I started my co-op/internship with The R.O.S.E. Fund this spring. As a part of my co-op, I visited schools for the ‘report card’ program, attended Jane Doe’s ‘ White Ribbon Day’ and other such events. I visited a local high school where a group called TADA (Teens Against Dating Violence) requested R.O.S.E recipients Ruth and Crusita to talk to the students about how they broke out their domestic violence relationships.

Ruth took to the stage first. At a glance Ruth comes across as a very attractive intelligent woman. It was hard for me to believe that someone as smart and strong as her had to go through something so painful. She did not deserve it. No one does. She was in an abusive relationship and had to struggle a lot to get out it, all at the tender age of 15! She spoke about how her abuser constantly convinced her that he was sorry for his previous actions and she believed him because she loved him and thought he would change. Although Ruth has no physical marks to remind her of the horror she lived, it changed her life. Today she works with an organization as an advocate to help other women overcome domestic violent relationships.

When she was done, she introduced Crusita and at once I could see everything Ruth spoke of, but unfortunately this time the physical signs of abuse were right in front of me. Crusita suffered severe disfigurement when her ex boyfriend threw battery acids at her. She had to flee her country to save her life!  She has had more than 20 surgeries thanks to the ROSE Fund and she could not thank the ROSE Fund enough. When she came up to talk she was determined to spread the awareness and was brave enough to take her jacket off to show us the scars she has to live with today. She was not shy, scared or embarrassed. She told us how it was necessary to break out of a violent relationship before it’s too late to do anything. There were many of us who were brought to tears. I have seen pictures of Crusita from before the abuse and it’s shocking to know someone can harm such a beautiful and lively young woman. Today Crusita spends her time spreading awareness about domestic violence when she is not with her new husband and two kids.

After the talk I got to speak personally to both Ruth and Crusita. They are both so friendly and so strong. Several students stayed back to talk a little more to both.  From hearing Ruth and Crusita’s stories, the students learned how to identify the signs of an abusive relationship and be cautious and aware of domestic violence.

Throughout my co-op internship here, I have learned so much and become so aware of the real world in which we live.  It is so important to spread awareness about domestic violence, and learn about the cycle of power and control.  I have heard of, read about and met individuals with incredible stories of their struggles to break out of abusive relationships and build new lives for themselves.

I got involved with the R.O.S.E. Fund during my spring semester because I wanted to supplement my classroom education with practical learning and experience, but also have a positive impact on my community. Since the beginning of my internship, I have learned so much, not only about domestic violence (DV) as a prevalent social issue in modern society, but also about the workings of non-profit and community based organizations.

Interning at the R.O.S.E. Fund has exposed me to heart-wrenching stories of individuals who personify the global struggle against domestic violence. While these accounts are very saddening, the strength and zeal of these brave women is truly inspiring. The story of a victim who recently worked with the R.O.S.E. Fund quite literally gave me goose bumps; I nearly felt as though I shared her anxiety as I learned about her controlling and abusive husband, who trapped her in a foreign country with no means of escape for herself and her children. They were subject to physical and mental abuse, as her husband would beat her and keep constant track of her doings and whereabouts.

When this woman finally escaped her abuser, she did something that I have found is common among women who have broken the DV cycle:  She created a life of her own, establishing a company and hotline that aids women abroad with domestic violence crises.   The R.O.S.E. Fund was able to aid her efforts by providing monetary assistance through the R.O.S.E. Award.  As a result, this woman has expanded her business and helped even more victims of domestic violence.

Many of the women that have been helped by R.O.S.E. Fund turn their lives around by creating businesses or organizations that return the acts of kindness and aid.  This progress is what makes our work so rewarding: By providing women with medical assistance and more, we allow them to regain their self-esteem and independence. Our various scholarships and awards help these women achieve their goals and develop careers.  For many, the R.O.S.E. Fund’s work is the first step in a mission to reduce and, eventually, eradicate violence and abuse.

If you are interested in contributing to this momentous cause, contact Kimberly Hirsch about our various internship positions at khirsch@rosefund.org.

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.

866uswomen.org

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.

Contact:

Amanda Zantal-Wiener

azantalwiener@gmail.com

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:

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Happy Valentine’s Day from The ROSE Fund!

We’ve just put the finishing touches on a very successful 2009 and we wanted to share a brief operational update and a touching love story from one of our ROSE recipients.

As a brief update on your prior investments in The ROSE Fund and the female survivors we serve, in 2009 for every $1 of expense we incurred more than $2 of value was delivered to these courageous women in the form of much needed reconstructive medical services and scholarship monies!

This has been achieved in large part due to the generosity of our medical partners and the tireless efforts of our staff (of 1) and volunteers (many).

