Holly T. Ashley

Oh did I type that outloud?

Domestic Violence: Restoration. Recovery. Redemption.

Holly T. Ashley is a grass-root, thirty-year Domestic Violence advocate, counselor, speaker, writer, jury profiler, court expert, curriculum writer, Educator and trainer…. This is her story:

On March 31, of 1986 police were called to the Scottsdale residence of Holly and her ex-husband, a former Scottsdale police officer. The police arrived and asked Holly’s husband to leave the residence and the following day Holly went to the Scottsdale Police Department where her relative, Fred “Micky” Collins, was the Chief of Police – He instructed her to see Judge George Preston who issued her an order of protection and it was served immediately to the defendant, who was at his parents’ house. She went home and changed the locks on the house, locked the doors and lay on the couch whereby she was nursing what she had not realized was a broken right thumb and wrist.

On April 2nd, 1986 at approximately 7:30pm a neighbor across the street called police regarding what looked to them as an apparent burglary taking place at Holly’s residence – The neighbor observed that a man had been let out of a vehicle which then drove away and that the man who was let out was attempting to break into the garage, then through the front window of the home, before darting through a gate towards the back yard where he could not be seen.

Another phone call was then placed to the Scottsdale police department (located approximately 2 miles from the residence,) this time from Holly herself telling them that her ex-husband was trying to break into the home, which he proceeded to do through the rear sliding glass door, only to grab a wrought iron fire-poker from the fireplace and proceed to beat her with it breaking her jaw.

Making her way through the small house to the front door as to get to the detached garage door, he met her inside the garage where she was beaten against the brick garage wall until she passed out. The husband then opened the garage and took Holly’s vehicle which was never to be seen again.

When the police arrived… later… at 9:45pm, Holly was taken to the hospital after receiving injuries including a broken neck, broken jaw and broken arm, wrist and thumb.

The emergency department nurses informed her that it would not be wise to go back to the house – The problem was that there was nowhere to go.

There were only two shelters in the state of AZ at the time and they were in the far north and the far south of Arizona and they were only for women with children.

Holly then found out the following morning that she had 10 days to move out of her house, the Honorable George Preston stated that there was nothing he could do, that there was no law against “beating up your wife” later to be known as: domestic abuse – and since she had lost her job due to the fact that she was an auditor and ran a 10 key, which would no longer be possible with a broken right wrist and thumb, she was released and therefore the Judge found in favor of the defendant – and stated that if she couldn’t work –  she could not pay the bills.

Chief/Cousin Fred Collins would not respond to her phone calls. She contacted another family member, Tom Collins, who was the County Attorney; he also refused to take her calls. Holly then contacted her parents, who stated, “We told you not to marry him… you’re lucky he didn’t kill you.”

With no support, no vehicle, nowhere to go not to mention being fired from her job as an auditor– not to mention a cleaned out bank account (how that got done from jail is still a mystery) … she was all the more determined that this wrong need not be in vain – Not just for her, but for all the abuse victims to follow.

And she was just getting started….

At twenty years old, Holly T. Ashley designed a program that she felt would help to end the victimization of abused women. This program had an “800” phone number for the entire state to utilize that would then contact some means of transportation, a cab company or volunteer drivers, churches, etc.  who would then drive a victim from the hospital to a shelter (we would have to have more shelters and we would have to keep some kind of a bed count). Once the victims were settled the program would network with attorneys and police to immediately enforce orders of protection, DES would provide job training or education programs and we could work together with the vacant properties around Arizona to provide temporary housing…. and self-worth… we had to teach these women they were worthy of something so much better!

After designing her grandiose program, she met with the only other person she knew – She though he was on the state legislature or something, but it turned out he was on the cabinet of the Governor’s office and she put in a call – not thinking she would get any response, but the next thing she knew, she was in the elevator of the State capitol heading to the Governor’s office whereby she sat down in the office of Mr. Trent Franks.

After presenting her program to Mr. Franks, he sat back, took a breath, stood up – but not to show me the way out…. No. No he did not. Rather, he motioned to another door inside of his office and said, “Do you have some time? I would like for you to meet someone.”

