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Paula Lucas, a previous R.O.S.E. Award Recipient, recently spoke in Boston to share the story of her journey to success and happiness. Now, we would like to share her story with our friends and family.
Paula Lucas attended school in California. Shortly thereafter, she fell in love with and married a Pakistani refugee who was working as a photographic journalist. After a few years, the couple moved to the United Arab Emirates, when Paula’s husband gained United States citizenship. Together, they had three sons and founded their own advertising agency.
To the objective eye, Paula and her husband seemed to be living the dream: They were very successful, traveled in private planes, owned a beautiful home and enjoyed expensive meals out. However, in reality, Paula had little, if any control over her life and home.
In the United Arab Emirates, men have long been the highest-respected citizens and direct the household. Paula’s rights were in the hands of her husband: She did not have access to her own passport or those of her children, nor did she ever experience what American women would consider “common freedom.” Almost inevitably, Paula’s husband became abusive, not only toward her, but also their oldest son and Indonesian housekeeper.
Paula’s husband traveled a great amount for work. At one point, he was detained in Germany after being robbed of his passport and money, granting Paula an opportunity to escape. After she found all the passports that had been missing, she woke her children very late one night under the guise that they were going camping. With one suitcase and three children in tow, she boarded a plane for New York, followed by another bound for Oregon, where he sister lived.
Paula arrived in Oregon in 1999, after which she experienced many years filled with battles over divorce processes, child support and stalking. Eventually, the divorce was finalized and Paula won custody of her three children, but was not granted child support.
In December of 1999, Paula launched the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center, along with an accompanying Web site and hotline: http://www.866uswomen.org. She founded the organization with the mission to provide a resource for domestic violence victims living abroad to find advice, services and general assistance. Until 2003, Paula operated the company out of her living room.
That year, Paula received the R.O,S.E. Fund’s esteemed R.O.S.E. Award after she was nominated by her sister. Prior to the occasion, she had not applied for any awards or grants, nor did she engage in a great deal of public speaking. However, the R.O.S.E. Award not only allowed her to move the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center into an established office, but also helped the organization earn significantly more recognition.
Since then, the Crisis Center has grown exponentially, thanks largely in part to the award, word-of-mouth marketing and the help of an investor from Switzerland. Today, the organization has a staff of five and the right to provide legal and counseling services, as well as a 24/7 hotline. Additionally, the Crisis Center has formed a partnership with Virgin Atlantic Airlines to provide free flights to women with family and household emergencies similar to Paula’s.
Paula has attributed her company’s success to the R.O.S.E. Fund, crediting it as “the help I needed.” She recently launched a worldwide awareness campaign on behalf of the hotline, for which she has been traveling globally and meeting with organizations, embassies and others who can inform the world of the services provided by the Crisis Center.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The R.O.S.E. Fund Chairman Dan Walsh to be Recognized as a Jane Doe Inc. White Ribbon Day Ambassador
Advocacy programs partner to speak out against domestic violence
WAKEFIELD, MA – March 1, 2010 – The R.O.S.E. Fund (www.rosefund.org) chairman Dan Walsh will be recognized tomorrow by domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organization Jane Doe Inc. (www.janedoe.org) as a White Ribbon Ambassador during a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House.
The ceremony honors the 3rd Annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day, part of the Men’s Initiative for Jane Doe (MIJD) to raise awareness and participation in anti-violence efforts among men and boys. Walsh has been a longtime advocate of domestic violence survivors, primarily through the R.O.S.E. Fund, where he leads efforts to help women regain their self-esteem after harrowing episodes of violence.
“I am thrilled and greatly humbled to be a part of this ceremony and what it represents,” says Walsh. “By becoming a White Ribbon Ambassador, I hope to give a louder voice to both those who have had the strength to break the cycle of domestic violence and victims who are too afraid to speak out.”
The 3rd Annual White Ribbon Day celebration will take place Tuesday, March 2, in the State House Gardner Auditorium at 1:00 P.M. For more information regarding this event and others related to the White Ribbon Campaign, please visit http://www.janedoe.org/whiteribbonday.
About Jane Doe Inc.
Jane Doe Inc. (JDI), The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, brings together organizations and people committed to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. The organization creates social change by addressing the root causes of this violence and by promoting justice, safety and healing for survivors. JDI advocates for responsive public policy, promotes collaboration, raises public awareness and supports member organizations to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services.
About the R.O.S.E. Fund
The R.O.S.E. (Regaining One’s Self-Esteem) Fund was established in 1992 as an umbrella organization chartered to raise funds for and awareness of women who have had the extraordinary strength and courage to break the cycle of domestic violence. Through the dedication of staff and volunteers, the leadership of the board and with the unwavering support of sponsors, The R.O.S.E. Fund has been transforming and profoundly improving the lives of women survivors ever since.
The R.O.S.E Fund is recognized in the greater Boston community, as well as the nation, as a leader in the movement to end violence against women. Increasing the self-esteem of the population of women we serve is the thread that runs through all of the organization’s efforts and programs.
Visit The R.O.S.E. Fund online at: