Years ago a group of female friends got tired of seeing other women suffer. We’d offer moral support, maybe pool a fee needed or bus fare home or loan self-help books. We decided to open a bank account and commit to a monthly deposit and opened a rotating lending library in whoever’s home had the space at the time. We cultivated relationships with a local counselor and hotel management to get discounts.
When a woman needed to leave a beater, as a group, we showed up and moved her in just hours. If needed, storage and fare to get away was paid for and we made sure they were safe and connected with help. Once we helped with legal fees for a young woman who had her baby taken to hospital with a misdiagnosis and then adopted out. She delivered early because her boyfriend stabbed her. They put schizophrenia on her records without even being evaluated! She was an easy target. Passive and quiet, and abused at only 17. A local celebrity helped her too.
This poor woman didn’t get visitation with her son until he was 5 years old! Yes in America. She couldn’t afford protection and justice. I learned about it only because she was an employee and had to take time off for a court date. She didn’t have decent transport so I went with her and watched what was happening.
Bottom line, there simply isn’t a government or church program I ever learned about that could really meet the needs we ran into in our area. So, we had to step up. – Sari