DV Underground Railroad needs your support

Author’s note: When I originally posted this a few years back, I hoped people would respond with financial support for my friend’s work. Instead I have been contacted by countless women who need help getting out of a violent situation. Unfortunately, to my knowledge my friend is no longer actively engaged. I am deleting my email address from the bottom of this post because I do not want to give false hope to people in need. And because this is a public blog, I would not encourage anyone to use the comments section to solicit help, because you will be at risk of exposure. Perhaps, however, folks who can help can provide relevant information to the women who come here seeking it.

When I was a kid I went to a summer camp in northeast Ohio that had offices in an old brick house on the shore of Lake Erie. We called the house Old Main, and legend had it that the basement of Old Main was one of the many stops along Ohio’s famous Underground Railroad, which helped over 40,000 people escape slavery to the safety of Canada.

As kids we thrilled to think of the important role Old Main held in providing safe passage. But we also feared the basement, perhaps for the pain and fear we somehow knew was stored in its rock walls.

I’ve recently come to understand how the Underground Railroad is still alive and active in rescuing women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. There is a Michigan-based domestic violence organization that takes its name from this historic movement. But that very public service provider is not what I’m talking about here.

Every 15 seconds an act of domestic violence occurs in the United States. 25% of women and 7.6% of men in the US have suffered from domestic violence at some time in their lives, according to a national study. There are many shelters, advocates and institutional providers established to help people recognize, remove themselves from and heal from the traumas of domestic violence.

Sometimes, however, organizational responses are not enough. Sometimes what is required is speed and secrecy, coded conversations on two-way radios, women with pseudonyms piloting cars equipped with emergency provisions and obscured license plates, midnight rescues that operate, like swat teams, on adrenalin, planning and sheer chutzpah.

I’ve recently learned that a friend is very active in this modern domestic violence Underground Railroad. Over the past few years she has participated in nearly 100 rescues, getting women and children out of dangerous situations and reconnected with family, service providers and others who can support these women through their process of surviving abuse. As someone who has survived domestic violence herself, she has a very private and personal motivation for doing this work. Although she lives on a low income herself, my friend pays out of her pocket for the special radios, gases up her vehicle for rescues that may run 100s of miles, scrimps and saves so she can pay for the next rescue, the next saved life.

As someone who has, fortunately, not suffered the trauma of domestic violence, and realizes the privilege of this good fortune, I feel personally drawn to support this heroic effort. I’m doing that by raising the issue to your awareness: domestic violence is epidemic, people are suffering, people need our help. And I’m working to raise some money to support this work.

But this is not a typical fundraising request. Neither my employer, Solid Ground, nor any other formal organization supports this effort. The need for security, privacy and safety for the clients requires there be no trackable affiliation. And there is no board of directors offering oversight, no audited financial statements. You’ve really only got my word and my belief in my friend. If you can reach into your pocket and help out, as I am doing, you will not get a tax-deductible receipt. But you will get thanked, and you will know that by paying for a few gallons of gas, a month’s phone bill, a jug of water or a first-aid kit for the car, by helping with these barebones essentials, you will be helping to save women’s lives.

Every 15 seconds. In the time it has taken to read this little note, maybe a dozen more women have suffered abuse. Together we can stop the clock enough to save at least a few. We can fuel up the Underground Railroad for another life-saving run.

If you would like to help out, please post a comment with any resources that you know are available to support women surviving domestic violence.

Please note that this request is not affiliated with or endorsed by Solid Ground in any way.

Thank you.

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46 Responses

  1. I would like to help….. tell me how

    • Mary:
      As per the instructions in the post, you an email me directly at mikebuchman at yahoo dot com or mail a check at the address listed. Thanks!
      Mike

  2. when I try to click the link it wont go to your e-mail. I would like for you to e-mail me please.

  3. please help njrose rfoehner@yahoo.com 9084160881 shut down vixeneela site, he is tracking me

  4. Help I need this 3 years is too much to take! I’ve been running that long and I’m done! Please call 619-204-9393 I’m ready to live again. Is it possible?

