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A new beginning

August 1, 2008 - Betsy Bethel
I just want to take a moment to congratulate a friend of mine who began a new chapter in her life yesterday. After years of emotional abuse, she signed a lease on an apartment and is freeing herself and her two young children from a dead-end and unhappy relationship.

One of the reasons she cited for leaving is because she was thwarted in her efforts to instill good morals in her children. I think she feels his behavior canceled out any positive steps she took.

It takes enormous courage to do what she has done, and I couldn't be more proud of her. Many people waste their entire lives clinging to relationships for the wrong reasons -- money, the children, a home, because of what others would think. My friend has discovered that she -- and her children -- deserve to be happy and healthy. In fact, she discovered it a while ago, but she finally took the necessary steps to get out.

I know from working with the folks at the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Center in Wheeling and the Tri-County Help Center in St. Clairsville that the most dangerous time for a woman is when she decides to leave. I will be praying for her and her children's safety and that her ex will not lash out.

Domestic violence hotline numbers:

YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program -- 304-232-2748

Tri-County Help Center -- 800-695-1639

Nationwide hotline -- 800-799-SAFE (7233)

Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.


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