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Rosetta grew up in Alabama as the youngest of ten children. Rosetta met a man, HC, and they began to date. For a whole year things seemed to be going well. However, after the honeymoon period of dating, HC began to change. In the second year of their relationship, he became violent and threatening towards Rosetta. One night, when HC did not like the way Rosetta was driving, he punched her in the face at a stop sign, breaking her eye socket and causing severe damage to her mouth. Rosetta found the help she needed in the hospital and left Alabama to recover with her sister in Boston.

Rosetta received surgery from MEEI to help mend her eye. One of Rosetta’s advocates connected her with the ROSE Fund and she was able to set up appointments with a dentist to get work done on her teeth and gums. Rosetta could not be more thankful for the doctors and the people she worked with at the ROSE Fund. She was touched by their kindness and felt blessed to have been given such an opportunity. Rosetta was able to go to all of her appointments because of the generosity of a ROSE volunteer who was willing to drive her to meet with the doctor. Rosetta keeps in touch with many people from the ROSE Fund and formed strong relationships with many people through this process.

Rosetta believes that the only way to stop domestic violence is by speaking out against the silence. Rosetta felt like going through a domestic violence situation was like having a bomb dropped on her life. She often felt slighted by the system but never gave up. She never let the system break her, she recalls, and she is now working towards breaking the system. She wants to be the voice of all domestic violence victims who are not confident to speak up for themselves. Rosetta emphasized the fact that many victims feel as though the abuse is in someway their fault. Rosetta is working towards reaching out to those women to ensure all victims know they did nothing wrong.

Rosetta will be moving back to Alabama in the next few months. She has dreams of starting her own non-profit organization one day, helping to stop the cycle of violence and reach out to others in need. When she returns to Alabama, she will begin volunteering at local shelters. Rosetta was able to get her certification in administrative assistance and in medical assistance. She had an internship and started to put her life back together. Rosetta wanted her story told because “you can’t reach people if you don’t talk about it. My heart is in helping domestic violence victims.” We are so proud of Rosetta and cannot wait to watch what she accomplishes!

At the age of sixteen, a time when most girls are thinking only of driver’s licenses and proms, Asia Graves, a young girl from Boston, was kicked her out of her house and forced onto the streets. Three years later, Asia became pregnant.  

The news of Asia’s pregnancy with a new man infuriated her ex-boyfriend. He kidnapped her and hit her in the head with an iron. She tried to contact the police but it only made things worse. “He saw me interacting with the police and sent nine girls to stomp my stomach out with Timberland boots to give me a miscarriage.” For Asia, this was a breaking point, and after a month long stay in the hospital, she decided to get help.

An FBI agent at the hospital helped Asia find a group home in NC. She had the courage to speak out and had her abusers arrested. Asia found a mentor who had previously worked with the ROSE Fund. Her mentor helped Asia fill out her surgery application for the ROSE Fund to help heal her physical wounds. Although Asia had escaped the cycle of domestic violence, it left her with a facial scare and chipped teeth, a constant reminder of the horrible pain she had endured.

Asia Graves’ message to all those currently suffering from domestic violence is, “Get out while you can! If you have the chance to do it, get away.” Asia is a shining example of how heart and perseverance, mixed with confidence and hope, can help break the cycle of domestic violence. Asia Graves is very thankful for the doctors she met through the ROSE Fund. They have made her feel like better person and have given her back some of the self-confidence she had lost. Asia specifically spoke of Dr. G., who was “very nice and considered her feelings.”

We commend Asia Graves for her truly inspirational story. She shares her incredible life with others in hopes of helping other women in her situation.

 Jeanne Decker has always had a passion for art. Growing up in the PA, she went to art school after high school.  She now runs an art program at a Women’s Resource Center.  However, Jeanne’s life was not always painted so beautifully. 

Jeanne was married to her abuser for ten years and recalls, “sometimes it was horrific and sometimes it wasn’t too bad.” She had the courage to divorce her husband, but unfortunately, the abuse continued.  Her ex-husband broke into her house and beat her with a crow bar as her son slept next to her in her bed.

Although her abuser went to jail for two-and-a-half years, her life was left in shambles. With the help of the Women’s Resource Center, Jeanne was able to move to transitional housing. At the age of thirty-nine Jeanne wanted to go back to school; she wanted to start over.  However, the growing number of meetings, court dates and a new home made finishing school too difficult.

Jeanne found the ROSE Fund as she was searching for a way to stay in the school. The Women’s Recourse Center nominated her for the award and she won in 2008! She was able to receive her master’s degree and intern at the Women’s Resource Center. With funds form the ROSE Fund, Jeanne was able to start an art program at the shelter. Jeanne is now Resident Manager at the Women’s Resource Center.

Jeanne wants to thank the ROSE Fund for helping her get her life where it is today. She continues to work on different projects, hoping to help victims of domestic violence and possibly even intervene before others have to go through what she went through. We commend Jeanne Decker for her amazing perseverance and dedication to helping break the cycle of silence and abuse!