Lacy met Robert, the man of her dreams through a co-worker and the relationship quickly became serious. Within a month, Lacy had rearranged her life and moved from St. Cloud to Fridley to live with him. A year later, they were married and Lacy was pregnant with their first child.
Lacy’s story of domestic abuse is like so many others with ongoing emotional abuse and the occasional violent attack, which she forgave for the sake of her family. Growing up with parents who were neglectful and addicted to drugs, Lacy believed she wasn’t worthy of love or respect.
Looking back, she recognized that her already low self-esteem diminished even further during their marriage. “I always saw the glass as half empty. I was always going to have a lousy life; my parents were drug addicts—and my husband, yeah maybe he loved me, but I have to do everything—work, raise our two sons, attend to the household. That was my place in life. He destroyed my self-esteem and stripped me of my dignity and self-respect. I had no love for myself.”
Lacy rationalized Robert’s abuse. “He’s not hitting or choking me in front of the kids. Pushing me out of the car isn’t hitting me, so that’s not violent. I didn’t recognize I was in an abusive relationship.” Over time, the violent attacks became too severe to ignore. One evening, Robert cornered Lacy while she was holding their 18 month old son, screaming and violently jerking her around by the hair. “I don’t recall what set him off, but I remember thinking, I’m going to drop my baby—I can’t do this anymore.” Lacy called the police.
The responding officer recognized the signs of abuse and immediately connected her with an Alexandra House advocate. For over two years, Lacy secretly met with her advocate, gradually building up the courage to leave. During that time, she attended a writing support group at Alexandra House. “I went to group for nearly two years before I felt strong enough to file for a divorce. The weight of talking about the abuse I was experiencing was too much for me to bear—let alone share. Writing it down was easier. The writing group helped me find my voice and my value.”
Domestic violence is a violation of human rights and a local, national, and international problem. Alexandra House offers a multitude of services including an emergency shelter, safety planning, 24-hour help line, legal advocacy, on-site hospital advocacy, support groups, follow-up services, therapy, youth services, basic needs assistance, elder abuse services, and community and professional education. As the only domestic and sexual violence program in Anoka County, we guarantee 85¢ of every dollar given will directly support the services we offer.
If you have given recently, thank you so much for your support! If you have not made a year-end contribution to Alexandra House, please consider becoming a Luminary Society member. 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 helps us direct more money to helping victim/survivors and less to administrative costs.
However you choose to give, it’s 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.
“Now my life is very different—it’s bright and happy. Alexandra House saved my life.
I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for them.” — Lacy
As you consider the size of your year-end gift, please think about the magnitude of the challenge our community is facing:
- Nationally, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- Among families, domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness.
- 40-60% of men who abuse women—also abuse children.