BENEFITING: SEXUAL ASSAULT SPOUSE ABUSE RESOURCE CENTER INC
Luisa Caiazzo wrote -
"My name was Stupid. My name was Worthless. My name was Piece of Crap."
Holly reflects on the four and a half years she lived with abuse before she found the courage to leave her first husband for good.
"You see...these were just a few of the names my ex-husband called me.For many years, I lived my life not knowing who I was. I had lost myself and no longer had my own identity. My ex-husband -- the man whom I had married and with whom I had exchanged vows: to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for better for worse....This was the person who controlled me, who manipulated me, who threatened me, who terrified me, who ultimately broke me. He broke my bones, he broke my will, he broke my spirit."
For four and a half years, Holly suffered physical and emotional abuse, but was always told it was her fault. "I was Stupid because I had made him a baked potato for dinner, instead of mashed potatoes. He threw the dish at the wall, breaking it, and shoved me out the back door. But....he apologized. However, had I not screwed up he would not have gotten upset. So, I believed it was my fault."
The abuse escalated to the point that Holly ended up in a wheel chair, and it was at that moment that she found a little piece of hope to reach out for help. Thanks to support from family and friends, Holly mustered up the courage to visit SARC.
SARC taught Holly that everything that happened was NOT her fault. She learned that no one should have to live the life she had been living. She learned that she was a victim of domestic abuse. She learned that SARC, an organization that provides life-saving, no-cost resources for victims of abuse, was there for her. SARC helped Holly get back on her feet and headed in the right direction to rebuild her life.
Holly considers herself lucky that she had such an incredible support system in her parents and friends that led her to SARC. But, while her story is tragic, she can't help but think of the stories of the victims who are completely alone and may feel hopelessly trapped.
Holly is a survivor, and she has one very clear, specific dream: to help other victims.
Holly's nephew has organized and annual Holly's Hope 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, to take place in Bel Air every October (visit www.sarc-maryland.org for more information). This event has allowed Holly to fulfill her dream to speak out, to give others hope for a new life, and to educate them that there IS help available.
Today, Holly is happily remarried to a wonderful, loving husband, with two beautiful children.
"I am Beautiful. I am Strong. I am Courageous. I am Confident. I am Hopeful. I have found myself, and I am here to stay. And no one can take that away from me. I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a cousin, I am a niece, I am an aunt, I am a friend, my proudest accomplishment -- I am a mother. My name.....is Holly."
All of SARC’s services are offered free of charge, so in order to continue providing the numerous resources to those fleeing the abuse in their lives, SARC relies on community support.
Please consider supporting SARC today!
$50.00 - Gives a victim of domestic violence a hospital companion
$100.00 - Gives a stalking victim a court accompaniment for a protective order
$250.00 - Gives an abused person 6 hours of therapy
$500.00 - Gives an abused person case management and 7 nights of safe shelter