I could recite to you the numbers of women who are victims of Domestic Violence each year. I could copy and paste pages upon pages of studies and reports about the women who survive Domestic Violence. I could share websites that list the lasting and lingering effects of Domestic Violence. I could do all those things, but since all that information is already at your fingertips, there's no point.
What I will do instead is tell you that I am a woman who survived the immediate threat of living with an abusive partner. I endured years of mental, emotional, financial abuse, and in the end, death threats. I, along with my children, spent nearly 2 weeks in a women's shelter while the police and the courts removed the abuser from the family home. For the next 18 months he stalked me, and the children. He quit working so that he could watch us every minute of the day. He breached one restraining order after another, and the penalties were so insignificant, there was no cause for him to stop this reign of terror.
Eventually, I moved away...partly to escape him, but mostly to move on and create a new life for myself. What I have learned over the past 10 years is that time and distance do not erase the scars that have been left behind. All the years of mental and emotional battering are still affecting my thoughts, my relationships, and my daily life.
What I learned is that there is plenty of help for women who are in immediate danger. There are shelters and police and legal teams and church communities that reach out to women and help them start fresh. But for those of us who suffer the lasting, lingering effects, there's really very little help. We're on our own. We're expected to 'just get over it, already'. We'd like to, trust me, but it's not that simple.
That's where ServicePacks.org comes in. I can leave my house alone again. I can go to the park, walk around the lake, go window shopping, have lunch, wander the mall, buy groceries... all the things that most people do without giving it a single thought. I have my Service Pack. I have my freedom back.
And, that's what I want to provide for other women, like myself.