As a young woman, Jan Kraetsch married a man she lived, and became the devoted mother of two sons. Always a “people person,” Jan often hosted extended family and friends for holidays and occasions. She and her husband lived in southeastern Wisconsin but did well enough to enjoy a place up north. Jan was smart and competent and excelled at a number of challenging jobs. To all appearances, Jan had a happy home and a good life… but in reality, Jan courageously survived 20 years of traumatic domestic abuse.
Speaker and author Jan Kraetsch believes one reason she did survive all those years is so she can now “give back” by helping others who are living in the fear and desperation of abuse. Domestic abuse is most often a silent crime, and it’s likely we all know someone affected by it, whether we realize it or not. HAVEN has invited Jan to come to Merrill to tell her story and share the understanding of how abuse is perpetuated, and why it remains hidden. She will speak on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at the AmericInn, 3300 E. Main St., Merrill. Her presentation is free and everyone is welcome to attend.
Jan’s journey out of despair and back into hope included help she received from her local domestic abuse shelter. Later, she started volunteering there. Over time, she became a public speaker and also wrote a newspaper column on the subject. Jan went on the author her autobiographical account entitled “Through the Eyes of Fear,” published in 2008. She donates a portion of the proceeds from her book to abuse shelters. Jan’s book not only tells her story but also provides information and resources for those in abusive situations, and for those who would offer them help and support. Jan now lives in North Central Wisconsin, is happily remarried and is a partner in a successful business.
All are invited to come and gain perspective from Jan’s experiences and insights, learn the facts about domestic abuse, and find out about the real help and hope that is available. There will be a time for questions and answers after her talk. Light refreshments will be provided, and Jan will have copies of her book for sale. Jan is graciously donating a portion of her book sales from the evening to HAVEN.