After meeting the Governor, (actually just by chance, he had been walking through the corridor), Holly was directed to Ms. Peggy Griffith and her staff of men and women – that consisted of judges, attorneys, and miscellaneous volunteers and employees. Ms. Griffith was the director of women’s services for the Governor and had formed a domestic violence task force. Holly was introduced and joined the group and they all went to work.

Unfortunately, the Governor was later impeached and the new administration and the domestic violence task force was replaced – but the work that was started did not come to an end – no, it took a while, but Holly is proud to say that Arizona has instilled every single program that Holly outlined in her single spaced, type written outline – that she presented on the day of that initial meeting with the current United States Congressman, Trent franks.

Holly T. Ashley went on to continue her advocacy against abuse and neglect, working as a counselor in shelters, as a supervisor over children’s facilities that had taken in children who had been abused and neglected and sexually assaulted, in addition she has worked as an expert witness, and a mock-trial analyst and jury profiler.

But the demons of the past, that were never dealt with did indeed rear their ugly heads. Holly, who was a victim of childhood molestation, childhood gang-rape, incest, abuse and an advocate for others, could not break the chains of the past – even though she would become a youth leader, Christian singer, and Christian speaker. Even the emotional success of becoming a runner up in the 20th Century’s Miss America Beauty Pageant – as Miss Arizona and Model of the year, she found herself married and divorced three times by the age of thirty, raising two children on her own and making a living as a stripper.

Like many victims – the compounding of abuse year after year can leave them with a feeling of worthlessness, even though they may have achieved success – and serve in their churches and start ministries. It is simply an illusion – usually one that is met with sudden withdraw, isolation or a denouncement of the faith – even suicide has taken the lives of many Spiritual leaders who had a past that they felt would simply go away with enough “time” and Biblical studies and church participation – only to be railroaded by “unforeseen sin” that leads to some form of public humiliation which then results in a worthlessness that they simply feel they cannot overcome.

Nothing but the blood of Jesus will negate the shame and the guilt – But with victims of abuse, especially long term abuse, the more that they are told all of the great things that Jesus has done, the further into the pit they will go – Hopelessness is desperateness.

Although many see it as a choice – it is a choice made with information that has been reinforced to the victims of abuse so much so that it is embedded in their heart, mind and soul and that is the believe that they are beyond worthless.

It takes a specially trained individual, who is engrossed in the word of God with all the passion of the Spirit to shine the light of Hope into the dark pit that is the soul of the victim.

Dr. Henry Cloud writes:

“There is an implication in all of [our critics’] writings that people are able to choose what is right… there is a total denial of the fact that we are sold into slavery… Psychotherapists constantly indict the evangelical church for failing to grasp people’s helplessness. They suggest Evangelicals – especially those from a fundamentalist background – have defied willpower, as though a sinking person can pull himself up by his own bootstraps.” [1]

Today at 49 years old, married to the “man of her dreams” that she left at the proverbial alter 30 years ago – because, as she repeated her mother’s words to her: ‘He is just too good to be true and therefore it will never last,’ is a published author and speaker.  Holly writes books and speaks about Biblical womanhood, domestic abuse, sexual assault and neglect – using her own testimony of: Restoration, Recovery and Redemption.

And let us not forget: Repentance.

This curriculum has been approved and meets the criteria for court-ordered domestic violence classes. Holly also has started a DV Counseling referral company for those who have been ordered by the court to take DV classes and is using this manual to train lay counselors and churches to start their own domestic violence programs.

We thank you again and pray you are blessed!

David and Holly T. Ashley

Cross Strength Ministries, LLC
Redemption – Restoration – Recovery

(480) 442-4816.

Taken from the Holly T. Ashley’s Domestic Violence Lay-Counselor Training Manual and student workbook: Restoration, Recovery and Redemption. 2015.p. 1-4.

#hollytashley #pastorofpump #restorrecoverredeem #crossstrengthministries

[1] This quote was taken from John MacArthur’s book Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically in chapter 9: Instilling Hope in the Counselee. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005). 121.  NOTE: MacArthur never states in his footnotes the title of the article or name, date, location or information whereby Dr. Cloud made this statement – none the less, this author could not agree more with the statement and when I speak with Dr. Cloud and get verification of authorship, if any, the article information, this footnote will be updated.

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