A POWERFUL RESOURCE FOR ANY AMERICAN TRAVELING/LIVING ABROAD: Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center

Read the following excerpt from the “Founder’s Story” at http://www.866uswomen.org/Founders-Story.aspx and be sure to check the website to read more as well as learn more about how this organization can most definitely HELP YOU.

For 14 years Paula lived what looked like an ideal life as an American overseas: A Newsweek photojournalist husband, world wide travel, a successful advertising, marketing and PR business and three beautiful sons. She also hid a terrible secret: the children suffered severe child abuse and Paula, horrific domestic violence, at the hands of her husband, making every day a nightmare.

As the violence increased, so did her desperation. In 1997, she finally disclosed the abuse to her brother in California. Her family called the State Department, congress people and senators. Paula went to the American Embassy and pleaded for help. Their efforts were futile.


Despite experiencing homelessness, poverty and extreme debt after years of abuse, Paula felt she had been given a second chance. She resolved to help other abused American women and children around the world so they would not have to go through what she and her children went through. While living in a shelter, Paula founded a non-profit organization, American Women Overseas, and began her work.

But progress was slow. Paula juggled a full time job at night to support her children while running the crisis line out of her living room during the day. It wasn’t until 2003 that she received enough funding to begin really making a difference.

Paula remarried and continues to live in Oregon where her two oldest sons now attend college.

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