Survivor stories can be a powerful way to inspire resilience in others. It validates their experiences, highlights their strength, and provides comfort in what can be an isolating situation. It also helps to raise awareness to fuel more resources and support for survivors.
Living at Hearthstone Landing has had its ups and downs. We are in the process of moving out with our Housing Choice Voucher to a house in Woodstock. We would not be able to afford a single-family home in this area without the support of the Violence Center and Hearthstone Landing. Without them, we would not have had the safety I needed to heal so I can be the best parent I can be so that my children could get the healing they needed to be the best people they can be.
Healing from trauma for anyone is difficult, but domestic violence is a completely different beast, and being here and knowing you have a completely nonjudgmental support team to take care of what you need. I didn’t need legal services- that was taken care of before we got here – but if you do, they’ve got you. If you had a terrible day, they’ve got you. You don’t have food, clothes, or furniture; they’ve got you. That kind of kindness is difficult to find.
You know, some people don’t like the rules they have in place. Those rules are there for one reason: to keep us safe. That’s the bottom line. And that’s the number one thing I care about and appreciate. We would not have made it this far without CFVC, for which I am extremely grateful.
“I am grateful to my child’s therapist, who referred me to CFVC. She said she had a friend who worked there and that we could trust them. They were able to get my kids and me into the shelter right away. We were safe, and I learned a lot of things about myself. I had never been allowed to work. I was nervous, but I got a job. I had always been criticized for how I parented and kept the house, so at some point, I just gave up. The shelter advocates helped me gain confidence in my parenting skills and taught me some life hacks for keeping a house clean with kids running around all the time. I’ve also learned how freeing it is to make decisions for myself. My advocate helped me set goals, so I was prepared to move out of the shelter into my own apartment. She helped me get set up with furniture for my new place too!”
I was 15 years old selling records in a small Mexican town, when I met my abuser. He was 43 and married. Over time, I began to feel that he would give me the love and protection that my parents never gave me. When I turned 17, we moved in together. He claimed he would never make the mistake of getting married again. We started having financial struggles, and his hot temper and aggressive nature escalated. We got tourist visas and moved to the United States, thinking that would solve our problems. It didn’t. When I worked, he would cash my checks claiming that he would manage our finances. I never saw the money from my paychecks.
Everyone around was speaking English, and that worried me about how I would be able to communicate or have a social life because I didn’t understand the language. My abuser decided that I should just stay at home taking care of the house and raising my son. The emotional and verbal abuse continued after decided to no longer continue the relationship, but things were awkward because we were still living under the same roof. He started trying to turn the children against me.
Everything escalated one night when I came home late from work. He bolted the door, so I couldn’t enter using my keys. After 15 minutes of knocking, he opened the door and grabbed me by the throat, strangling me and hitting me in the face. He threatened to kill me, kill our children, and kill himself if I called the police. I did call 911, and that’s when I was connected with CFVC during the height of the COVID pandemic. The wonderful staff helped me get a temporary protective order and provided emotional support during court hearings. Even though shelters were full, CFVC was able to provide us with a hotel room until there was room in their emergency shelter. I participated in support groups and leadership workshops, and I started attending therapy sessions to heal from the mental, emotional, verbal, financial, and physical abuse I suffered.
We are thankful for CFVC’s support and the assistance we received from the multicultural staff.
Want To Share Your Story?
Your survivor story can inspire and encourage others in more ways than you will ever know. If you wish to share your journey, please reach out to us! We always keep names anonymous to protect your identity.