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After overcoming abuse, family must heal wounds

A young mother and her two girls need help recovering from a dangerous and disillusioning situation.

When this young woman met her abuser, she was recently widowed.

The man swept her off her feet, telling the bereaved 29-year-old mother of two young girls just what her heart needed to hear. He loved her and her two young children from the moment they met, he said.

They married six months after meeting. He wanted to get married quickly. He couldn't wait, he said. She thought at the time his eagerness was sweet. Now she realizes it was a warning sign of his controlling behaviors.

The first few months were great. But soon her new husband started making insulting comments about her kids — what brats they were and how it was all her fault.

He would disappear for days at a time.

When he returned, he would blame her for his absences, then threaten to hurt her should she ever leave him.

He had guns in the house. She was afraid.

Determined to make a change, she saw an advertisement for a women's support group and decided to join. She began to hear stories from other women who had found themselves living with abusive men.

Realizing she and her children were in great danger, she called Community Works and was put in touch with a domestic violence advocate. They worked out a plan.

After squirrelling away a little money, she packed up what she could of her own and her children's things and left. She hid out at a co-worker's house for a few days, looking for a permanent place to live.

She was able to get some help from Community Works' Dunn House. In September, she and her children moved into their own place.

The children are seeing a counselor with Dunn House. The mother is still in her support group. She is also working at a local company.

Her holiday hope is to give her children a few presents so they can feel like their lives are happy again. She lacks money to be able to do so. Your help with some gifts would be greatly appreciated.

The 6-year-old loves horses and art. A gift card for equine toys and art supplies would be wonderful. The 3-year-old would love a tricycle. She has seen a special one at Toys R Us.

The mother could use new towels, a gift card for a coat, and a nice journal. She would also like to be able to take the girls on an adventure to ScienceWorks in Ashland.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497, or e-mail her at sspecht@mailtribune.com.