Category: BF NEWS

Goodbye, Anthony!

Anthony Perez worked as an intern for Becky’s Fund since July. He was a blast to have around and will surely be missed!

Below is Anthony’s reflection on his time here:

Before entering Becky’s Fund, I remember imagining how my internship at the organization would be. I pictured myself in front of a crowd of students, even more, a crowd of people, talking about the issue of domestic violence and creating big changes. Of course, to myself, I knew my imaginations were too idealistic, but even then I could not have expected what I experienced at Becky’s Fund.

Knowing that I would take part in the Men of the Code program, I was ready and excited to start training and going over the lesson plan. However, as my first few weeks passed, I began realizing that my position and role in Becky’s Fund was much larger and important than just an instructor. Being an instructor is vital to the Men of Code program, but there are so many other critical pieces and steps at play and that is what I learned during my time here.

I was reminded about the importance that seemingly small tasks have in the grand scheme of things. My views about running a nonprofit organization before my internship were too black and white. I never realized that in order to run a successful run a non-profit one must run the organization as if it was a business. This meant creating a brand, learning how to properly spread the word of your cause, finding out what makes donators and sponsors interested in nonprofit organizations, maintaining public relations, partnering with other businesses, and much more.

I recall myself at times sluggishly making social media posts, writing letter after letter, or taking on various other tedious tasks. I mentally labeled the tasks as irrelevant and would try to get it done as soon as possible, but my way of thinking then was very flawed. I had forgotten to look outside of myself and realize that any work I produce on behalf of Becky’s Fund will represent not just me but the organization itself. As much as I want to help domestic violence survivors and spread awareness, I also needed to work hard in enforcing the image and structure of Becky’s Fund so that the organization can continue its mission long after I complete my internship.

Back on Track – Cycle Fundraiser

The Montgomery County Women’s Bar Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Maryland is proud to host a charity cycle ride for Becky’s Fund on Saturday, September 23 from 11 AM to 12 PM at Equinox Bethesda. Each bike is $35 per rider, and act fast – there are only 20 bikes left!

Bring your competitive spirit and lace up those shoes, this is a spin session that is unlike any cycling class you have taken. Pursuit: Burn is a class inspired by video games, where you compete with others around you and see your results in visual fruition. Taught by Jennifer Blackburn Steinmetz, Equinox Area Group Fitness Manager and recent honoree by Washingtonian as one of the top eight trainers in the DMV.

Want to enjoy the class but the competition sounds too intense? No worries – we can opt you out from the competition but you may still enjoy the burn. Others who do not want to ride but would like to contribute may also sponsor a rider.

To reserve or sponsor, please visit and click the “Donate” button. Under “Instructions to Seller,” please write “Cycle” to reserve a bike or “Cycle – <name of rider being sponsored>” to sponsor a rider.

If you have questions, please contact Jeanette at

Please go to and click the “Donate” button to reserve a bike or sponsor a rider!

Goodbye, Erzsebet!

Erzsebet Helmeczy

Program and Communications Intern, 2017

I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work as a Program and Communications Intern at Becky’s Fund. It was very exciting and rewarding to use the research I previously completed on sexual assault prevention programming in my work developing Men of Code, the primary prevention initiative I worked on and taught this summer. Becky allowed her interns quite a bit of independence in style, so there was a sense of satisfaction I felt at the completion of each class knowing that the curriculum taught was the one I had put effort into writing and editing with my co-workers. The classes didn’t always go as expected, but I learned a lot about education programming and non-profit outreach because of this. As the weeks progressed, I believe I gained a new confidence in the classroom, something I’m very proud of considering my initial hesitation to teach. My favorite part about working for Becky’s Fund was the wide variety of tasks that Becky assigned to me. These allowed for previous skill sets to be strengthened and new skill sets to be developed, which is all I could hope for from an internship experience.

I know that before I applied to Becky’s Fund, I did a lot of research about the organization and read the final reflections of past interns. I welcome those considering interning at Becky’s Fund to contact me and ask more questions about the position, if interested. The Program and Communications internship pushed me out of my comfort zone on many levels, restored confidence in my ability to try new things, and showed me that I’m capable of handling and successfully completing a variety of different tasks. I met new people and became friends with my co-workers, who I had a great time working with. Thank you Becky for this wonderful opportunity and for your mentorship throughout this summer. I hope to keep in touch with you as I continue on to the next! Best of luck,



What are ghosting, benching, gaslighting, and lovebombing? Tactics of emotional abuse.

By Anthony Perez, contributor Erzsebet Helmeczy

As in most cases of domestic and dating violence, the enforcement of power and control always play a role. Whether physical, emotional, financial or verbal abuse, the abuser aims to dominate and push their victim to submission. At times it may be difficult to recognize manipulation. Tactics of emotional abuse such as ghosting, benching, gaslighting, and recently-coined “lovebombing” have been haunting people from relationship to relationship. It’s easy to mistake some of these behaviors as signs of affection, thus important to distinguish their characteristics in order to avoid partners that use them.


