Brownsville woman’s story of abuse told by twin sons; family who lived it

i-sell-books_cmykBy Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

She is sharing her message in the hope that someone going through a similar situation might seek help.

“Back then, there wasn’t the help available that there is today,” said Carol Dunt.

Now remarried, Dunt shares a story of a woman and her children who survived an abusive relationship.

Her sons, Robert and Richard Aberg have written a book titled “Through the Eyes of Denial.”

“I was a young girl of 17, who was taken advantage of by a 27 year old man and had to get married,” said Dunt. “I didn’t want to, but that’s pretty much what you had to do in the 1960s to give the child a name.”

Three years later she and her ex-husband had the twins (Richard and Robert).

For 21 years the four of them suffered at the hands of her ex.

“Many times I tried to leave him but it never worked out and I was afraid,” she said. “If you are not in this situation, you really don’t understand what it is like.”

Her late mother and a neighbor helped move the family into a shelter in Decorah, Iowa.

“My daughter was 19 at the time and my boys were 16,” she said. “When my husband pulled a gun on my daughter and her boyfriend, they moved me to a shelter in La Crosse.”

That shelter, New Horizons, gave the family a new lease on life.

“That was a wonderful place,” said Dunt. “We all survived and I was fortunate enough to have found a wonderful man and have been married to him for 35 years, and my children have their own lives.”

“Through the Eyes of Denial” is the true story written from five different points of view of the abuse.

The story follows Carol, the two boys Richard and Robert as well as the daughter and Carol’s mother.

“I believe if anyone is in this situation, and reads this book, it would help them see that they are not alone and there is help out there,” said Dunt.

If you need help

Locally, Bluff Country Family Resources helps victims of domestic violence and sexual violence find the resources they need.

The program can help with transitional housing and many other services.

“BCFR provides community education, and non-judgmental, confidential crisis intervention, advocacy, support and resources to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and homelessness,” said executive director Rosanne St. Sauver. “Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, financial status, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or sexual preference or orientation.”

Bluff Country Family Resources provides free individualized crisis intervention, legal and personal advocacy, support groups, as well as information and referrals. Some specific services offered to victims of domestic violence include:

• 24-hour, toll-free crisis line, 1-866-367-4297.

• Assistance with writing protective orders.

• Transportation and accompaniment to court or the hospital for a rape exam.

• Safety planning.

• Emergency hotel/motel safe homing.

• Emergency financial assistance.

• Support groups.