    • If you have not received a reply…here is what YOU can do…. I see that you live or have a cell phone in California (?) …. find a state outside CA that your abuser would never guess you’d be in… somewhere where you have no friends or relatives nor have ever said you wanted to go. Look up that states Domestic Violence Coalition. Contact a dv shelter there …. Call their 800#, tell them you are fleeing DV and need to be out of state to be safe. DO NOT TELL ANYONE where you are going – including your children. Do not say goodbye to anyone. Do not use your current phone if there is ANY chance he has access to it (ie if he can see the phone bill online or is capable of having put a tracer on it) Indeed, I would dump my phone and by a throwaway $10 tracphone with minutes. Have your car swept for surveillance devices; if possible have any laptop devices wiped. If you are in danger at this very minute- grab the kids, drive to the police station; ask them to have a dv advocate from the local shelter meet you at the pd to discuss your NEED to relocate out of state immediately. Do not accept a shelter placement instate. You will need to change your name and SSN, but dont do that until you leave. DO NOT signup for any “benefits” (food stamps, etc) at the new place, under your present name. The sheltr may want you to–but it makes you trackable. Look up Frank Ahearn’s book How To Disappear. And do it. You will not look back and regret leaving. You have a chance to have peace and freedom. If you are wondering whether you NEED to do this.. check out Jacqueline Campbel’s Danger Assessment and see if your abusers behaviors are lethality indicators …which will tell you whether he is likely to continue abusing you — or kill you. http://www.dangerassessment.org (or .com, I forget) You can always call important, left-behind loved ones AFTER you have arrived safely and let them know you are safe –but letting people know before you have left -may even endanger them. Tell the kids you’re going on a little getaway weekend vacation, anything -but do NOT tell them “a secret” and NEVER ask them if they want to go. You are in charge, you ALONE are responsible for their safety (of course, youdont mention if you have kids — so this is only true if you do.) Good luck. Keep reaching out for help. You are not alone.

      • please i need help asap!!!!! im in a very volitale situation, my estranged husbund raped my 13 year old son 7 years ago and has committed numerous acts of violence against myself and my 3 chidren, i have a ten year old daughter with this man, he is currently living only 10 blocks from me and follows and tapes my every move, he also resides with a teenage lover and ive spoken with lawyers ,da’s shelters police, i have a pfa but no one will help . im scared for my life and my children. i need to get away secretly. im on ssi because of a work related injury, i have no family or friends because he isolated me from all and now they turned there back on me, he gets my daughter every other weekend and every tuesday for 4 hours, shes scared of him cries not to go is having nightmares, trouble in school, shes depressed and im afrais shes going to run away or harm herself to get out of going to this visits. my youngest son is now becoming violant in his relatshinships my husband has committed suicde on numerous occassions including slitting his wrists over my daughter when she was just one, he has been 302 several times in and out of many drug and alchol rehabs along with psych hospitals,please help me and my children escape this hell!!!!! my email is cathiep8@comcast.net

      • I read ur message. How can u change ur SSI?? My two children and I are in a dangerous place with my so called boyfriend. I left once and he found us and he threated to hurt my kids if I didn’t went back to him. So I am stuck.. I am trying to get away from him. He blow my car up so now I dont have a car and I dont see me get one any time soon. He comes home from work smell my underwear, blaming me cheating, there to much to go one about. I am scared he is going to end up killing me or my children if not all 3 of us. The law won’t do anything.

    • My wife and I can help you or any one move to a safe place do you want me to call you? P.S. this is not my real name, You will be safe here!

  5. PLEASE HELP me 26/F social services/shelters haven’t been able to help. Am tired….: workhardusa.00@gmail.com OR CALL

    412-573-1157

  6. 9084160881 rose

  7. I just want too get away

  8. You all is suppose to help me

  9. Hi there, constantly i used to check website posts here in the early hours in the
    break of day, because i like to learn more and more.

