Dear friend of MGN's, Rachel O'Grady on FaceBook, commented on my saying
I couldn't understand why Janay Rice stayed with her football player husband after he knocked her out cold in an elevator. Rachel works an abuse hotline so she knows what she's talking about through her work and her personal experience. Thank you Rachel for sharing! This is what MGN does. We share stories that are or were in the hopes that by doing so someone else might learn something to help them on their own journey to recovery. Here's Rachel's incredible story!
"As a hotline counselor I can tell you that there are a lot of reasons such as:
-She has hope that he'll change and that things will be the way that they were when she met him.
-Threats, Fear for their life and/or their children's life
-There are children involved and there may be the belief that the children are better off with a Mother and a Father, fear that they won't be able to handle single parenting
-DV shelters that do not allow children (boys especially) over the age of 10 in shelters with their Mothers
-The Father may threaten to gain custody of the children and to not let the Mother see the children again
-The woman believes that she loves him and that he loves her and that he really IS a good man (despite the abuse)
-No where to go
I could keep going.
As a survivor of a teen dating violence relationship I stayed for 2 years because I had been through prior trauma that taught me that
I had no worth. I felt that at least my boyfriend would look at me, at least he was dating me. Yes he was constantly putting me down and making fun of me, yes he was controlling me and my every move, yes he had a nasty temper, a short fuse with triggers that changed daily but at least he saw me as worthy of dating."
Rachel O'Grady First of all Miguel Prats thank you for your tireless activism with MGN
I USED to be a hotline counselor as an intern at Pathways for Change in Worcester MA until I graduated in 2009 from AMC. I am no longer a hotline counselor but I hope to soon find a position back in the advocacy world. The hotline was intense but it's important work. I also was given the honor of being part of the outreach/education team where I was given the task of catalouging all of the Clothesline T-Shirts and starting the database from scratch for the T-Shirts. I was given the privilege of joining many of the staff members at numerous outreach/education events. I learned all of the information that I shared from my Social work Professor's (I was a SWK Major as an under grad) from the wonderful and supportive staff members at Pathways but also from my time at The Molly Bish Center (if you are not familiar with the Center checkoutwww.mollybish.org ) to learn about the Center and what we do.
I will say too that I stayed with my abusive boyfriend for 2 years but even after we broke up he continued just as a "friend" to abuse and control me. I was not able to break free until October 2005 when I landed at Anna Maria College and the Molly Bish Center. With the help of my Mentor Patty O'Leary I was able to escape from his abuse and control completely. I allowed the abuse and control to continue for those 3 years because I felt that being as worthless as I was that that was what I deserved and that my abusive ex was as good as I was going to do given who I was and what I looked lik and everything that I had survived.
I hope that what I shared within this post, which Miguel so graciously shared with all of you, makes sense, is related and that it teaches you.
God Bless you Miguel and the MGN team.
Maria Goretti Network/MGN Survivor's stories teach us so much. This is one of the beautiful things about MGN. We don't know what people need to do to heal. We share what we've been through and what's helped us in the hope it may help someone else.
Thank you so much Rachel O'Grady for clarifying some things and sharing the happy ending with us! You are loved and appreciated sister!