Marisa and Lexi are home safe and sound because of donors like you! Marisa's husband was working in Brazil on a temporary six month contract. Marisa went to Brazil with Lexi for a one month visit. When Marisa arrived with Lexi her husband took their American passports for "safe keeping." During their time in Brazil her husband became more and more critical and verbally abusive towards Marisa. At one point he threw a coffee mug in anger at Marisa while she was holding Lexi because she didn't put sugar in his coffee. Marisa decided to keep things as calm as possible until she and Lexi were able to return home.
When it came time to fly back home he would not let Marisa have the passports and told her she wasnt going anywhere. Marisa called us one night after her husband became physically violent. We worked with Marisa and the American Embassy and were able to get new emergency passports issued and their flights back to the USA rebooked.
Here is part of a note from Marisa. "What I thought was going to be a nice visit turned into a nightmare. He swore that he had changed and if we came to visit him we would see that he was different. He wasn't. Without you I might have been stuck in Brazil for a long time. Thank you so much for rescuing me and Lexi!"
We would also like you to know that we are changing our name from the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center to Pathways to Safety International, with the tag line: Empowering victims of interpersonal & gender based violence abroad.
This name better reflects the scope of work we do to help Americans experiencing violence abroad.
Thank you so much for your support! Paula Lucas, Founder & Executive Director
Emily has been living as an American expat in Germany for 25 years with her husband Mark. Not only did Mark demean Emily on a constant bases, he became physically abusive and put Emily in the hospital on several occasions. Emily believes she was in denial for a long time about how out of control the abuse was.
The very last time Emily was hospitalized by Mark, their children called AODVC on behalf of their Mother. It is because of her children and their sincere fear for her life that Emily was willing to accept the help of AODVC and separate from her husband. Emily and her children are now back in the USA and doing very well.
AODVC is forever grateful to donors like you who allow us to do this lifesaving work.
Natalia called us from France earlier this year. She moved to France with her husband after he secured a job abroad. At first, everything seemed fine and she got pregnant. That is when things started to change. He criticized her for gaining weight and spending money on maternity clothes.
When she objected he screamed and told her to shut up. She felt like she was always walking on eggshells, afraid to say or do anything to make him angry. In her eighth month of pregnancy, he came home one night and went into a rage because she didn't have dinner ready. He pushed her and she fell down hitting her head on a table.
Natalia was terrified for the health of her baby, and for her own safety. After Brady was born her husband became even more violent and controlling and did not let her get his American Certificate of Birth Abroad or his American Passport. We were able to work with Natalia and pay for those to be issued on an emergency basis and fly her home with Brady to her parents home in the USA.
Natalia and Brady are doing well because of donations like yours that help us help vulnerable American victims in crisis abroad. Natalia's parents are over the moon to have their grandson in their home and Natalia is relieved not to be afraid anymore.
We can't thank you enough for your support! The AODVC Team.
In 2016 we were able to help 1444 victims because of folks like you who support our vital programs! Plus, case managers handed over 18,000 crisis communications! Here is a note from one of the very grateful battered American mother that we helped in 2016:
"When I called and Sarah answered the phone I was so afraid. I had never told anyone about the abuse. But Sarah was so compassionate and for the first time I heard that the abuse wasn't my fault. My husband always told me I caused it. That was three months ago and now my son and I are back home in the USA with my parents because of you. You changed our lives and our future. I will be forever grateful." Beth
The AODVC team thanks you for helping rescue battered American women and their children in foreign countries!
Lauren was desperate when she called us from her hospital room in Australia. She had just given birth to her son Joshua. She tried to leave her abusive husband and flee back to the USA while she was pregnant but her husband kept her captive. Our case manager Nicole listened to the horrible abuse Lauren had experienced from her husband during her pregnancy and Lauren feared for Joshua's safety.
Without a certicate of birth abroad or a valid American passport for Joshua, Nicole had to carefully strategize a plan to get Lauren and Joshua home to the USA. It took a couple of weeks but we did it! And thanks to donors like you, Lauren and Joshua are home, safe & sound and happy!
Here is a thank you from Lauren:
"I was so afraid. I don't have the words to describe what it meant to have Nicole as my case manager. She saved our lives."
Without donations like yours, the rescue of Lauren and Joshua would not have been possible. We truly appreciate you! The AODVC Team.
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