Have you ever found yourself in a wild romance where your partner showers you with gifts, tells you everything you want to hear, relates to you in almost every way…and next thing you know, and in little time at all, you two are moving in together? You may want to slow down and be cautious. Not to knock off true love, but this is a scenario often used by sociopaths, narcissists, and manipulators to take advantage of their partners. The term “lovebombing” trends from situations where an abuser bombards their partner with presents, attention, affection, and compliments. This may entail extensive texting, emails, messages on social media, phone calls, constant flirting, and love notes to the point that victims are overwhelmed by the attention, but also drawn to it. The wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing is giving their partner everything they want in a relationship; things only seen or heard of in romance films. However, as the manipulation continues, the victim loses track of what’s happening. The relationship moves quickly, and the more time the victim spends with their partner, the less they spend with others. They may lose their independence and agency, and thus the abuser maintains power and control.

The victim may not realize they are being manipulated, especially since the relationship feels so comfortable. However, just like any honeymoon or “honeymoon phase” of a new relationship, the feeling eventually comes to an end. The victim may still be emotionally attached to the abuser, but once they want to start applying attention elsewhere, the abuser shows their true colors. They might become angry and overly jealous, enforcing outrageous demands such as spending all their time with their partner, which may further distance the victim’s friends and family. Abusers will often use these tactics on people who tend to feel lonely, or those who feel they need an intimate relationship with another person and are counting on it. After spending so much time with the abuser, and so little time with other people, the victim may become emotionally dependent. They will do as the abuser says in order to maintain the company and affection of their partner.


Next, we will discuss gaslighting. This term references a stage play in the 1930s titled “Gas Light”. In the play, a husband who is trying to get rid of his wife attempts to make her think that she is going slowly mad by making subtle changes to her environment (e.g. slightly dimming the flame on the gas lamp). Dr. George Simons, who has specialized in personality and character disturbances for almost 25 years, defines gaslighting as a “sophisticated manipulation tactic which certain types of personalities use to create doubt in the minds of others.” Though this is a ploy that can be used outside of the realm of dating and relationships, abusers can also use this to get what they want from their partners.

Gaslighting can be achieved through several different methods. In some situations, the manipulator could profess something so intensely, firm and with confidence that they provoke the victim to doubt their own perspective and gut feeling. A popular example of this is when a speaker backs their argument with seemingly accurate historical facts, but distort or omit certain pieces of crucial information in order to skew an image in their favor. Fiercely denying something could also be a form of gaslighting, which is a method used often by cheaters. They make their partners believe that their suspicions are just paranoia. They evoke deep doubt, and the victim loses faith in their own intuition and may begin to believe that they are just overthinking things, that they are crazy, or that they should calm down and trust their abuser.


With the use of technology on the rise, the online dating culture has influenced modern relationships and the issues that single people face. One such issue is benching. Though this existed long before technology, online dating has encouraged the practise of benching. Apps like Tinder, Bumble and Grindr have made finding a new partner fairly easy so that with just one swipe, we can begin chatting with a completely different and new person. Thus, this feeling that there is always someone better lingers in our minds and causes us to avoid commitment. Benchers keep their “options open” in order to not make a wrong choice.

While this behavior is becoming normalized in our dating culture, it still plays a toll on the victim. Benchers keep their partners at disposal in order to not feel alone. Yet, benchers refrain from taking things seriously just in case they meet someone better. The victim feels they are being toyed with and just when they are at the point of giving up and moving on, the bencher reappears to keep them interested. This gives a false sense of hope to the victim, who may be looking for something more serious or long term. The best thing to do in this situation is have an honest conversation about expectations and terms of the relationship, come to a decision, and hold one another accountable for following through on the promises. In this situation, “actions speak louder than words”.


Ghosting is similar to benching. However, while benching keeps various partners on standby, ghosting completely cuts off the connection with no intent of speaking again. The reasoning behind ghosting is that the person being ghosted will eventually realize that there is no more interest and just move on, but that may not always be the case. People dislike having to let someone down so they just avoid communication altogether; however, just like any problem, avoiding communication is never the solution. People who are ghosted are shocked by the sudden up-and-leave which leaves them confused about where it all went wrong. It is actually a form of emotional cruelty as the victim is now dealing with feelings of social rejection. Disappointing someone does not leave a good feeling in their stomach, but ghosting leaves a heavier, longer-term impact on those affected.

Some people are unaware of the harm they bring when they lovebomb, gaslight, bench, or ghost people, though these are often tactics used by sociopaths, narcissists, and manipulators to obtain power and control over their partners. Regardless if intentional or not, these are forms of manipulation and therefore forms of emotional abuse. Keeping an awareness of abusive tactics is crucial for recognizing patterns that raise red flags marking unhealthy relationships. It’s important to understand and spread awareness about abusive relationships so that we can both escape abusive situations and avoid being the manipulator ourselves.


Goodbye, Becca!

Please join us in saying goodbye, good luck, and thank you to Becca as she heads back to Notre Dame to finish up her senior year! The picture below shows her holding “The Taskmaster” sign to illustrate her leadership style next to her co-facilitator for Men of Code, Erzsebet.

