IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center

You need to know that as a survivor of domestic abuse YOU are not to blame.

Domestic Violence 101

According to Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center And the Sexual Assault Support & Help For Americans Abroad Program, SASHAA:

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior which may include physical and sexual violence, threats, insults, and economic deprivation which is aimed at gaining then maintaining power over an intimate partner. People of all races, cultures, professions, educational backgrounds, sexual orientations, and socio-economic status experience domestic violence.

One primary aspect of Domestic Violence that must be understood in order to fully recognize the problem is the result of choice. It is NOT caused by:

  • Cultural Differences
  • Religious Beliefs
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Problems from childhood
  • Past war experiences
  • Stress
  • Physical Illness
  • Insecurity
  • Financial problems
  • The Victim

After suffering 4 assaults by the hands of Antonio “Boo” Rudder/Ras Rudder/SeventySix Keyyzz during 3 separate visits to the island of Barbados, I found myself disoriented, in shock, experiencing anxiety and post traumatic stress which temporarily disabled my thinking skills as related to “FIGHT” or “FLEE”. Being tormented and emotionally blackmailed on a daily basis while trying to salvage my experience, money, time and positive energy prompted me to BOND more with the person abusing me than to remove him from my life. This process is called “trauma bonding” and it is one reason that I could not release myself from the abusive relationship without the appropriate EMPOWERMENT measures.

The Barbadian Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development said that domestic violence in Barbados “‘is often fed by poverty, dependency, lack of education or capacity and the absence of empowerment'” (qtd. in Nation 30 Mar. 2011). However, sources note that the problem of domestic violence affects women of all stratums of society in Barbados (CADRES [2009], 14; Nation 19 May 2010).

After finding myself abandoned and tossed aside by Antonio after he realized I would not be dropping the charges brought against him by court prosecutors (ASSAULT WITH BODILY HARM), I utilized GOOGLE search to assist me in finding someone who would understand my situation and offer guidance without bullying, irritation or judgment. During the entire 3 year ordeal I never knew what or who to contact that I could be assured had my best interest, safety and protection at heart and I was afraid of being further victimized by others who said they could help but would end up abandoning their efforts and thus me in the process.

Due to my research capabilities, I was able to focus enough to seek out an outside agency that would become my “go to” option for counseling, support, education, resources and for company while remaining stranded in Barbados and throughout my investigation of how to proceed with guaranteeing justice for myself through the legal system. After realizing Antonio cared nothing about my body or my life when he used brute force slapping me across my face with an industrial broom and then walking right out of my front door without any remorse knowing I did nothing to provoke or deserve such abuse, I was prompted to begin the process of figuring out how I wanted everything to ultimately come to an end. It took a year without further contact from him, a reunion afterwards for about 8 months in which I experienced the worst of his PSYCHOLOGICAL, VERBAL AND FINANCIAL ABUSE.

It wasn’t until he asked me to contact the courts in February 2015 to drop the charges against him to make it easier for him to travel with the Fully Loaded Band that I snapped out of LOVE with him realizing he had no LOVE for me. He had just abandoned me alone on the island weeks in a row before asking that of me and we were in constant arguments because he had no money and I was paying for housing, food and refusing to support his marijuana smoking habits. I stood firm on boundaries that I had learned I must have after the other incidents of abuse and the counseling I had received along the way. The more empowered I became, the more agitated he became and the inevitable was sure to take place: our relationship suffocated because he never allowed it the room apart from his abuse to breathe. He choked me twice before and the more I encouraged him to get help and stop treating me bad as well as his children, the more retaliation I suffered.

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center And the Sexual Assault Support & Help For Americans Abroad Program, SASHAA were there for me when no one else had the training, expertise, desire or care to be there. I am publishing this post with the intent to make sure other survivors know they exist and that those who are able to donate can assist. I am happy that the organization now has a record that they can access after working with me so that other Americans who contact them for HELP won’t be starting from scratch as I was, without knowing who to speak to in Barbados being that they have not published any readily available and easily accessible information for TOURISTS to navigate.

For anyone interested in learning to extend COMPASSION and INTELLIGENCE in response to domestic violence prevention and response, contact them for resources and any direction they are authorized to offer. I don’t know what I would have done without them. THANK YOU Ava and Alix for sitting on the phone with me and hearing my cries because I was holding them back from every one else at the time. Thank you for advocating for me even when I didn’t know what to do or how far I could go. THANK YOU for never blaming me and making me feel the stigmas associated with surviving domestic violence. I am forever grateful. You never ceased to remind me: “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”. And now I extend those words to others who are reading this post.

The Founder’s Story of Survival:
http://www.866uswomen.org/Founders-Story.aspx

To contact an advocate, please review the website for email and dialing instructions.

Mailing Address:
Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center
PO Box 25007
Portland, OR 97298

Telephone: 503-203-1444
Crisis Line: 866-USWOMEN (879-6636)
Fax: 503-203-5999
Email: 866uswomen@866uswomen.org

Donate

The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center depends upon donations to continue serving battered Americans, especially women & children, living in foreign countries. Your donation is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

To donate by check please send to or review the website for online donations procedures:
Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center
PO Box 25007
Portland, OR 97298

If you wish to donate to a specific program, please indicate the program name on your check.

Programs:

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