Pamela’s husband grabbed her forcefully by the back of her hair, pulled her down on the bed, and aggressively put all his weight on top of her—she couldn’t move. She had just had major surgery. How could he be so careless with her? Her mind was overcome, trying to figure out how he had become so violent. How were they here? This is what a little disagreement had become? Pamela had lost her own sister to domestic violence and couldn’t believe she was now in the same threatening situation.
Her husband was all she had. After thirty years of living on her own, she decided to remarry and move away to be with him. She left her friends, her family, and a job that she loved. Now, the physical and emotional weight of realizing that someone who is supposed to love you is hurting you became too heavy for her. When Pamela looks back, she realizes there were signs, but she tried her best to ignore them. She would tell herself that it was just a bad day, just a miscommunication. But once he had isolated her from her friends, family, and everything she loved, the mental and verbal abuse became more and more intense.
“When I was a kid, I always thought I’d be a doctor or a nurse, and I would have kids and go to college. But I never thought I would be in an abusive situation.”
When he finally got off her and left the room, she caught her breath and immediately started packing her things. She didn’t know exactly what she needed to do, but she knew she couldn’t stay. Her faith and the thought of her sister carried her through that moment and into the parking lot. In a rush to gather items and get outside, she called information and told them she needed help to get away from her husband, all while he circled around her like a predator in his car. Before she knew it, she was on the phone with Alexandra House and safely on her way to a life free from violence.
Pamela was healing from surgery and the brokenness of her marriage. Alexandra House allowed her to lean into her faith and offered her resources to overcome physical and emotional pain. As the days went by, she got stronger. Pamela could talk to an advocate and have things explained to her. She learned about housing options, talked to a lawyer, attended support groups, and created a safety plan. Her advocate walked alongside her every step of the way.
“I was a bird with broken wings when I arrived. And I was able to repair those wings and start flying again because Alexandra House allowed me to do that.”
Pamela never went back to him. Since her time at Alexandra House, she now feels safe. What happened to Pamela that evening changed everything—but it will never happen again. She is determined to live the life she deserves and found healing and her strength during her time at Alexandra House.
“Going from that awful night to where I am now, I could not have done that on my own. I’m so grateful that Alexandra House helped me repair my wings.”
Domestic violence, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking are serious crimes that impact the public health and safety of every community in this country. One in three women in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Homicide remains one of the leading causes of death for women 44 years and under. Sixty-five to 80% of female intimate partner homicide victims were previously abused by the partner who killed them, making domestic violence the single largest risk factor for intimate partner femicide.
In 2021, there were 14,540 domestic-related (includes non-intimate partner) and 866 criminal sexual conduct dispatch (9-1-1) calls to Anoka County. Organizations like Alexandra House that are working to end this violence and are providing critical support in times of crisis are vital to the public health and safety of communities across Minnesota.
We’re so grateful for the community that has funded, volunteered, celebrated, and advocated for Alexandra House through the years. At a time when everything continues to feel uncertain, we find comfort and encouragement knowing that you care about our cause. Our programs continue to be on the front lines of supporting our most vulnerable community members. Now, more than ever, Alexandra House is relying on our community to ensure we are here to serve those who need us most.
We have been fortunate enough to receive a generous $25,000 matching grant from an Anonymous donor! That means every gift (up to $25,000) received by 12/31 will be doubled!
If you have not made a year-end contribution to Alexandra House, please consider joining our Luminary Society, our treasured community of monthly donors. Your gift will not only be a sustainable way to support victims of domestic and sexual violence but will also have twice the impact! While all of us are facing great challenges at this time, we hope that you can find some peace knowing that because of your generosity, you are creating a community of support, a safe way forward, and a future free from violence. The critical support of sustained giving will enable us to continue to serve our community and ensure that survivors like Pamela can build safer and more stable lives as we take one step closer to a future free from violence together. 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 and sexual violence. Please take a moment to make your contribution today. If you have given recently, thank you so much for your support!
On behalf of all of us at Alexandra House, thank you for being a part of our community. We wish you and your family health, safety, and happiness and want you to know that together, we can overcome all things.
As you consider the size of your year-end gift, please think about the magnitude of the challenge our community is facing:
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged 18 and older in the US have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people every year.
- Among families, domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness.