A local woman shares her story about enduring domestic abuse. Please read her story below:

"Twenty-five dollars in the hands of my abuser caused life-altering torment for me and my young child."

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"I remember the day my abuser brought home a $25 plastic lockable thermostat cover and encased our thermostat control box as if it happened only yesterday. Normally, one would expect to see these plastic covers in commercial settings or public spaces. In my household, this $25 item was used to torture me.  My abuser worked different hours than I did, and he found some sick level of joy in turning the heat down to 50 degrees during the cold, winter months. He would then program it to heat back up to his desired temperature just before he got home.  

I hope you don't know what a person can get used to. The name calling. The perpetual reminders that you can’t do anything right. The cuts. The bruises. For me, that plastic cover was the last straw. As I watched my daughter shiver, barely able to do her homework, I remembered our worth. My daughter’s well-being was even more important than my own. I didn’t want my daughter growing up thinking that living in a household of abuse was normal. 

Today, I am remarried to a wonderful man, and my daughter is a grown woman. But it has taken a lot of family support and resources to get me to this place. And even though I now feel empowered and strong, every now and then there will be a trigger that reminds me of the horror I lived through. Years have gone by, and many therapeutic hours were invested in me, but I still get taken back to that moment in time when I come across one of those plastic covers." 

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Trauma can be difficult to recover from, and the trauma experienced by those that YWCA Northeast Indiana serves can be significant. Domestic violence can include physical abuse, but also includes verbal and emotional abuse. Hoosier domestic violence fatalities have increased 181% over the last year. The demand for our domestic violence outreach services has reached unprecedented levels. We need to provide services to more people. Will you help us meet the greater need with a gift of $25?

Like so many women in our community, this woman found herself in a domestic violence household. Even though she heard stories about women who were physically beaten, and even murdered, by the person they should have been able to trust most of all, she didn’t want to believe it could happen to her. But there she was, stuck in a situation that she wasn’t sure how to escape from. And even though she had resources as an educated woman with a well-paying job, family, and friends, she reported feeling trapped in her own head after years of abuse.  Many people in our area feel trapped just like she did and need your help. 

It is true that $25 can make a person’s life miserable, but $25 can also be used to fund life-changing, life-saving, services for someone living with domestic violence. Will you invest $25 or more in our mission? As a financial supporter, you will come to understand just how impactful your gift can be in empowering someone who feels trapped, scared, or alone in a domestic violence household like she once did. 

P. S.  If you have someone in your life you would like to honor, please visit this page. We would be happy to share this with them while keeping your gift amount confidential.


Why Give to YWCA Northeast Indiana?

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pervasive issue that significantly affects women, men, and gender nonconforming individuals. According to the CDC, “about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.” 

Research has shown that exposure to domestic violence can lead to a variety of negative psychological and physical health consequences, including posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, physical injury, reproductive health problems, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic pain (American Journal of Public Health). The most adverse negative effect of domestic violence, however, is the death of the victim. The CDC cites US crime reports that found over half of female homicide victims in the United States are killed by a current or former male intimate partner. 

Two years of pandemic have destabilized many families, resulting in a dramatic increase in the severity of domestic violence situations. Domestic violence homicides in Indiana have increased 181% compared to pre-pandemic numbers. In 2021 and 2022, YWCA Northeast Indiana has seen a dramatic increase in community need for our domestic violence services as more and more survivors are seeking services and safety. YWCA offers both shelter and community-based services; in 2021, YWCA served the highest number of community-based clients in 10 years of providing community-based advocacy. 

Already in 2022, we are surpassing 2021 for the same January - April time frame. We have experienced a 24% increase in crisis calls, 32% increase in community client services, and a 20% increase in shelter services. Levels of service in 2022 are on pace to exceed 2021. 

For easy access to make your $25+ gift for our life-saving services, click here.  This link also will provide you with the option of honoring someone with your gift.

We are grateful for your support!  $25 can make a huge difference!