As a result of the growth and strength of our expanding network of medical providers, our 2010 plan projects that we will be able to deliver more than 300 units of medical service (i.e. a medical, surgical or dental procedure).  Based on that, for every $1 of expense we incur in 2010 more than $4 of medical services will be delivered to a female survivor of domestic violence who could otherwise not afford to erase the phsical reminders of her abusive past.

With your help, we will continue to help these brave women to re-build their lives and regain their self-esteem.

Thank you for all your support and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at The ROSE Fund.

Below is a simple love story from a recent ROSE recipient ….

February 14th 2010 is sure to be another day full of fulfillment, love and laughter for ROSE recipient Mary Mandolin*.  But this wasn’t always the case for this proud mother living just north of Boston.  In fact for more than 10 years that was far from the case as she lived through an abusive relationship.  In Mary’s* own words…

“He gave me black eyes so that I had to stay home or else wear sunglasses when I left the house.  He broke my nose. He would call me unspeakable names. It was an every six weeks cycle.  He was always saying it would never happen again.  I would forgive him.  Six weeks later it would happen all over again.

Along the way I became a changed person. I believed it when he told me that nobody else would want me, that I was an unattractive loser. I also believed I loved him.  I handed myself over to him completely and lost myself in the process.

I stayed and I stayed and I stayed. I stayed because Christmas was coming. I stayed because the kids needed school clothes.  I stayed because we had bills to pay.  Before I knew it, ten or fifteen years were gone.  Finally an inner voice, the real me buried deep inside, said: “You’ve got to get out.” And finally I did get out. And it was like a whole new world, a wonderful world.

Therapy saved my life.  It taught me the basics all over again: what’s right and what’s wrong, how to love and appreciate myself.  Every day I do something nice for myself.  Can you believe it — I didn’t even know what my favorite color was – what color blouse or dress I liked.  I would only dress for him, for what he liked.

My therapist told me about the ROSE Fund and the work they do to help survivors like me erase the physical reminders of our abusive past.  Soon thereafter I was at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary meeting with Dr Jaimie DeRosa.  I shared with her how with every glance in a mirror I saw myself disfigured. How the horror of the attacks would come back, and of the humiliation I suffered. She was so nice.  She comforted me and said that she had seen worse and that she and her staff were going to take great care of me.  You have no idea what that was like to hear.

After the surgery, when she took the bandages off my nose, I couldn’t stop crying.  For the first time in many years I could see the real me.  Now I wake up every morning, brush my teeth and I say out loud, “Well, good morning, Sunshine!”

With that surgery, everything feels new again.  I can’t say enough about The R.O.S.E. Fund. It saved my life.  My kids have seen the dramatic change in me.  I look like and I feel like the woman I’m supposed to be.  I can go out of the house. I can look people in the eye and I can smile.

To victims who haven’t yet broken the cycle, I can completely understand.  You think it’s love but it’s not love.  You have to love yourself more than that.  You can change your life. It’s about letting go, starting over and learning to love yourself again.  I have, and it’s truly wonderful.

By the way, I think I look great in purple.  As it turns out, it’s my favorite color.

To those who continue to support ROSE, thank you so much for what you have given me and my family and Happy Valentine’s Day!”

* Name has been changed to ensure the safety and privacy of our recipient

Cheers to Love, in all its forms!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for your continued support!

Have a Heart this Valentine’s Day and donate to help other victims of domestic violence love themselves first.

DONATE NOW!

Hello there, 2010. A new year, a new decade. What are your resolutions?

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We’ve heard a lot of people say that they’ve resolved to help others and we couldn’t be more thrilled. To help you get a leg-up on your resolution, we’re letting you know that the R.O.S.E. Fund is always accepting donations…no matter how small the amount.

Of course, we accept other forms of support.  You can help by recruiting your friends to our Cause, or by asking them to make a donation if you cannot afford to do so yourself.

We’re on Facebook and Twitter, too.  Let’s be friends!

Volunteers are always welcome.  For more information on how you can lend time to the R.O.S.E. Fund, visit our Web site.

Or, if you’d just like to know what we’re up to, sign up for our newsletter.

Thank you for all those who contributed in 2009. We hope you’re all as excited as we are for what 2010 beholds!

Best wishes,

The R.O.S.E. Fund team

To our supporters:

Thank you for the priceless gifts you have given.

Your continued support of the R.O.S.E. Fund has helped many female survivors of domestic violence receive priceless gifts this year.

Holidays are a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate.   While it seems natural to go home, attend family functions or even travel to see our loved ones, many women who have been a victim of domestic violence have lasting scars or cracked teeth that prevent them from wanting to show their faces around the holidays.  It reminds them of what they went through and it is too painful to explain this to even the closest of family members.

