31 Days

31 Days for AVA

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the Covenant. Throughout the month we present stories of victims of abuse and domestic violence collected by AVA Director, Yvonne DeVaughn. These are true stories submitted by women who attend Covenant churches or who have been impacted by the ministry of AVA. As these stories impact you, we…

Read More

Cindy's Story

I wrote over twenty pages in my journal about my sexual history. I will not go into any great detail, but there is one thing I can not pass over, because if I did, there would be a missing puzzle piece to God’s masterpiece of me. I had been sexually abused around the age of…

Read More

Ellie's Story: My Childhood

Was there a time when my childhood was sublime? I think not, because all of this pain wouldn’t be mine I watched my uncle’s roaming hands as they traveled over the skin of my mother I felt those same hands as he also touched me instead of another He took his liberties touching and feeling…

Read More

Janet’s Story

My mother died in 1991. Like many survivors of child sexual assault, the death of a perpetrator began the process of remembering. I was sickly as a child from the many infections I endured from being passed around sexually to my parents’ friends and associates. My body nearly gave up the fight several times from…

Read More

Rachel’s Story

From the age of eight until twelve I was sexually abused by four men in the area where I lived. We lived in the Appalachian Mountains, and in 1965 it was not uncommon for this behavior to go on and for it not to be addressed. My mother was physically and verbally abusive to me.…

Read More

Rocio’s Story

Due to the extreme poverty in which Rocio lived, her parents sold her to a well-to-do family. In the beginning all was well, but as time passed and as Rocio grew, the nine brothers in this family began to rape her. This affected her to the point that she tried to kill herself. Her self-esteem…

Read More

Blanca’s Story

I was born and raised in Mexico City until I was twelve years old. I grew up experiencing and witnessing extreme levels of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse. My days as a child were always filled with sadness and fear. As a little girl, I could not feel my own pain as I witnessed and…

Read More

Margaret’s Story: A Mother’s Story

One balmy evening much like any other toward the end of my daughter’s senior year in high school, she and I were sitting cross-legged on the living room floor having a mother/daughter heart-to-heart about her blooming first romance. I was puzzled (and somewhat concerned) about why she had chosen as her love interest a particular…

Read More

Jan's Story

As a young child I silently suffered abuse from a step-grandfather and others in the small Midwestern town where we lived. I am a divorcee of thirty-seven years, never remarried, raised two sons, and suffered depression off and on for many years. In 1994 I took a medical disability due to a chronic neuro-muscular disease.…

Read More

Kandy’s Story

As a child I grew up with my aunt and uncle who were senior adults. My mother married a man that was not my father. I have an older sister, but our grandparents in the Midwest raised her. She and I did not live with our mother until she married our stepfather. Since we were…

Read More

Brittney’s Story

As she walked in the door, she knew it was going to be one of those nights. Her mom was at the kitchen table with that familiar look on her face. Her step-dad was late from work again. It was not going to be a good night. They had dinner and she did her homework.…

Read More

Billie’s Story: The Good Wife

I opened my eyes and looked around confused that the scene was different than it had been just a second ago. The lights were off, and my husband was sound asleep, comfortably wrapped in the layered bedding I had recently purchased. I was sitting on the floor next to his side of the bed wondering…

Read More

Birdie’s Story

After fifteen years of marriage, my husband announced that he had found someone else. Hadn’t I been a good wife? After all, I cooked for him, cleaned for him, let him control the TV remote, looked the other way when he stayed out late at the casino night after night. When my family told me…

Read More

Ethel's Story

My name is Ethel and I was a battered woman for fourteen years until I decided to take my life back, but not before going through hell and high water. I was kicked and stomped on when I was seven months pregnant, and had a gun pulled on me. I tried to leave my abuser…

Read More

Anna’s Story

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire…” – Psalm 40 My story begins with how I was trapped in the slimy pit, stuck in the mud and mire. To the outside world my family…

Read More

Darlene’s Story

I was put up for adoption at the age of three. My new mother abused me during my childhood so I was used to abuse and thought that was a normal way to live. As I got older I would choose men that abused me verbally and also beat me up. I ended up with…

Read More

Lin's Story

My dad was one of six kids. He had four brothers and one sister. My mom was an only child who married into this huge family. They all accepted her with open arms, and through them she found the siblings she did not have growing up.

Read More

Laura's Story

I did not understand the abuse I went through as a child until I was older. When I was an infant my father gave me medication because he wanted me to stop crying resulting in an emergency trip to the hospital. If it weren’t for my mother coming to the hospital and hand feeding me…

Read More

Susan's Story

My story is not uncommon; these “things” have happened before. I am twenty-eight years old, but remembering these “things”, I am nine years old all over again. For so many years I have blocked my memories, not allowing myself to relive the pain and the grief, just because others couldn’t deal with the truth. “Get…

Read More

Syneda's Story

When a child is sexually assaulted or a woman is raped, this changes who God created them to be. This is what happened to me. I was sexually assaulted by my uncle from the age of nine to eleven. I was also raped at the age of eighteen. Thinking about this is bringing tears to…

Read More

Lori's Story

Why AVA? Thirty years ago I went from a strong-willed stubborn girl who grew up knowing that I could do or be anything I wanted, to a wife and mother made to feel incapable of doing anything right or making a decision…a nobody. I was told I would never amount to anything or be able…

Read More