LOS ANGELES — Getting items she needs to live, something as simple as laundry detergent, makes all the difference for domestic violence survivor Melody Moussanejad.
“Sometimes as single parents, I say single parent because there are sometimes men or women that are being abused. Sometimes we don’t have the resources or we’re not financially stable or we’re trying to be financially stable,” Moussanejad said.
Moussanejad, who has a son, said she was abused from 2015 through 2017. She said her husband abused her physically, mentally and financially.
“I didn’t know what to do, and I knew that there is something wrong, but I didn’t know fully if that’s abuse or not,” she said.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
Moussanejad got help from the Helping Hands Resource Center in Winnetka. A place where she not only received essential items but took classes to help her heal.
Karen Gonzalez-Torres is a domestic violence survivor who started the nonprofit in 2013. She started helping hands after seeing the injustice toward undocumented victims of domestic violence.
“I got to see the shift of you, you have papers, you don’t have papers, so then that’s who they selected in who to help,” Moussanejad said.
Gonzalez-Torres has written five books about her experience to help people in their recovery. She also organized the 10th annual Purple Event to celebrate survivors of domestic violence, which will be held on Oct. 21st at 3 p.m. at Trinity Church in San Fernando.
“It’s a celebration of ten years of starting what others told me that I was crazy, that I should deal with it on my own and I was like, ‘No, I’m going to do something about it and that’s what helping hands became,’” Gonzalez-Torres said.
Now, even though Moussanejad is recovering, she still relies on the support from helping hands. She’s hoping her story will inspire people to seek help.
“Don’t be alone, don’t be afraid to speak up,” Moussanejad said, adding that finding the courage to speak out helped her become a survivor.