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Franklin's Story: After Domestic Abuse
Franklin, a man in his 70s, walked into one of Safe Horizon’s court program offices with bruises from a brutal physical attack still evident on his face. The police had arrested his attacker, and the assistant district attorney was ready to go to court to charge Franklin’s attacker for the assault.
There was just one problem: Franklin wanted to drop the charges. He wanted his attacker – his wife – to be allowed to return home.
The assistant district attorney called us immediately. Could we help Franklin?
A short time later, Franklin came to us, clearly distraught. We brought Franklin into an office that provided him with a safe place to talk about his case, so he could tell us why he wanted his wife released.
Franklin said he suffered a number of illnesses that had left him disabled and forced him to retire early. He did not have friends or other family to rely on, he said. It was just his wife, and without her, he didn’t think he could care for himself. He was terrified of what might happen to him if he suddenly became ill.
Sadly, Franklin’s disabilities had made him both dependent on his wife and vulnerable to her abuse and attacks, which he had suffered for many years. What would be different for Franklin that day was coming to Safe Horizon.
Safe Horizon’s court programs have more than 30 years’ experience providing victims of domestic violence and crime with face-to-face support when they come to court. We give victims the chance to talk about what they’ve been through, but we can also offer them the chance to find help when they face crisis. Franklin clearly faced a crisis, one that threatened his well-being and his life.
We needed to find a solution that would help Franklin feel safe, and also address his concerns for his physical health. First, we helped Franklin create a plan to keep himself safe, which included counseling and talking to him about his rights as a crime victim. Then, we asked if we could reach out to both Franklin’s medical providers and to our partners about his case, in order to help him find social services he urgently needed. Franklin agreed.
Franklin’s extensive medical service needs, coupled with his need for social support, would have been very difficult for him to coordinate on his own. Yet with our expertise and persistence, we were able to navigate through the myriad arrangement of services for Franklin. In three days and with the help of our partners, we arranged for Franklin to receive hot meals, and to have a home health aide and nurse visit his home so he could feel safe living on his own.
Franklin now has the support he needs for his health and daily care, which will help him live an independent life. This is only possible thanks to the kindness of our supporters, who give us the chance to be there for Franklin. Thanks to you, Franklin and those who suffer domestic violence can get the help and hope they deserve to overcome crisis.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.