On a warm spring evening just over a year ago, Caroline returned home from an emergency room, where she had been treated for stab wounds inflicted that afternoon by the father of her children. Although the police had arrested him, he was out on bail and back at their house late that night.
The kids and I were inside and my boyfriend was outside, pounding on the front door, yelling vicious things at me. He kept on throwing his body up against the door. It made the locks rattle and I thought he was going to get through.
But I put the couch and all the other furniture in front of the door and then I went into my bedroom with the kids and shut the door. I sat in the dark listening to his hammering and screaming, but I told my self that when he was finished, he wouldn't kick the door again, because the kids and I wouldn't be there anymore.
The next day, I took my kids to an emergency shelter for battered women. We stayed there for three months, and then moved into transitional housing at Safe Horizon' Lang House.
It's good for us to be here. My mind's more at ease. Things are more quiet. I'm more quiet. I'm not so nervous anymore.
The kids are happier now, too, but there are parts of being here that are hard for them. My daughter's 11 and she likes to have friends over, but we're not allowed to have visitors here. I understand why, but it's still tough for her. And my son, who's 9, cares about what people think. He doesn't want people to know where he lives.
Still, it's a lot better than where we came from. We celebrated my daughter's birthday here a while ago, and it was the first time in a long time that a celebration didn't turn into a big violent blow up.
My kids and I hope to be able to move out of here by the summer. While we wait for permanent housing, I'm working on getting my GED and looking for a full-time job. I can wait though. Good things come to those who wait.