When I lived in low-income apartments, I often heard raised voices and crying children. I called the police three times because the shrieking of the children became unbearable. Two of those families moved away during the night just days after the police came. I still think of the sweet little girls from one of those families, Abby and Hannah, and wonder if they are okay or if their father still hurts them.
Listening to stories of abuse, all of it—physical, mental, emotional, sexual—is blood-curdling and overwhelming. It’s a tidal wave of trauma and answers seem few and far between. Social workers are underpaid, overworked and ill-equipped for the depth of depravity of those who abuse others, who were themselves twisted by their own childhood experiences. I marvel at the courage required to do something about abuse, from those who are abused to those who dedicate themselves to helping rebuild lives. They make the impossible, possible.
Emma was married to an abusive husband and developed a need to understand why she had always been in abusive relationships. When Angel’s mom sought help from abuse, she told the staff at EMERGE she wondered why her daughter always looked scared. Tormented as only a parent can be, Theresa asked for help in understanding why her daughter stayed in an abusive relationship. Elise had lived in constant fear of abuse and though she left her husband, she couldn’t shake the high levels of anxiety that ruled her life.
They all found life-changing help at Emerge Center Against Domestic Violence. To read more about them, see Participant Stories. Emerge isn’t a government agency—it’s a private non-profit organization. (Office: 520-795-8001.) They receive almost 5000 calls to their crisis line (795-4266; toll-free 1-888-428-0101) every year. To see the breadth of respect for this Tucson organization, go to Collaborations. To learn about their commitment to changing the lives of Southern Arizona women and children, see their Values page.
More information about domestic violence is available at Carolyn’s Community: http://tucsoncitizen.com/community/2012/02/28/zero-tolerance-for-domestic-violence/
Today, I’m writing about a fundraising ‘double-your-gift-challenge.’ An anonymous donor is matching all donations up to $10,000, which means your $20 donation becomes $40; $50 becomes $100! And, though ‘goodness’ can’t be scientifically measured, the effect of every dollar donated to Emerge is multiplied in other ways, such as restoring or creating quality of life vs. the potential costs to taxpayers of incarceration.
Please consider the heartfelt commitment of the folks at Emerge and the effect their work has on our Tucson community. They don’t just answer a crisis line—they answer the phone and bring those who need them under the Emerge umbrella, in emergencies, help with advocacy, with children’s services, housing and community education. In Arizona, abuse turns fatal every three days. Take a moment to click this secure EMERGE link and double the power of your much needed gift. Says Melanie Morgan, Emerge Associate Director of Development and Public Relations, “Thanks so much for offering to help. Any awareness you can create is much appreciated.”