Your son or daughter may be married to one. Your friend or neighbor could be one. That man or woman that works with you may be one. Or, could that man or woman that sits next to you in church be impatiently waiting for the service to end so they can go on with their plans to blow their brains out because they are sick of hurting the people they love? Feeling trapped they believe that the only way to end the violence is to end their lives. Or the man or woman in front of you may be praying the service never ends because they know what’s waiting for them at home or when they get in the car. They’ve lost all hope of life existing beyond the fear and pain. There may be a little boy or girl that lives next door or down the street that harbors a horrible secret. Their daddy or grandpa or uncle says, “I love you so much. Here, let me show you”, as he touches them in places that should never be touched and tells them how special they are but they must never tell anyone about their special secret. We daily come in contact with them and don’t even know it. Could you be one?
Some of us have absolutely no idea what it feels like to be so frightened that fear becomes a tangible thing. But there are many, more than we would like to think, that are one of those that “walk among us”.
Whether physical, emotional, verbal, mental, or sexual, I’m talking about Family Abuse or Domestic Violence.
For those who do not know me please allow me to introduce myself to you. I am one of those that walk among you. My name is Dee Vickery. I was married to an abuser for 16 years. I finally left when the fear of staying became greater than the fear of leaving. That was 1994. It was then I realized that the help I needed, as a Christian, just was not available. My church didn’t seem to be able to help and our friends didn’t know what to do. They didn’t want to be in the middle. Many didn’t even believe me. So I found myself in a most lonely place.
Thank the Lord; a family from my church asked me to come live with them until I could figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. I was 46 years old. The only source of income of my own that I had before I left was a horse training facility. I left that when I left my home. I did not want my marriage to end, but my husband was in denial and refused to get help. So my life as a wife and homemaker had ended. My journey to find life after abuse began. What a journey it has been and continues to be. It’s been a journey to find healing for myself, research into the huge spectrum that family abuse involves and many, many hours of prayer and preparation.
One day, on a November morning in 1995 I was thinking that maybe there were others just like me that wanted to escape and couldn’t. And what if they did escape, what would they do? Where would they go? I wanted to do something, but I knew that if I were to be able to help others I needed healing myself. In order for that to happen I had to know how someone that said he loved the Lord, my children and me, could hurt us the way he had. What the Lord began showing me changed my entire life.
Out of my own need & experience Off the Beaten Path Ministries, Inc. was birthed. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization reaching out to families affected by family violence.
We have a vision for an alternative temporary emergency shelter called Abigail’s House, and the second phase of our vision is for a residential housing facility that would be a two-year program called The Healing Place. We also offer an “overcomers program” for those who are no longer in the violent relationship but are still being battered by the memories.
Off the Beaten Path Ministries is about family. We are not gender specific. We desire to help each member of the family whether they are male or female, victim or abuser.
Hurting people hurt people. Until next time please be good to one another! If anyone needs help or has questions about this ministry please call (325) 372-3276. If anyone desires to make a tax-deductible contribution they can make checks payable to Off the Beaten Path Ministries, Inc. and mail to PO Box 203, San Saba, Texas 76877. We are a non-profit 501c3 organization.