Here are a few words from her on her summer:

“As my summer internship at Becky’s Fund comes to a close, I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated and inspiring team, and for the chance to deeper explore the epidemic of domestic violence and what we can do to break the cycle. At Becky’s Fund, I taught two Men of Code classes each week and worked on a variety of other projects, including development and revision of the Men of Code curriculum, writing grants, posting on social media, researching specific DV resources and programs, and much more. Because of the diverse nature of my assignments, I learned a ton about domestic violence and the non-profit scene in only eight weeks! In mid-August, I’ll be heading back to Notre Dame for my senior year in college, and my time at Becky’s Fund has helped me to develop my goals for a post-graduate career in non-profit and advocacy work. I’m looking forward to my senior year, but am even more excited for life after graduation! Thanks to Becky for her support and wisdom, and to Erzsebet, Amanda, Anthony, and Rachel for making Becky’s Fund such an entertaining place to work!”

Goodbye, Amanda!

Amanda Paulino has worked as a dedicated intern for Becky’s Fund since January! We are awed by her motivation and positivity, and will very much miss her here in the office. Read her final reflection below:


My Time at Becky’s Fund

Amanda Paulino

My time at Becky’s Fund – what a wild ride it has been! When I first stepped into our office, all the way back in January, I had no idea that I would leave feeling like a completely different person. I first became interested in the position because I have been interested in women’s rights since I was a little girl, and I wanted to gain the knowledge necessary to make a change in the Dominican Repiublic. To no one’s surprise, I was able to achieve these goals – however, this internship provided me with so much more.

As a Programs and Communications Intern, I was responsible for the Becky’s Fund media accounts and aiding with our domestic violence awareness programs, Becoming Your Own Heroine and Men of Code. I was fortunate enough to arrive at Becky’s Fund at a time that truly allowed me to expand my horizons and gain experience in fields I had never even considered. Thanks to Becky’s Fund, I mastered graphic design, edited websites, and organized and promoted a series of events leading up to our most important event in the first half of the year, a charity gala at the Virginia Gold Cup. I never thought I was capable of doing some of things I achieved in this seven-month period (raising $22,000 in three days comes to mind!), but my internship at Becky’s Fund has opened my eyes to the career choices I could possibly make!

Leaving the District of Columbia is a bittersweet experience for me, but my time at Becky’s Fund allows me to look back with a smile: My time at the organization has made me a more confident, resilient woman, and has proved to me that the paths my life could take are not as straight and narrow as I originally thought. I couldn’t have asked for a better internship experience – I had incredible people by my side, countless tasks to fulfill in all segments of the workforce, and an ever-growing love and knowledge for one of the causes I most fervently believe in: Now that the winds are leading me back to Santo Domingo, I hope to continue the work I began at Becky’s Fund and change the public’s perspective on intimate partner violence. Most importantly, I would like to thank the woman herself, Becky Lee – thank you so much for having faith in me and trusting my work: I sincerely hope that my time at Becky’s Fund made a difference.

Becky’s Fund Welcomes Rachel

Rachel has lived in DC for three years and has been involved with anti-violence movement among vulnerable populations for 10 years. Rachel moved to DC to follow her dreams of pursuing social justice on a national level after graduating from University Of California Berkeley with her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in social inequalities. Post graduation  Rachel lived in one of the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in her hometown, Fresno, California while interning with the Highway City Community Development organization.. Rachel was able to learn true empathy for communities of color and community engagement through educational activities and community development. After moving to DC  in 2014 , she completed her Yoga Alliance 200 hour teacher training certification and uses yoga to promote awareness and raise funds for trauma related causes. Rachel loves being outside and gardening to promote sustainable social, environmental and community development.

Rachel is excited to use her educational knowledge to help with Men Of Code with two new cohorts in local DC high schools. Rachel also will help expand Becky’s Fund development initiatives. Rachel is excited to use her passions: community development, education, yoga and advocacy to assist Becky’s Fund in multiple facets.

Becky’s Fund Welcomes Anthony

Hi! My name is Anthony Perez and I am really excited to begin working with Becky’s Fund as a new intern. I am from Philadelphia, PA where I study at Drexel University. I am majoring in Global Studies with a concentration in Justice and Human Rights. Outside of school and work, I play the piano and love dancing bachata, salsa and hip-hop.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always had my heart set on working with a non-profit that would be dedicated to helping others whether the issues range from poverty, hunger or violence. Domestic violence and the topic of masculinity really strikes a chord with me since I grew up in a Latino family where traditional, male-dominant values are held. I knew a handful of women who were victims of domestic abuse so I would be more than willing to do what I can to aid others who face similar problems.

Take a Stand, Make a Splash


DC and summer rooftop parties go together like peanut butter and jelly, right?

If you’re looking to have a good time this summer while supporting an awesome cause, look no further than our annual Take a Stand, Make a Splash’ Swimsuit Fashion Show! Join DC Swim Week’s Cocosand Swimwear and Becky’s Fund while we present this season’s hottest trends, showcased by survivor models.

Don’t miss out! Get your tickets today.