• Interview

Separated From Abusive Husband, Homemaker Falls Into Homelessness

In 1979, Jenny Edmondson* was an idealistic young English college graduate traveling the world when she made a stop in San Francisco and suddenly became one of the thousands of young women drawn into arranged marriages through the Unification Church. She spent several years in a difficult relationship that produced two children. In a private moment during a bitter custody battle, she wrote of her despair. That journal entry became a catalyst to her forceful removal from her home, leaving her homeless, far from family and any kind of supportive community; her only job experience was her time working for the church from which she was now estranged. Jenny soon regained custody of her children, and as she tells counselor Wendy Clarke, she vowed that she would do whatever it took to keep her family together.

*This storyteller’s name has been changed to protect her privacy. Her story was recorded in July 2014 in Lynnwood, Wash., at YWCA Family Village.

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