Meet Rebecca

Domestic Abuse Survivor, CHANA client and Speaker

Once an outspoken young woman, a community activist, she found herself living in an abusive relationship, socially withdrawn, a shadow of her former self.

She never expected it to be this way. When she first met her future husband, Rebecca recalls she was so excited to date someone whose lifestyle and goals were similar to hers, she ignored the red flags.

“Friends claim they tried to tell me I was being abused, but I made excuses. I’d say, ‘he didn’t mean it.’ I realized that 15 plus years later, I was still saying the same thing. The longer we were married, the more intense and varied the abuse became. I would say ‘as long as it is not physical I can handle it.’

Now, when people asked me why I stayed for so long, I say that "I had to be more scared to stay than to leave.”

“I stopped being myself. Our mutual goals were never realized. I gave up all my personal goals and dreams. Everything I did was to make him happy. But it didn’t matter what I did; I was always wrong. It was always his way or the high way. He would tell me call me names and say that I am undeserving.”

Despite the verbal, emotional, financial and spiritual abuse, she continued to live with him. It wasn’t until after one particularly bad fight, that she called up CHANA and told them her story. “I said to them, ‘I don’t know if I’m being abused.’ The volunteer at the other end of the line said, ‘Honey, you are abused. Come in.’”

The organization helped her find a lawyer and a counselor. Rebecca began participating in the Healing Arts Café and then group therapy through CHANA, programs that help domestic abuse victims and survivors of trauma to understand what they experienced and how to move on.

Today, Rebecca is beginning to return to the woman she once was, determined to spread the word about the amazing services provided by CHANA to any organization or school or individual ready to listen. She is willing to share her story so that other woman will hopefully recognize red flags, signs of an unhealthy relationship and to trust their instincts before it is too late.

“Even if he might be what you ‘want,’ think about how he is treating you. “Look at what is he saying or not saying,” she says.

The journey has been long, but Rebecca is very appreciative of the services she received from CHANA. “Thanks to CHANA, I’m finding my voice again. It makes me want to be an inspiration to other women,” she says.

“CHANA,” she adds, “has made me realize that I am part of a community. “They are always there and if you follow their advice, it works. It’s so reassuring to know there is a safe place in the Jewish community.”

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