Call For Help: A Quiverfull/Patriarchy Rescue
HA note: The following call for help is written by Hännah Ettinger, who blogs at Wine & Marble. “Jennifer” is a pseudonym. Her name has been changed to protect her identity. Jennifer turned 18 recently and graduated high school the weekend of this rescue. She is currently in a safe home. HA has personal confirmation of this story from the involved individuals.
Update, 05/31/2013: Over $10,000 raised so far! Read Hännah Ettinger’s update here.
Last Sunday night, I got a call from one of my post QF/CP buddies–we’re both the oldest from big homeschooling families with some unhealthy dynamics, and we both left that world when we got married (which torqued both of our fathers, for different, but similar reasons). She and I have been discussing with some of our post-QF/CP peers the needs of new adults trying to get out of borderline abusive or codependent or controlling family situations.
“Hännah,” she said. “I need advice.”
And then she spilled a story about her family’s downward spiral into isolation, fear, and control (increasing after she left and got married as a reaction against how “bad” she turned out), about how her sister “Jennifer” was demeaned by daily screaming from her mom, Bible-based lectures from her dad on why her interest in being vegan and an animal rights activist were rebellious and wrong. Despite many requests to be allowed to make herself vegan food, she was never given permission to even make herself a salad. She wasn’t allowed to touch fruit or vegetables unless given permission, which sometimes meant that food would rot in the fridge even though she wanted to eat it. Jennifer’s parents also threatened her pets, telling her that if she did not eat meat for dinner, she would wake up the next morning to find one of them gone.
The final crushing moment came last weekend, after her high school graduation, when she wasn’t singing in church (out of self-consciousness) and so, in a fit of anger, her parents removed all of her access to the outside world, taking away the power cord to her computer and her cell phone charger. She managed to get a few calls out, begging for help, with the battery power left on her phone.
She called her sister, and asked her to come get her out.
Her sister called me. “What should I do?”
But we knew there was really only one option, and so she and her husband put in 28 hours of driving in three days and went to rescue Jennifer. They got her out after a confrontation with her parents that required police backup, and cost Jennifer her three pets, her graduation gift iPad, her computer, her art supplies, her summer clothes, and her life savings of nearly $3,000.
Jennifer plans to become a concept artist for computer games, and wants to start college classes in the fall in order to pursue her art, but she will need a computer and art supplies and a number of other essentials to start life over in a new state with little to her name.
So, dear readers, I’ve never done this before, but I think this is a worthwhile cause. Would you be willing to chip in $10-15 to help raise money for Jennifer to get back on her feet and start school in the fall?
To donate to Jennifer’s fund: Please go to Hännah Ettinger’s original post and click on the PayPal button at the bottom.