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Dear Friends,

For most of us, the winter holidays mean a time of coming together with family and creating a time of love and sharing. But the holidays can also be a time of great stress—especially for families experiencing domestic abuse. A home with domestic violence creates an unpredictable environment filled with tension, anxiety, and dominated by fear, especially for children who must witness the abuse, and even are themselves, often abused.

When Ramona thinks back on her childhood, she remembers happy times spent with family, cousins, friends, and fun things that children do. She also remembers being scared and holding a dark secret and sadness that would often overcome her because she lived in a home with domestic violence.
It is not uncommon for a victim to stay in an abusive relationship, and the reasons are many. Ramona and her mother cycled between home and our Shelter several times until her mother finally left for good.

“I remember how nice the shelter was and we were provided with clothes, clean beds to sleep in, food, and fun activities for the kids. And I felt safe because my mom was safe.”
Sometime later, her mother entered into a new relationship that promised a fresh start in Nevada. While mom and Ramona’s six-year-old sister went with the boyfriend to establish a home, Ramona stayed with family until the new home was readied. Soon after, her mother found herself in another abusive relationship. Her mother sent a letter saying she was returning home. And on the date of her return, after informing her boyfriend she was leaving, he pulled a gun and shot her, as well as shooting at Ramona’s sister. Ramona’s mother succumbed to her injury, leaving behind two young daughters without a mother and an uncertain future.

 

The abuser was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Yet, that does not change what happened or the impact to those young lives. Every year, on her mother’s birthday, Ramona rereads that last letter. As an adult, Ramona returned to Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence as a volunteer and she is a member of our Speakers Bureau. Ramona tells those at presentation events:

“My mother’s name is Margaret Sosa and she did not survive domestic violence. We need facilities like Next Door Solutions to help women and men—who are also domestic violence survivors—to get out of these relationships and situations, to give them hope that there is a chance, and to not give up. Next Door Solutions gives these families the tools and power to make the transition to a better life. As my story reveals, it’s not just hope for the abused women or men, it is hope for the children who witness and live in these domestic violence homes. Not only are the abused women/men who leave abusive relationships survivors, but the children are also survivors. “These are all the things a child should not see or hear, these are things that a child should not have to worry about every day when they come home; domestic violence will stick with me forever. 
“My name is Ramona and I am a domestic violence survivor.” 

Please make your gift today by visiting nextdoorsolutions.org/give/ - your contribution can literally help save lives.

In Peace,
Esther Peralez-Dieckmann
Executive Director

 
P.S. To see Ramona share her own story please visit nextdoorsolutions.org/video

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