A Journey of Hope: Eve’s Story
Eve, a single mom of two young boys, was apprehensive about dating again after a painful divorce. But then she met Ronin who swept her off her feet with flowers, dinners, sweet words and kind gestures. Then little by little, Ronin’s sweet demeanor changed to one filled with insults and name calling—it became a constant barrage of hurtful words.
“I didn’t even realize it was happening. He systematically, slowly, broke down my self-esteem and sense of self-worth until I felt like I was nobody.”
Emotional abuse gave way to physical violence with an occasional push or slap that didn’t take long to spiral into vicious attacks. Eve couldn’t believe that what had once seemed like such a perfect relationship was now filled with verbal and physical assaults followed by apologies, promises to change, and claims that he couldn’t live without her. One Sunday morning, Eve was getting ready to go to church when Ronin said that he wouldn’t let her and the children go. He brutally assaulted her in the bathroom; her screams brought her son running to her aid, putting himself in harm’s way.
“It was when my five-year-old son tried to stand between me and my abuser that I knew I had to escape. Within a week I packed up my family, sold my home, and moved to another state”.
Eve was so terrified of her abuser that she used a different name when she relocated. She picked up the pieces and moved on, finding an apartment and a new job, and getting her boys enrolled in school. Day by day, she began to feel a little less anxious and fearful that he would find her. But late on a Friday night, about two months after she had settled in her new community, Ronin showed up at her door.
“If somebody wants to find you, they will. With the technology available – it’s inevitable”.
Over the next four days he tormented Eve – alternating between physically and verbally abusing her and refusing to let her eat or sleep. Eve’s mom, after not hearing from her for days, became concerned and called the police to see if they could do a welfare check. The responding officer recognized the signs of abuse and immediately connected Eve with an Alexandra House advocate. Eve and her sons arrived at the Alexandra House shelter late at night with only the belongings they could carry.
“My Alexandra House advocate helped me get an order for protection against my abuser and to create a safety plan. We had nothing when we arrived and they gave us clothing, shoes, and toys. Most importantly they offered me the support I needed to get out of an abusive relationship”.
Domestic violence is a serious problem that devastates families and communities. Every day, countless Minnesotans suffer at the hands of their abusers and reach out for help. Last year, in Anoka County, law enforcement responded to 13,668 domestic calls. For those who receive the help they need, hundreds more that don’t. Alexandra House simply does not have the financial resources to help everyone in need. In 2018, we were consistently overcapacity in our shelter, averaging 103% occupancy for the year. This was an increase of 7% from 2017. Additionally, individuals are often staying in our shelter longer with the length of stay increasing from 19 days to over 24 days. Alexandra House is struggling to serve more people with fewer resources as we have experienced a decrease in funding.
If you have given recently, thank you so much for your support! If you have not made a year-end contribution to Alexandra House, and would like to, please consider joining our Luminary Society. The Luminary Society is a monthly giving program that allows donors to make a contribution each month through a checking account, credit, or debit card. Monthly giving reduces administrative costs so that more of your valued donation can directly benefit victims and survivors like Eve. However you choose to give, it is deeply appreciated and will help strengthen our community so that we may, one day, see an end to domestic violence. Please take a moment to make your contribution today.
“It’s hard to walk away but it’s worth it. You’ll find yourself again and be able to be happy.” — Eve
AS YOU CONSIDER THE SIZE OF YOUR YEAR-END GIFT, PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE MAGNITUDE OF THE CHALLENGE OUR COMMUNITY IS FACING:
- Domestic violence is the 2nd most common person based crime in Minnesota.
- Nationally, 1 in 3 women have experienced some form severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
- Among families, domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness.