*Please be aware that this story contains details of domestic violence and sexual assault that may be upsetting to readers.
“Often, my husband would tell me how unimportant I was to him and he would threaten to call immigration to have me deported.” When *Rosi did not want to have sex, he raped her. When she tried to fight him off, he beat her up. Due to the verbal insults, threats, and shaming, Rosi suffered severe depression; she told our senior case manager that she felt “like I had fallen into a very deep well.” Rosi sought and found help at Safe Horizon’s Staten Island Community Program.
Serving all five boroughs of New York City, our Community Programs work to ensure that survivors have help with advocacy, supportive counseling, safety planning and are provided with information and referrals.
Rosi met with a caring, supportive senior case manager who provided a listening ear. Like many survivors of abuse, Rosi was coerced into believing that somehow she deserved, and was even the cause of the abuse. “It wasn’t until I started coming to counseling at Safe Horizon, that I really acknowledged and understood that what he was doing was wrong and I had a right to say ‘no’ to him.”
She began to emotionally heal and became interested in finding a way to live her life in America. Rosi hired an outside attorney to help her file for permanent residency. Her senior case manager helped by writing a letter of support advocating for Rosi to obtain permanent residency under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA, among other protections, helps victims of abuse who are married to U.S. Citizens gain legal status.
When Rosi expressed interest in taking legal action to separate from her husband, the senior case manager introduced her to one of the attorneys at our Domestic Violence Law Project (DVLP). The senior case manager at the Community Program and the staff attorney at DVLP guided Rosi through the divorce process.
Today Rosi is thriving on her path to healing. “I cannot find the words to thank Safe Horizon, especially my case manager, for all the help they have given me. I feel much better now. But I learned that healing is a process, and like any process, takes time.”
At Safe Horizon, our programs work together to change lives. The holistic care we strive to give survivors of abuse and violence is made possible by caring individuals, who have supported us for four decades. Your tax-deductible gift can keep all of our programs strong and able to provide expert services like those that helped Rosi.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.