I am a single mother of four children. I am a survivor of domestic violence. I am a resident at [a women’s transitional shelter]. I am all of these things and more. This is my story. At the age of 19, I met and began to date a man. Two weeks after our first dating encounter he choked me in a dark alley because one of my friends from high school said hello. This abuse continued on and got more severe. Eventually I ended up marrying this man and I bore four children for him. I was raped, physically, mentally, and financially abused. I stayed with him because I did not think I could ever do it on my own. In April of [last] year my husband woke me up and told me he was going to kill me. He was holding a gun to my head. This is when I knew that I had to leave. I escaped and went to a shelter in [a neighboring state], I was there for three weeks when the police informed my husband of my whereabouts. I was then brought to [another town]. I stayed at a battered women’s shelter where my children and myself received counseling and basic skills to survive. After eight weeks there they had a spot for me at [the women’s transitional shelter]. I was nervous. I began to attend classes and counseling here also. [The shelter] is one of the best things that has happened to me. The staff here truly cares about the people and how we are doing. They want to make sure that when we leave here we have everything that we will need. I have secured a great job with training, legal help beyond my imagination, and countless support. I am so thankful and grateful to be a [the women’s shelter] resident.
NOTE: This resident has since been promoted to a management position at her job; has returned to school to complete her MBA, has gotten divorced from the abuser, and has her own rental house. She continues to stay in touch and give back to her community via volunteering and donations.