I mentioned last week that we had a visit from my friend Brittany. What I didn’t fill in was a little of her backstory. Brittany shared her story on a website called Violence Unsilenced, which provides an outlet for survivors of domestic abuse to tell their stories. If you don’t know Brittany’s story, go read. I’ll wait.
Ok, then. Now you probably understand why I want to go back in time about 20 years to rescue toddler Brittany and to kick her father’s ass. Actually, I’d be willing to kick his ass in present day too. Doesn’t matter. But more than anything, I wish I could spare her some of the pain and suffering that she’s experienced.
Here’s the rest of the story: Brittany currently lives with her mom, three doors down from the father who abused her. He continues to be a threatening presence in her life to this day, and she lives in a constant state of fear and anxiety. It’s a completely toxic situation, and she needs to get the hell out of there.
The problem is, despite having a job (two or three jobs, really, if you count the work she does at summer camps with special-needs kids), Brittany doesn’t have the money to move. And like a lot of abuse survivors, she is not the most adept when it comes to asking for help. So yesterday, Brittany’s friend Aman enlisted my help to set up a PayPal account on her behalf, without telling her about it. Well, actually, he set up the PayPal account. All I did was send direct messages to every single one of Brittany’s friends on Twitter who I thought might help us out.
And you know, the Twitter community is pretty amazing. Aman opened the account in the morning, and by yesterday evening, we had already raised over $500. And I had several emails from people pledging to give money as soon as they get their next paycheck. We decided to go ahead and tell Brittany about the account, since it was obviously going to be way too big a deal to keep a secret much longer. She was pretty shocked, and I think I might’ve made her cry a little bit. (It didn’t help that we were on a video chat on Skype, and I had Catie in my lap, and I was having Catie say things like, “Britty, move here!” Manipulative? Moi? Never!)
If any of you want to help Brittany out, the link to the PayPal account is here. Even if it’s just a few dollars, it all helps. I just want to help my friend get to a place where she can finally feel safe, and where she can start to heal. Because absolutely nobody should ever live in that kind of fear.