The following post is excerpted from a letter written by a CFVC client, who graciously allowed us to share her story of survival from abuse and services received from CFVC:
I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. I spent [many] years living in an unsafe and unpredictable environment. I lived in constant fear of my spouse and also in great fear of what would happen to myself and our child if I left. The day came when my fear of my future with my spouse outweighed my fear of leaving. It was a hard and scary day, but I got through it. The next day I walked into the Cherokee Family Violence Center. I needed a restraining order and didn’t have the money or the knowhow to do it alone. What I found there was so much more than what I could have imagined. I found kindness, love, and more support than I ever knew existed.
Tommie, one of the Legal Advocates, walked with me every step of the way through getting my restraining order. She was helpful, supportive, and understanding of my situation. After that, Niki, another Legal Advocate, helped me get an attorney for my divorce. Divorcing my husband was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I couldn’t face him without the fear of him shutting me down. Niki made sure that I didn’t have to. Every time my fear came back or I felt overwhelmed, Niki and Tommie were there for me. With their help, I became stronger and more confident. I always thought that if I left my husband, I would be completely on my own. This wonderful organization proved me wrong.
My support didn’t end there. [Recently] I met with a kind lady named Autumn, a Family Advocate who is allowing me to participate in a program called Triple P parenting. This will help me learn how to open the lines of communication with [my child] about all we have been through. I have also been invited to participate in a support group at the CFVC. One of the best parts of my experience has been that thanks to [their programs, my child] and I have been able to receive weekly counseling. We have a long way to go, but the healing has begun. If someone had told me how much support we would have in this process, I would have left a long time ago. I have been so amazed at the kindness and support we found through this organization. Our lives are being restored and we are beginning to heal.
Thank you so much for walking with me every step of the way through this journey. Thank you to all who support this organization through grants and donations. Without the support that is given to the Cherokee Family Violence Center, they would not be changing lives as they are. I will forever be grateful.