Spencer Solves It: Woman who had help getting back on her feet now gives back to others

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - At the age of 38, Maribeth Charles of Houston has literally lived through a horrific nightmare.

She survived it and is now casting off the remnants of her former life.

For seven excruciating years, Maribeth was a victim of domestic abuse, both verbal and extremely violent physical abuse.

“He would constantly slap me around. One time he wound up, after knocking me down on the bed, putting his hand in my mouth, pulling my head back and pulling my hair back and he said, ‘Now, I’m going to make sure you hit every wall in this apartment,'” Maribeth said.

For Maribeth, the torrent of physical and mental abuse began in 2007 and lasted until 2014.

She says her abuser constantly slapped her, punched her, threw her around -- but his favorite form of punishment was choking her almost into unconsciousness.

“He would throw me on the bed and he would pin me down. He would take his knees, one knee on each shoulder, on this part right here, where it really hurts, and he would put his hand over my mouth and my nose, deliberately so I couldn’t breathe, and then he would put his forearm on my neck and he would push down on my windpipe until I started turning blue,” Maribeth said.

Finally, with help from God, good friends and a number of other domestic violence survivors, Maribeth says she broke free and started a new life.

She recently graduated from the Houston Community College Police Academy and hopes now to get a job as a police officer, where she can protect others.

“I really want to become a police officer. That is truly God’s calling on my life and I am going to do it,” Maribeth says proudly.

Now, all that pain behind her, Maribeth wants to give back all of the beautiful furniture, appliances, clothing and jewelry that was given to her after her escape from domestic violence.

That is when Maribeth wrote to Spencer Solves It, hoping we could help her in transporting all of her belongings to a worthwhile charity.

Right away, we called on a company that has already helped us many times in the past, Three Men Movers of Houston.

Thrilled, ready and willing to help us, the crew at Three Men Movers bring a full-sized truck and spend almost an entire day helping us pack up and transport all that Maribeth has to give to Goodwill Industries of Houston.

We are talking about couches, chairs, tables, beds, kitchenware, china, glasses and almost all of Maribeth’s clothing, shoes and accessories.

When Maribeth said she wanted to give back, she decided to do it in a big way.

Now, Maribeth’s donations will be sold at Goodwill stores to help raise money, which in turn then goes to provide jobs, counseling and job training to needy Houstonians who are looking for work.

“With that money we provide job placement, education, counseling and training for people who need work, who want to work. At Goodwill we are all about jobs,” says Terri Parris with Goodwill Industries Of Houston.

For Maribeth, it is truly the culmination of a long, painful journey toward a new future.

For her, it is also a pay-it-forward to all the people who helped her when she was in trouble.

“Whenever I was just coming out of the abuse, I did not feel like anyone cared. I felt like I was all alone in this life. But now I know I am not alone. People do care. You care (Bill) and I can only say thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you doesn’t even come close to what I mean, but thank you for helping me,” Maribeth says.

We at Spencer Solves It want to send our deepest thanks and appreciation to Three Men Movers for all of their careful, meticulous, work on this case.

If you need help with a problem you can’t possibly solve by yourself, contact Spencer Solves It at 713-223-TIPS (8477) or email us at solvesit@click2houston.com.

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