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Domestic Violence Across the Sea: A story of hope with Paula Lucas

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Founder  of the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center , Paula Lucas

Paula Lucas doesn't wear a cape, but to thousands of American women and children being abused around the world, Paula may be their super-hero.

For 14 years Paula lived what looked like an ideal life as an American overseas: A Newsweek photojournalist husband, world wide travel, a successful advertising, marketing and PR business and three beautiful sons. She also hid a terrible secret: the children suffered severe child abuse and Paula, horrific domestic violence, at the hands of her husband, making every day a nightmare.

While living in a shelter, Paula founded a non-profit organization and began her work. In April 2001, she launched an internationally toll free domestic violence and child abuse hotline, 866-USWOMEN.

In 2009, Paula's growing team provided services to 273 Americans with 248 children in 64 countries, received 1424 crisis calls & emails, relocated 11 families fleeing domestic violence back to the USA, and provided an additional array of services including legal consultations, legal retainers, professional counseling and basic needs assistance to dozens more.

While the organization has won numerous awards, the Pièce de résistance came in April 2010, when the US Department of Justice awarded the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center with the National Crime Victim Service Award for extraordinary efforts in direct service to crime victims.

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 866-USWOMEN National & International Toll Free: 866-USWOMEN (866) 879-6636. Give on-line at www.866uswomen.org

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