Valentines Day and Domestic Abuse

Everything was ruined.

Twice a month, Pastor Garret brings a group of teens from the Placentia Presbyterian Church to OC United where I get to teach them about relationships, abuse, and healing. This past week, we gathered to make valentines specifically for women in the Sheepfold Shelter for Women and Children.

We talked about how difficult Valentines Day is for victims of domestic abuse. Being in a shelter creates additional stress as they are facing the reality that their life situation is so much different than before. For women who have left an abusive relationship, February 14th is a difficult holiday. The idealized romantic relationship has not worked out for them. In fact, it has been harmful. It is important for women to realize that they are still loved by God. They are not less valuable or precious in the eyes of God because of someone else’s behavior.

I was so excited to share the small heart-shaped messages of love and encouragement with the women in Sheepfold Shelter for Women and Children. As I arrived I realized that a bottle of water had been open and spilled into my bag of teaching materials.  When I realized this I was so upset, because everything I needed was damaged! I was so disappointed. The teens worked so hard on making these valentines for the women! I couldn’t believe it! As I unpacked my bag, I saw that the metal, heart-shaped box that was holding valentines. Curious. I opened it up, wiped it off and could not believe it. The valentines were ok! There was no water damage!

Because of the water spilling in my bag, this evening became so much more special than I could have imagined.  Our time became a time of encouragement, where God could step in and fill these women’s hearts as he stepped in and filled mine.  That evening I shared how God loves us and we are children of The King, we are His.  We looked at the passages in the bible of God reaching out to women in difficult places.

One of the women asked, “How did you get through this hard time?”

“It was hard and I was sad,” I shared, “but then I realized that I had a Father in heaven who loved me so much.”

We talked about how God directs his people to take care of the orphans and the widows and I told them that we are the orphans and widows in God’s eyes. We are not rejects or unlovable. I spread out the valentines and the women in the class were able to pick out a special hand made valentine card.  Some of the women had tears in their eyes. They felt special, acknowledged, and loved.

What an incredible evening. Do you know someone you could reach out to with a card, a text or phone call this Valentines Day to encourage or build up? What if we stepped into the gap for women and children who need to feel special, acknowledged and loved this Valentines Day?

– Donna Mroz
Director, United Against Domestic Abuse

Donna has been working with victims of Domestic Abuse for over 30 years and has a deep love for women who are have been in harmful relationships. If you or someone you know is interested in attending our Domestic Abuse Support group or volunteering to serve those who have experienced abuse, click on the “GET INVOLVED” button in the top right of this page.