Jamie’s Story

Jamie was pressured into an arranged marriage at age 19 – to a man who beat and raped her and abused their children.

Jamie knew she wanted to leave, but she had no money and no education. She had no support: Her family and community shunned her, because of her decision to divorce and to come out as gay. They refused to help her even after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Unchained found Jamie a team of attorneys to represent her pro bono in family court. Unchained’s executive director babysat for Jamie’s children while she underwent surgery. And when Jamie was about to refuse chemotherapy treatments because she worried she would be too sick to care for her children, Unchained raised money for an au pair to take care of the children through the hellish months of chemo – and then raised money to buy her a car, so Jamie could get to her doctor appointments.

Today Jamie is divorced and living in a cozy apartment (no longer in a domestic violence shelter) with the two children. She is attending college, where she is about 15 years older than most students but also is excelling: Jamie has a 3.7 GPA.

“Whether I was raped or molested or beaten, no one ever stuck up for me,” Jamie told Unchained when her divorce was final. “Now someone sees my pain and actually does something about it.”

Help Jamie and others like her by clicking here.

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About the Video
Filmmakers Jacobia Dahm and Gareth Smit produced the video as a gift to Unchained. Unchained thanks Jacobia and Gareth for their hard work and extraordinary generosity.