Your support not only helps these women rejoice this holiday season, but it also lets them re-connect with their friends and family with a new sense of self-esteem.

This year alone dozens of women have received more than a hundred medical services associated with dental and facial reconstructive surgeries.  Many have completed the process and countless others are still receiving treatment.  What a priceless gift!

‘All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth’


Year round, the R.O.S.E. Fund receives innumerable requests for medical and dental services that will help these survivors erase the physical reminders of their abusive past.

For Christmas 2009, the big gift on Sharon’s list was “her two front teeth”.  In 2008, Sharon was disfigured by her abuser, resulting in numerous head and neck injuries including getting her teeth knocked out.  Sharon overcame the cycle of domestic violence by recognizing that if she did not leave, she might end up like her close friend, who was killed by her abuser.  As a mother and soon to be grandmother, she called for help.

She entered into a transitional living program and eventually went to a dentist who, based on her condition, had to pull out the rest of her teeth.  She was then directed to other dental specialists for additional care but she did not have the financial means to remedy this uncomfortable and upsetting injury.  Sharon was left without teeth, in pain and unable to chew or eat properly.

With the help of the R.O.S.E. Fund, Dr. Corbett, who is a participating R.O.S.E. dentist, was able to give Sharon the treatment she needed to include a complete set of dentures.  Dr. Corbett and his dedicated staff gave Sharon her smile back, going so far as to keep his office open on Dec 22nd to meet the Christmas deadline.  Sharon is thankful for your gifts this year and for Dr. Corbett and his staff’s dedication and compassion.

“Dr. Corbett’s staff is wonderful!  They are very kind and I have had a number of pleasant experiences with them.  They always go overboard.”

In Sharon’s words; “After I get my teeth I will walk with my head up and smile a lot.  I will have more confidence when I go for job interviews.  More than ever, I would like to be able to speak to other female survivors of domestic violence and let them know there is a light at the end of all the madness.  Just keep the faith.”


Keeping the Faith


At the R.O.S.E. Fund, from survivors to supporters, we are keeping the faith this holiday season.  Our hope is to continue to provide the light at the end of the madness for the many other applicants in need of our services.

Below is a partial list of current R.O.S.E. applicants who are in a similar state of need as Sharon was before her treatments.  With them we are keeping the faith, in waiting for their  ‘two front teeth’ to regain their smiles, to build their self-esteem and to celebrate for the holiday:

Lizbet, CA – broken teeth
Ruth, MA – 2 front teeth missing
Frieda, MA – all teeth missing
Maria, MA – missing front teeth
Lydia, MA – broken, missing teeth
Carrie, MA – broken teeth
Renee, NJ – missing and loose teeth
Angel, NM – cracked front tooth

‘Tis the season of giving.  We hope that you enjoy spending time this holiday season with your friends and family, and we hope that you continue to help R.O.S.E. Fund recipients reconnect with theirs.

Donate Now!


Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday this year!

Sincerely,

Dan Walsh, Chairman
The R.O.S.E. Fund

Your help matters

We are sad to see that our donation number still reads “$0 contributed” … especially right before the holidays.

With the festive season is among us, please try to remember those who are less fortunate; not only those who cannot afford to celebrate in the same way as the rest of us, but also those who have a haunting past impeding their cheer.

We implore you to please make any donation possible – even an amount as small as $5 can make a huge difference.

To find out how to donate, please visit our Cause.  Read some of our survivors’ stories below to learn more about the impact of previous donations.

As we thank you and wish you a happy holiday season, we ask you to please help make it happier for others.

~The R.O.S.E. Fund Family~

Happy Thanksgiving!
At the ROSE Fund, we have a lot to be thankful for and we wanted to extend our deepest gratitude to all of you during the holiday season.
We’re incredibly thankful for:
Our doctors and their staff for their compassion, talents and time
Our donors for their generosity, contributions and support
Our partners in the domestic violence community for their dedication, compassion and commitment
Our ROSE recipients for their strength, courage and resolve
Our volunteers for their passion, efforts and energy.  Each and everyone one of you play a role in inspiring us to continue our mission to break the silence and the cycle of domestic violence.  And, you play an integral role in enabling ROSE to help women survivors of domestic violence to rebuild their lives and regain their self esteem.
For that, we are very thankful
.
Below are excerpts from a few recent ROSE recipients who, based on the collective efforts of ROSE Fund supporters, have a lot to be thankful for during this holiday season.

