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For every woman who files for divorce to escape spousal abuse, there are countless others who stay in abusive relationships, scared and uncertain of how to get out. Debbie's guest Bea Hanson, Chief Program Officer for Safe Horizon, sheds light on this epidemic, and discusses the options and resources women have.

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  • Comment Link Guest Tuesday, 09 February 2010 00:22 posted by Guest

    domestic violence: A foreign friend has experienced incredible abuse by her American husband and have difficult to find one to help here despite the victim resources that exist in Montgomery County where she lives. Her husband, a respected local businessman, has raped her, physically and mentally abused her, and threatened her life on numerous occasions. My friend, now in her forties, comes here from Country and met and married her American husband after a few years in the US. From everything I know about their life together, he isolated, controlled, stalked (cameras, GPS track, computer, cell phone) her for many years. She was silence for years.
    Recently, her neighbor called the police when she heard shouting one evening and feared for my friend die, because he has a gun. The police arrived and told her to take her possessions and leave that night. The police office advises her to found help with Abuse Person Program and get a Restraining Order. Few hours after she left the house her husband immediately cancels all her credit cards. Next day in the morning he cancels her cell phone. After he cancels the car insurance and heath insurance.
    She did, and since then she has experienced an ongoing nightmare of desperately searching for help to no avail. She is one more in thousand victim women abuse in this Country. Her husband controlled all of their finances and she only worked par time. She never has access to the bank. He opens one join account that was used exclusively to her direct deposit paycheck, that he has control. She as no access “their” money, she is completely broken and would ideally like at least to have some kind of money to cover her basic necessities.
    My friend summoned from her husband’s lawyer that says, she abandoned him and has no right to any of their possessions or money. She has spent days and days waiting in lines with other county low income residents to get some decent free legal advice. She spends her nights at friend’s houses. She has high blood pressure and cannot afford to go doctor or buy her medication. These condition need to be monitored and treated. It is probably that her husband it truly wishing that she dies while she runs from to place to place searching for help. Or maybe he wants her to return to Country and leave him alone. But she feels like the USA is her home now and does not want to leave.
    This husband of hers seems to have thought of my friend as sex/cook/housekeeper. She was ashamed each day because he got a girlfriend and it was public view. When she finally stood up to him started saying no to him, he became even more aggressive and abusive. Also he was monitoring her with inside and outside cameras around the house and GPS track in her car. He was outraged that his slave/wife would not do as he said.
    How many other women from foreign countries have gotten married to American men and experienced this horror? My guess is that are many. They have no voice. It is nearly impossible for them to get decent legal help.
    Imperfect English, a lack of knowledge about American legal system, and no family support make their situation bleak to say the least.
    This is a very important story that needs attention. My friend and I are very open to specking with you for story and help.