence and have run out of
Alice Ghareib, director of DOVES (Domestic
Violence Does Not Respect Age), said older
women are not eligible for assistance
through organizations designed for younger
abused women with children.
"This population, there are no services for
them. There are no other options," Ghareib
said. "The issues of the older population are
unique. We need to be able to provide
services across the board no matter what
the age is."
DOVES helps about 150 senior domestic-
abuse victims yearly with transitional
housing and support groups, while also
"Just because couples turn 50, it doesn't
mean domestic violence goes away," Ghareib
C.J., now 67, said she had endured abuse
most of her life as her husband mentally and
verbally belittled her. Her husband is now
dead, but The Republic is withholding her
full identity to protect her safety.
"Verbal abuse for me, being naive, started at
the beginning of the marriage, and as the
years went by, it got worse and worse," C.J.
said. "I thought I was worth nothing."
In August 2005, she said, her husband
pushed her up against the bathroom wall
and the sink. He began cursing her and
choking her. Finally, she got away to a
friend's house. She decided that night she
The next morning, she took a flight to
Arizona with $75 in her pocket and a bag of
clothes and arrived with nowhere to stay.
DOVES took her in. She was given temporary
housing and began attending support group meetings.
Victims also receive assistance applying for
public benefits, pursuing legal action and
purchasing basic necessities.
The program costs around $350,000
annually and is largely supported by
community and business donations, Ghareib
Season for Sharing has raised about
$30,000 for the program since 2007. It is
one of more than 130 agencies or programs
supported by the annual campaign, which
last year raised $2.86 million to assist
Arizonans in need.
"I can't say enough about the DOVES
program," C.J. said. "If it hadn't been for
them, I don't know where I would be right
now. I really don't."
Asked what advice she would give to a
woman who was suffering the same abuse
she went through, C.J. said she would tell the
woman that it isn't her fault.
"I don't care what you did or what you do,
abuse is never justified," C.J. said. "I would
tell them you have that right to leave, but
only you can make that decision."
Senior-abuse victims are encouraged to call
DOVES at 602-264-4357 for help.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Since 2004, the Avon Foundation has worked to fight against domestic violence by spreading awareness, funding women's shelters and developing education efforts and prevention programs. Reese Witherspoon serves as Avon's Global Ambassador and has traveled all over to spread word of the Avon Foundation's Speak Out Against Domestic Violence campaign. She works hard to let people know that one in three women are targets of domestic violence at one point in their lives.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Today's Article in The Arizona Republic on my police victim services advocate who went to amazing lengths to serve my ex with an Order of Protection
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I was married to a good man for 18 years, and we have three extraordinary children. Unfortunately, we had differences that we couldn't work out and divorced in April of 2008. He remains my good friend and is an excellent father to our children.
Only a few months after our divorce, I met a man who I thought was wonderful, and I quickly fell head over heels for him. An Air Marshal and Army Reservist, he had never married and had no kids. He seemed to love my kids, and when we married six months after we met, it felt natural and right.
But soon after we married, things didn't feel so natural and right. His facade began to crack, and lies started to show through. Such as the fact that he had told me and my children that he had a college degree in Criminal Law, but in reality he had never finished college.
When the verbal abuse started, I was not only horrified, but ashamed and embarrassed. It became apparent that I had made a terrible mistake, and yet I remained in a state of denial for several months as the wonderful man I thought I'd married simply faded away and I no longer recognized my husband through all of the degrading name calling and emotional manipulation. I cried nearly every day of the ten months we were married.
One night in February I called the police to remove him from my home because I was so completely terrified that he would physically hurt me or worse. When the police officers encouraged me to file an Order of Protection against him, that was the first time I'd heard those words.
I soon discovered that filing an Order of Protection against my husband was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was devastating to think that I had to go to that extreme measure to keep myself safe. Especially when I was trying to keep myself safe from the one person who I thought had my best interests at heart. Someone I trusted and opened my entire life to. Someone I believed in. To have to cope with the fact that my husband never really loved me at the same time when I was also dealing with having to file an Order of Protection against him was beyond devastating. It was also an extremely lonely place to be. Sadly, I discovered that for much of the time we were together, he was having an affair with a married woman (who actually provided me with written documentation of their affair). The combination of the abuse and the betrayal have been horrendous to deal with.
I am speaking out and sharing my story with the hopes that I can reach other women who may be hiding in the shadows with their own stories of abuse. The only way to eradicate domestic violence is to lean on each other, stand up, speak out and educate. The main thrust of my message is: you are not to blame and you are not alone.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I've received some awesome media coverage of my story, and appeared on the Channel 12 News after the Gala. Here's the link to last night's 10 o'clock news....
I had another interview air on Channel 15 yesterday morning as well, and will be posting that clip soon.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
In her article Leedom asserts that there are three main qualities that are missing from a sociopath.
1) The ability to love
2) Impulse control
3) Moral reasoning
I believe that impulse control is a biggie. I've read in multiple books on sociopaths that they are extremely sexually driven. That's a fact. Whether their hyper-sexuality is due to their apparent high testosterone level or just plain greediness, who knows. But when you've got the combination of a lack of impulse control and utter lack of moral reasoning, you can understand how sociopaths see nothing wrong with having affairs with multiple partners. Or with abusing their partner(s). Or with demanding total control of their partner(s). Or any of the other things that sociopaths do.
Well, sort of....
No, actually, not really.
I honestly can't understand it. Can't even begin to wrap my mind around it. But then again my mind doesn't work that way. So when a writer like Leedom attempts to answer the question "Why did he do this," you can analyze the qualities behind the sociopathic behaviors, but still, you're never going to find the answer you're searching for.
In my opinion, the best part of the article is this:
"One of the main reasons why victims high in empathy do not recognize sociopaths is that the desire for power is non-conscious. People high in empathy make use of their knowledge of their own emotions to interpret the emotions of others. Can you see then why people who rely on empathy in interactions with others completely miss sociopaths? An empathetic person correctly observes that sociopaths enjoy the company of others. He/she then self-references his/her own feelings of affection with regard to enjoying other people. The victim is fooled into interpreting power motivations as affection-related motivations."
Basically, the answer to the question "Why did he do this" is ... because he could.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
1. Google can provide potentially helpful information on people.
2. Make sure a friend knows where you are and who you are with and DO NOT change locations and neglect to update your friend.
3. Have a friend call 15-20 minutes into the date so you have an excuse to leave easily if needed.
4 Do a case search for arrest records in the city or county the person claims to live in and/or comes from.
5. If you are ordering food or drinks make sure you order and receive your order directly from your server, not from your date.