 

Theresa B*, a mother of 2 boys living in a Boston suburb

 

“I’m thankful for the new perspective I have on life….now that the physical scars have been removed, I realize that there is a whole world waiting out there beyond the abuse.  I’m thankful to be excited about the future and the possibilities ahead for me and my boys!!  Thank you ROSE Fund supporters for all that you do for those of us who desperately need your help”

Susan P*, a Boston based mother who with ROSE Fund help, graduated with a nursing degree in her 50’s!!

 

“I’m thankful to have my life and my self-esteem back.   I’m thankful to know that after all I’ve been through, that there are people out there that really care about others.  I’m thankful for those who encouraged me to fill out the ROSE application.   You have no idea what it feels like, when you really need help and the person on the other end says, “We’re going to help you”…it’s like a miracle…words can’t describe what that does to a person’s every day outlook on life…..I’m thrilled and thankful that I have my degree….it was like coming full circle, from abuse back  to LIFE!”

Ruth W* a mother from the south shore of Boston…”

 

“I’m thankful to have my smile back…and for the self-confidence to smile and laugh without covering my mouth…..it’s such a simple joy that’s easy to take for granted until it’s gone.  Thank you ROSE Fund supporters for helping me to get it back!!”

Annie C.* the mother of a newborn baby who lives west of Boston

 

“I’m thankful for the self-confidence I have now that the scars are gone, and my teeth have been fixed.  I’m happy I can get back to a life I’m proud of…where I can return to the work force and start seeing my family again.  .  I’m thankful for being able to truly move forward without the constant reminders of my past.  I’m thankful I got to know you people.  I will never forget what you did for me!!”

Mary M*  the mother of a daughter in college

 

“I’m thankful that I finally had my teeth fixed.  Now I can bite and eat normally.  You have no idea what a relief it is.  Not only is the pain gone.  Now I don’t think about the violence I suffered every time I chew.  I think about the future.  I think about enjoying life.  I actually enjoy eating again.  Thank you ROSE Fund supporters for all that you have done for me.”

*Names have been changed to ensure the privacy and safety of our recipients

 

Thanks again for your generosity and support.  Have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.
Sincerely,

Dan Walsh
Chairman and Executive Director

 

 

As indicated in previous posts, many individuals of note are lending their support to the R.O.S.E. Fund for tomorrow night’s 14th Annual Awards Gala.   In addition to the phenomenal women receiving awards this year, we are honored to have two fantastic hosts for the evening: Local television personality Anne Allred and actor Mike O’Malley.

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Anne Allred is an anchor on “7NEWS Today” in New England (M-F, 5-7 a.m.) and “7NEWS at Noon,” as well as a general assignment reporter. She also anchors 7NEWS newsbreaks during the TODAY Show.

Anne joined 7NEWS in December 2006. She is a three-time regional Emmy Award nominee for general news reporting.  During her time at 7NEWS, Anne has covered stories from the Virginia Tech massacre to the Beijing Olympics. She comes to 7NEWS from WSYX/WTTE in Columbus, Ohio. While in Columbus, her local coverage earned her the Society of Professional Journalists Award for news writing.

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baystatebanner.com

Anne was also a reporter for National Public Radio, as well as a reporter at WCTI in the Outer Banks of New Bern, North Carolina.

Outside of work, Anne loves to root on her alma mater, the Ohio State Buckeyes and dedicates her time to local charities.  She works with the Semper Fidelis Society, Fisher House Boston, and Angel Flight Northeast.
Anne currently resides in Boston.

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poptower.com

Born in Boston, Mike O’Malley’s initial claim to fame was serving as a host for game shows “Get the Picture” and “GUTS” on children’s television network Nickelodeon.  He eventually went on to make his major motion picture debut, most notably as Mike Perry in Deep Impact, for which he was billed alongside Robert Duvalll, Morgan Freeman and Vanessa Redgrave.  Mike’s film credits also include Oliver in 28 Days and Lenny Horton in The Perfect Man.

Most recently, Mike’s major credits have been for television, beginning with his role as Jimmy Hughes in “Yes, Dear.”  Since the series’ finale in 2006, he has also played recurring character Stuart on “My Name is Earl.”  On September 23, he appeared on the up-and-coming series “Glee” as Burt Hummel, the father of a high school glee club performer.

boston.com

boston.com

In reality, Mike is known for his dedication to Boston sports teams and appeared in ESPN commercials as a very true-to-life character, “The Rick,” a fervent Boston sports fan.  (Watch him as “The Rick” here.)  He’s also known for his devotion to the Boston Red Sox and threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a May 2006 game.

In addition to his involvement with the Red Sox as a fan, Mike has dedicated significant time and energy to the Red Sox Foundation, for whom he hosted a benefit in April 2009.

Mike and his wife, Lisa, have two children: Fiona, 6, and Seamus, 4.