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Mom and kids are rebuilding after fleeing abuse

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

This holiday season is the first time in a long time when this survivor of domestic abuse can decorate how she likes, cook the foods that her children love and not suffer broken dishes or black eyes.

Gift cards for gas, groceries, clothing, books and family outings would heighten their newfound joy.

Working part time and caring for her three daughters, this 31-year-old woman spends a large portion of her income on gas for her commute to work and the girls’ school. The family has been living with a friend in Gold Hill while the mother saves to move into an apartment, hopefully in January. Yet she is determined to make a happy, memorable holiday for the kids.

New books to enjoy during their family reading time and games to play together would delight this mother and daughters, ages 4, 8 and 14. They also love seeing movies at Cinemark’s Tinseltown in Medford. The mother would get an additional boost from gift cards for coffee.

The woman continues to attend support groups since seeing a flyer for Community Works offering empowerment to parents through “connections and self-reflection.” She had avoided spending time with friends and family because her partner said if she told anyone about the abuse, he would harm their children.

She attended a weekly, confidential group and explored self-esteem, setting boundaries, regulating emotions and building healthy relationships. On the day this mother learned about abuse, she stayed afterward to speak with the facilitator. Soon, she and the advocate created a safety plan for leaving her marriage.

Striving to find fulltime employment, this woman receives no financial support from her abuser.

To help, call Community Works at 541-779-2393, ext. 200.