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In Memory


To the women and children that are in abusive relationships, “PLEASE” get out, it’s not a way of life.  There is help waiting for you, just make the call.  We receive numerous crisis call daily but none like the story I want to share with you.  WHY?  Because this story is close to my heart and it hit home.  In July 1994, three of my dear and close childhood friends came to my daughter’s wedding.  They bought their children, grandchildren, nieces and other friends to share in this wonderful event.  Needless to say this was the last time I would see Robena and Jessica alive.  In November 1995, I received that “dreadful” call from my dear friend stating, “she had terrible news”.  Robena and Jessica were found DEAD in her apartment.  The family had been worried for several days prior because they had not heard from Robena, this was not her character at all (this is a very close and loving family).  But, guess what-  although this family is very close, Robena choose not to talk about being in an abusive relationship, don’t know if it was denial, shame, or wanting to protect “HIM” in far that something would happen to “HIM’ if she spoke up to her family.  After days of concern her father and uncle went to her apartment, knocked on the door, -NO ANSWER!  They decided to contact the apartment manager to get access into the apartment.  Oh, they were there!  One problem, -both Robena and Jessica were found and had been brutally murdered, not by an intruder -yes, by “HIM”!  Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention -‘HE” also came to the wedding.  Please, take a look at this picture, that is “HIM” Robena and Jessica.  Keep in mind, you never know who you are sitting next to, who are you really sleeping with, or who’s in your circle of friends.

Robena was only 23 years old at the time and Jessica was only 3.  -GONE MUCH TOO SOON, Don’t let your family or friends experience this pain, it never goes away.  Maybe, just maybe a phone call could have saved their lives.  Make a phone call, or tell your family, tell someone; if  you’re reading this and  are in an abusive relationship -think about Robena and Jessica, please listen -you don’t want this -you deserve a better way of life.  GET HELP NOW!!

Permission was given by Robena’s family to share this story with you.


Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your Internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, call the Opal’s House hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Internet and Computer Safety

  • There are hundreds of ways that computers record everything you do on the computer and on the Internet.
  • If you are in danger, please try to use a safer computer that someone abusive does not have direct access, or even remote (hacking) access to.
  • Use a safer computer. It might be safer to use a computer in a public library, at a community technology center (CTC) [www.ctcnet.org (national directory)], at a trusted friend’s house, or at an Internet Cafe.
  • If you think your activities are being monitored, they probably, are.  Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move. You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer activities – anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor.
  • Computers can provide a lot of information about what you look at on the Internet, the e-mails you send, and other activities.  It is not possible to delete or clear all computer “footprints”.
  • If you think you may be monitored on your home computer, you might consider no home Internet use or “safer” Internet surfing.  Example: If you are planning to flee to California, don’t look at classified ads for jobs and apartments, bus tickets, etc. for California on a home computer or any computer an abuser has physical or remote access to.  Use a safer computer to research an escape plan.
  • E-mail is not a safe or confidential way to talk to someone about the danger or abuse in your life – please call Opal’s House or the National Domestic Violence Hotline instead.
  • Traditional “corded” phones are more private than cellular phones or cordless phones.

Opal’s House |  P.O. Box 2316  |  East St. Louis, IL 62202  |  (877) 672-5482

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