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The Worst in Him - Diana Smith Walsh

Paperback Published: 9th April 2010
ISBN: 9781450070577
Number Of Pages: 102

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"For 14 years Paula Lucas lived what looked like an ideal life as an American overseas wife: A Newsweek photojournalist husband, worldwide travel, a successful advertising, marketing and PR business, and three beautiful sons. She also hides a terrible secret-the children suffered severe child abuse and Paula, horrific domestic violence, at the hands of her husband, making every day a nightmare. As the violence increased, so did her desperation. In 1997, she finally disclosed the abuse to her brother in California. Her family called the State Department, congress people and senators. Paula went to the American Embassy and pleaded for help. Their efforts were futile. Finally her chance to escape materialized, thanks to a thief who stole her husband's passport and money on a train in Germany, which caused her husband to be locked outside of the country. Paula searched her husband's offices for the children's American passports which her husband had hidden. After a month of searching, she was about to give up. In despair, Paula sat sobbing with her face in her hands. That's when she believes a guardian angel pointed her back to a file she had already checked, and inside, were the children's passports. Without access to her own money, Paula forged her husband's signature on a check for just enough money to get them to her sister's house in Oregon. She also forged her husband's signature on documents giving her permission to leave the country with the children. She knew if she were caught, she would be put in prison, or worse. But she also knew that the possible damage when her husband returned was very high. In the middle of the night, with one suitcase and her three children, she took a taxi to the airport in Dubai and prayed. Paula tried not to show her fear as they shuffled through immigration and boarded a flight to New York, and to freedom. Once in New York, the four of them piled onto a train to Oregon; a three day journey. At her sister's house outside of Portland, Paula's relief was short-lived. She found out that even though she, the children, and her husband were all Americans, he had the right to fight her for jurisdiction and force her to take the boys back to the Middle East-a certain death sentence. In disbelief, she fled her sister's house and went into hiding, living in shelters, on food stamps, and welfare while fighting a costly legal battle; she never expected to keep her American children in the United States. If she lost, she vowed she would go underground and disappear permanently rather than take her children back. The battle lasted eighteen months and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Finally, the Oregon courts ruled that Paula could keep her sons in Oregon. She was granted divorce and custody in September 2000, but no child support, alimony, or court costs. Her husband received supervised visitation of the children. Despite experiencing homelessness, poverty, and extreme debt (over $60,000), after years of abuse, Paula felt she had been given a second chance. She resolved to help other abused American women and children around the world so they would not have to go through what she and her children went through." While living in a shelter, Paula founded a nonprofit organization, American Women Overseas, and began her work." Sadly, this is not an isolated situation. In fact, the structure and lifestyle of living as an expatriate is almost the perfect scenario for someone to carry out abusive acts. The foundation of domestic violence is that abusers want to dominate and control everything in order to get their own way. This can easily be achieved by living away from the support and visibility of friends and family. In most expatriate families, the man is the person on assignment and the spouse is the attachment to his visa, work permit, company package and is bound by visa restriction and cannot work. As a result, the woman can feel beholden, guilty, and obligated to her husband beca

ISBN: 9781450070577
ISBN-10: 1450070574
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 102
Published: 9th April 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.91 x 15.19  x 0.61
Weight (kg): 0.16