I'm so thrilled to introduce to you List member Veronica, from Some Like It Vintage - not only does she run an amazing shop, she also dedicates her free time and 10% of all her sales to helping victims of Domestic Violence. Here's her story:
SomeLikeItVintage.com, an independently owned website run by Veronica Cizmar of Toronto, Canada, features vintage & retro clothing, accessories and home decor. 10 percent of the web site's sales help women subjected to domestic violence -- something Veronica knows only too well. Just five years ago, she found herself in a whirlwind romance that would ultimately leave her a victim of abuse.
In the summer of 2002, Veronica met a businessman who said he was visiting the Canadian city for a meeting. Charming, handsome and seemingly well-connected, he claimed ties to many powerful forces in the U.S. Maintaining he was a first cousin of President Bush, Bruce had all the
visible merits to confirm his stories: the clothes, the belongings, the persona and, at times, the entourage.
"Bruce said he was, in fact, the head of the Bush family," Veronica says. Ominously, he told her that, "there was no divorce in his family; the only way out was by death-accident, natural cause or otherwise." By October, the two friends began dating and, swept off her feet, Veronica accepted his marriage proposal just two-and-a-half weeks later.
Almost immediately the atmosphere changed. Bruce turned aggressive, hostile and intimidating. "He had not touched me in any way yet. It was his attitude and demeanor that were becoming more and more aggressive and threatening; not just to me, but to others - waiters, concierge, strangers, family and friends," she says. Soon, he asserted further connections to the American mafia. Bruce, like many abusers, had cultivated a convincing life story and, like many victims, level-headed Veronica had been given all the evidence she needed to believe him. Despite gut feelings telling her to flee, Veronica soon became a prisoner, forced to stay in the relationship
believing Bruce had the power and influence to harm her or her family.
For 16 more months, Veronica was held hostage by her fiancé, beaten and tortured daily. Bruce was finally arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The recovery has been a long and arduous one, but with the help of martial arts classes, a supportive family and police authorities, Veronica is back on track and better than ever. She currently runs Some Like it Vintage on a full time basis, volunteers at a women's shelter, studies martial arts and conducts self-defense seminars for women.
For the full story as featured in Romantic Homes Magazine, click here.
If you would like to donate, visit JustGive.org and search the term Domestic Violence - hundreds of charities are listed there!
Current items available at SomeLikeItVintage.com: