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Hidden Truth: Domestic violence can happen anywhere

Do you know the leading cause of physical injury to women in this country?

It is not car crashes, accidents in the home, muggings or even rape. More women are injured by domestic violence than all those other causes combined. Every day, three women in America are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. 

More than two years ago, a young mother was shot and killed by her husband, in front of their children, one day before she had a scheduled appointment with a divorce attorney.  Rachel Reutzel was a successful attorney, and her husband was a partner at a local law firm.

"Everybody across the board was shocked because they had the life that everyone wanted," said Rachel's sister Hannah Cunningham, "but ultimately it's the life that nobody wants."   

Cunningham joined a group of other women, family and friends of Rachel, to make a meal for the families who are living at the Choices Shelter. The 51-bed shelter provides temporary housing and counseling for women and children who are fleeing domestic abuse.

"One of Rachel's favorite ways to show love was through food," said Cunningham. 

The women in Rachel's life also had a message for women in her situation.

"Get out," said Rachel's friend Bryn Hunt. 

Hunt says Rachel hid what she was going through to protect her children and try to hold her family together.

"She was a national scholar in undergrad and in law school the top of her class. She was high-performing in every job she ever had and for someone like her to feel like they didn't have anywhere to go, that's astonishing to me,"  said Hunt.

Rachel's friends and family are now supporting the work of Choices, and encouraging other women in abusive situations to find a safe way out. 

You can access information here: 

http://www.odvn.org/shelter-referral-listings/choices-for-victims-of-domestic-violence


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