Karen's Story: Survivor of Domestic Violence
Like many people, Karen wanted a happy marriage. Instead, Karen suffered six years of near-daily abuse that had begun to turn violent. Finally, Karen decided she’d had enough. That’s when the violence escalated.
Karen came to one of Safe Horizon’s community programs looking for help – any help – to figure out how to be and feel safe again. When she sat down with our staff, she told us why she had come. She told us that her husband had tried to strangle her just two weeks before she came in. He had also told her he was going to kill her with a gun he’d bought just for that purpose. Terrified, Karen called the police to report what her husband had done. The police arrested him.
When Karen went to court, she received an order of protection. Yet the order did not keep her husband from calling and writing to her, making more threats even as he sat in jail.
The threats had taken their toll on Karen. She didn’t feel safe in her own home anymore, she said. So she’d packed whatever she could take with her and moved in with a friend, who willingly provided her with a room. Still, Karen didn’t want burden her friend and also worried that her husband, if he found out, might hurt her as well. Where could Karen go in order to feel truly safe?
Thanks to our supporters, Safe Horizon is there for people like Karen, to help them find the answer they need. Your encouragement of our efforts to assist victims of violence and abuse means Safe Horizon can offer community programs, where our knowledgeable staff provides services and support that victims facing crisis need. For Karen, having a community program where she could find both emotional and practical support made a difference.
We talked with Karen about how she was managing her own safety, and about options she could use such as going to a domestic violence shelter. We also spoke with Karen about other types of assistance she could receive if she needed them, such as counseling, legal help, and financial assistance as a crime victim. Karen decided to stay with her friend a little while longer, but she was eager to look for a more permanent place to call home. Our staff supported Karen during this time, providing her with the information she needed to make decisions. Soon after Karen found an apartment, and with our help, she also received funding to help her furnish her new place.
With both a new apartment and renewed confidence in herself, Karen felt like she finally had the new beginning she needed. She thanked us for giving her that help.
We thank you for helping us give Karen and others like her what they need most: a chance to live a life without abuse, and a chance to regain the safety they deserve.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.