Priscilla's Story: Survivor of Domestic Violence
Priscilla was like many mothers. She had two young children and she wanted to raise them in a loving, supportive home. Yet her husband’s constant abuse – emotional and verbal -- made it impossible for Priscilla to do this. Priscilla decided that, in order to keep her children and herself safe, she’d leave her abusive marriage. She went to court to get an order of protection against her husband, and the court granted the order.
Priscilla thought having the order would keep her safe. A week after she received it, however, her husband violated the order. Two days later, Priscilla was sitting in a chair in the assistant district attorney’s office. Priscilla felt frightened. More than anything else, however, she hoped to find the protection she and her children need. That’s when the district attorney’s office referred Priscilla to Safe Horizon’s court programs.
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The assistant district attorney referred Priscilla to Safe Horizon because, with our 30 years of experience in providing court services, we have the knowledge, the expertise, and the ability to give victims of domestic violence and other crime the critical support they need during times of crisis. When Priscilla came to our offices, she found staff willing to listen to what she’d gone through, and found them ready to provide her with choices she never had before – choices that would help her find the safety, support, and confidence she needed.
Priscilla told us how her husband had kept her isolated from her family and from anyone who cared about her. She’d wanted to get a college degree and she wanted to work, but her husband’s abuse made her feel so worthless, she thought she’d never be good enough to do anything. But Priscilla was determined, she told us. For the sake of her children, she wouldn’t give up on her goals or on herself. She’d give them the safe, loving environment they needed, but she needed help to find a way to provide it.
Priscilla would find the help she needed – thanks to people like you, and organizations who encourage Safe Horizon in our efforts to give families in crisis the tools they desperately need to escape.
Because of your support, Safe Horizon was there to give a mother like Priscilla the help she needed. First, we talked with her about her plans to stay safe. Then, we turned to helping Priscilla reach the goals she’d set for herself. We helped Priscilla search for a safer place to live and also helped her find job training programs. Priscilla applied for college as well. As we worked with Priscilla on these things, we also referred Priscilla to legal representation so she’d have support during her court case against her husband.
Five months later, Priscilla walked into our office, smiling and beaming with joy. She told us that she’d just started her first semester of college, and that same week, she received a full-time job offer from a company which her sister, with whom she finally reconnected, helped her get. Best of all, Priscilla told us that thanks to Safe Horizon, she felt her life had completely changed for the better. She could finally give her children the safe home they needed and the brighter future they deserved.
This is what every mother like Priscilla who faces crisis deserves: the chance to find safety, and the chance to regain their futures from violence and abuse.
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* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.