Maria's Story: Survivor of Domestic Violence
When Maria was first married at age 25, she was young, happy, and in love. 15 years and four children later, the years of domestic violence she had endured at the hands of her husband and his family had noticeably taken its toll on her.
She finally decided to leave her home because her situation became life threatening. She indicated that her husband tried to kill her by attempting to “throw me out of the window". Maria was a transient, staying briefly at one home to the next in her community, hiding from her batterer and his parents. Maria was clearly in a crisis. She was scared, confused and anxious. Her stay at a Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Shelter was definitely a trying period for her. She had to acclimate herself to a completely different environment. She was distressed about where her children would attend school. There were many complicating factors in this case. Language was a major barrier between advocate and resident. They had a difficult time communicating with each other in the beginning. Maria had a very thick accent and had difficulty expressing her thoughts. She was not proficient in English, but was able to speak a little.
During her stay in a Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Shelter, Maria received counseling services, intensive case management and supportive services. She also participated in a 10-week parenting skills workshop, job readiness and independent living skills workshop. This advocate helped her navigate the social services system and served as a liaison to outside services.
Maria secured permanent housing and was excited to move to her new apartment. She continues to receive therapy at a clinic. Now, Maria has a better outlook on her future and appears very happy. She seems more confident and secure. She was very thankful for all the services provided to her during her stay.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.