FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM
Standing In My Power
There I was in my bedroom gasping for air, with my legs and arms pinned against the bed and my face down in a pillow.
I struggled to breathe when my 3-year-old son ran into the bedroom and screamed at seeing his father on top of me. My life could have ended that day.
I knew I had to leave that minute. I walked into the living room and found my purse; its contents were all over the floor. I crawled to collect my things and told him, "We have to leave right now. There is too much rage and we need to come back when things calm down."
My son and I walked out into the hallway and left our condo. I told my son, “That was really scary, wasn’t it?” He nodded his head. I said, “Your dad loves you but he has this illness. What you saw was the illness and when he gets this way, we need to be very quiet and calm and leave.”
This was over 20 years ago but I can remember it as if it was yesterday.
Hi, my name is Beth Handler, aka Beth of Arc and I experienced bouts of domestic violence over 7 years in my marriage, followed by 13 years of harassing litigation filed by my former husband and my father-in-law.
In the end, I had 48 appearances in family court and defended 6 legal actions which included 3 protective orders, 3 small claims lawsuits, and a bogus $329,000 civil case filed against me by my father-in-law.
The 3rd protective order was challenged by my ex-husband's attorney and opened a new case in the Appellate Courts which I defended for a year. My oral arguments were in front of 4 judges and I won!
My journey started in 1999 and ended in 2013 with the Appellate Court's opinion to maintain my 3rd Protective Order.
Two years later, I forgave my ex-husband and father-in-law at his death bed.
I did not want my son’s future impacted by domestic violence.
In 2020, I met Gabby, a mother to 5-year-old Emma. She told me she was dealing with a domestic violence situation and was facing court without an attorney because she could not afford the $5,000 retainer she was asked to pay for the first hearing.
A surge of power came through me as I listened to Gabby through her tears. I could not walk away.
Just days later, she had her first domestic violence hearing. I coached Gabby to represent herself and she won!
Gabby was awarded a 3-year Protective Order, full legal custody, physical custody, and supervised visitation for her daughter with the father.
The father was ordered to attend a 52-week batterer's program.
I had a dream of a DV App, a pocket of support, and a sisterhood to support survivors to stand in their power and leave their abusers to begin new lives free from domestic violence.
The DV App is launching in August!
If you know of someone dealing with domestic violence, please share my story and the app!
Domestic Violence Litigation Coach & Minister