There is lots of local help for abused women

Tue, 05/12/2009 - 3:12pm
By: Letters to the ...

I was drawn to the Ellicott case. I sat through two days of testimony and it was almost unbelievable, incomprehensible. There are details too vulgar for the newspapers to print that would make your stomach churn.

I was able to stay composed through a good deal of the gut-wrenching testimony from Ms. Ellicott about the torture she received at the hands of the man she loved, Mr. Ellicott.

I could barely breath as I listened to her story of the ongoing abuse she endured to keep the peace, keep her family intact and to protect her children.

But when she was pressed by Mr. Ellicott’s attorney as to WHY she stayed, and WHY she decided to make her escape when her husband was present in the home instead of while he was on a trip, my heart broke into a million pieces.

The attorney was trying to make her into the bad guy because she didn’t leave when her husband was out of the house or out of town with his job as a pilot with Delta Air Lines.

As if she brought it on herself, was to blame because she ran out the door while he was there and on the phone with his girlfriend, instead of while he was gone.

Despite my best efforts to stay composed, I couldn’t hold back the flood of tears when she expressed, “Because I didn’t have a plan.”

She didn’t have a plan. The memories rushed back. A few years ago, I too, was before Judge English, doing my best to hide my bruises with my cardigan sweater. He saw them and made comment, “Are those bruises on your arms still from last week?” I was seeking a protective order from my husband, a Delta pilot like Mr. Ellicott.

Judge English asked me after he had granted the protective order, “Why did you stay with him?”

I responded, “Because I loved him and because I didn’t have a plan.” No place to turn, no money or a reliable car, no family in Georgia to take me in, two small children to protect, an image and a husband to protect, and zero self-esteem.

I understood Ms. Ellicott’s answer and all the questions that go through a woman’s mind when she knows she needs to leave but can’t muster up the courage or the means: What do I tell the children? What about their missing schoolwork? Where will we stay? Where will I get the money for groceries, gas, an attorney? And most of all, what if he finds me, what will he do to me?

I didn’t have a plan. So, I am writing this in hopes of reaching women who are in the same situation, in an abusive relationship, need to leave, but don’t have a plan. It is a very scary, sometimes paralyzing place to be.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, either physical, verbal, emotional or financial, there is somewhere you can turn to find support.

Promise Place, the council on domestic violence that serves Fayette, Pike, Upson and Spalding counties, has the resources you need to get yourself and your children out of the storms of abuse and into a safe environment.

Not only can they offer temporary emergency shelter for you and your children, they can provide food, clothing, transportation, legal advocacy, child care, counseling, and transitional housing.

The staff is warm, nonjudgmental and is there to support you in your time of crisis, 24 hours a day, if needed.

For those of you without a plan, please call Promise Place and let them help you make a plan.

You are not alone. Last year Promise Place assisted 1,685 women and 1,200 children, who are now on their way to a better life, free of abuse.

This is a serious issue. On average more than three women each day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the U.S.

Ladies, please make a plan today, before it is too late. For more information on Promise Place, go to or call 770-461-3839. If you are in a crisis, call 770-460-1604. Promise Place is a nonprofit organization that is always in need of donations and volunteers.

Name withheld by request

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Submitted by jdoe41 on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 7:23pm.

I do not want to diminish the importance of the issue because I think a story on same is valuable. However, the Citizen is misguided in publishing details of the case including names. The situation for the family is hard enough. It serves ZERO purpose other than sensationalism. I gather you agree since you witheld your name.

They could do their homework and highlight an organization like Promiseplace with a backdrop of domestic abuse stats in the area. Maybe even give them a full blown add. I doubt that approach would sell papers/ads.

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