    • I am Historian and I live in Sao Paulo – Brazil. Ilike very too much of undergroudrailroad fo 19ª century of the american slaves.
      I think that is very interesting it continuation for the home violences.
      I also want to learn about this underground railroad and too participate of it and make it here in Brazil.
      Write me – lfmarietto@hotmail.com
      Luiz fernando

  10. I left my abusive husband and now he is tring to get sole custody of my son he is a level 2 sex offender and I’m scared for me and my sons life no body will help us please please help us call me at 8573120086

    • Leave E-Mail this is the only safe way for you and my family

      • i am here to help. I have spare bedroom. can pick up, ect. I will make sure there is food and clean clothes and toys for children…

  11. Hello I amo Brazilien and I live in São PauloCity in Brazil,
    I am apaixoneted by Underground Railroad of the american slaves in 19ª century.
    O don’t knew about this new underground railroad of domestics violences…
    I would like of make part of it .
    Would be possible we make a underground railroad here in São Paulo Brazil?
    What think about this.
    I hobe a answer about this in my e-mai ok?
    lfmarietto@hotmail.com

    Luiz Fernando

  12. Hello, Are there any underground. Organizations in Portland, Oregon??

    Thank you,
    Adrienne Danielson

  13. Are there any in Phoenix? My daughter and I are alone here without family. My daughter just turned 18, but I have been in a severe stalking situation and was diagnosed with PTSD. I still feel he is watching every move. I am very afraid and need to move close to my brothers in Oklahoma City.

  14. My daughter is in a very abusive and dangerous marriage with her three kids. Is there an underground movement in South Africa? Please help. Gwen Grovers

  15. please

  16. Please help, is there somewhere in southwest Ohio? I am a stay at home mom of two little ones and we have no money or way to get out.Yesterday he tried to run over my 2 year old.

  17. I’ve been in very abusive relationship for many years. He isolates me and im not allowed to have friends . He recently became more and more abusive. We have a 9 month old daughter and I have two kids from another relationship. He threatens me constantly and hes very mean to my kids. Is there a underground in Cleveland Ohio. I need help my life is a prison for me and my children.

  18. I need help moving out of state with my 2 children he has been both physical and emotional abuse.I have sole custody and my soon to be ex is a sex offender and his family is trying to get my son who is still a minor and my other daughter has mental issues and I having been living in hell for years please help. I have already lost my third child due to them feeling her head full of lies and she became just as abusive and tried to choke me in dec please call 720-474-3859

  19. I completely understand why people go underground and run.
    The courts have failed her and her children.

    Please see her full story at Blog (www.fightingforzoie.com)

    The courts feel that my granddaughter is better placed with a couple who fraudulently obtained guardianship of her and the courts have been provided with videos of the male guardian smoking a bong and drinking alcohol as well as subjecting her to marijuana plants growing in the yard. The CPS deemed the couple unfit to adopt or have the child in the home, yet they continued to place her there because she has been with them for 8 years because of falsification of court documents. The courts are aware of the documents but state that it is not relevant because they have had the child so long and they are the only parents she knows.

    Please read the story below and help my daughter get the word out that CPS and the courts are not watching out for our children.

    Thank you.

  20. How does one go underground? I am seriously in need.

  21. I spent several years in law enforcement and worked 1000’s of DV cases. I have seen the courts, shelters and law enforcement agencies let victims down time and time again. This is done because those agencies/services do not care it is just a fact they can only do so much. I think an underground railroad type system is the best solution for a lot of women in a DV situation but not all of them. I am very interested in becoming involved in a program like that, if anybody here is involved in one and knows how I can help please let me know.

  22. In hiding now with family, but he has obviously found me. I am a victim of domestic violence and gang stalking.
    No children-two small dogs who are traumatized. I am going thru the DA here in my state and an investigator is also on board with the Asst DA .
    Protective order in place.
    Phones are being dumped for evidence and will ask for a tracker to be found on my vehicle, as he stated there is one he placed when I bought the car.
    Are there any underground resources for me when Im ready to bug out?

  23. I want to help… please email or call me. 641-210-0308

  24. My friend needs to get away from a boyfriend who raped his daughter and beat her son. In 4days the tro will be done. She has no money or a car. Please help her. Thanks. She has tried everything. She’s scared for her life and kids. She has a disabled mom and3kids in her family.

  25. I would really like to talk to you.

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