Only in a local, downtown shop can you find shop owners willing to give back in a very personal way. Michelle Merchant and Elena Garet, owners of meboutique, are passionate about women helping women. That is why this past week, meboutique ran a special promotion that directly impacts domestic violence victims. They held a handbag trade in event. For every gently used handbag that a customer brought in, they received 25.00 to 50.00 off a New Brighton bag. Over the course of the week, eleven bags were collected including a coach bag! Michelle and Elena generously donated brand new scarves and hats from their store’s collection to the women too.
Women who leave their abusers most often do so when the opportunity presents itself.
It is not a matter of simply saying, “That’s it, I am out of here.” Women in abusive situations are so afraid that it is very difficult to leave. The
abuser will threaten to kill them, their children and their families. Considering the amount of physical pain that an abuser can inflict on their victim, the threat is very real.
Victims are constantly under the very watchful eye of the abuser and any perceived “wrong” move will be considered a threat to the abuser thereby an attack will happen. Attacks come in many forms, beatings, knife attacks, rapes, not to mention the verbal, monetary, emotional abuse that occurs.
So, when a victim finally does leave, she generally leaves with her children and only the clothes on her back. She arrives at a shelter beaten (literally and figuratively) with virtually nothing to call her own. She does walk away with a beginning glimmer of pride and dignity which is something she has not felt in a very long time.
The road back to normalcy is long and hard so any time a women in this situation receives a “gift” it is greatly appreciated. I know that the women who receive these bags, hats and scarves will be very grateful and will treasure them for a long time to come.
Once again, downtown business owners and their loyal customers show us the real “Heart and Soul of Milford.” Thank you, Michelle and Elena, for your