I am a blessed parent. While we are safe and happy now, we are also lucky to be alive. I would not be alive or even safe without the help and support that I found from The Center for Family Justice.
Six years ago I met the father of my two youngest children. At first he was sweet, charming and the person I felt would make all my dreams come true. Unfortunately my dream became a nightmare when he became physically, emotionally and verbally abusive. He promised he would change and at first I stayed because I believed him; later I stayed because I was too scared and too emotionally weak to leave. I knew my life was at risk if I stayed, and I also knew that my life and my children’s lives were at risk if we were to leave. Things got worse and worse; he slashed my hand with a knife, he was arrested five times within a year, and the abuse became part of my daily routine. I did finally leave him and the court ordered a protective order, but he still came back. This time he stabbed me in the back and stomach and threatened to kill our unborn child, after which he was arrested again.
As a result of the arrests, the Department of Children and Families became involved to ensure my children were safe. They referred me to The Center for Family Justice where I became part of a support group with other victims of domestic violence, I received counseling, I developed future safety plans, and the staff even acted as my voice in court. Although my children and I were safe, leaving my abuser was very difficult and took a lot of work. I had to give up my job, relocate my family to an area we were not familiar with, and begin my life all over again with no money and few personal belongings. The staff at The Center was with me every step of the way, providing me with a safe and protected place. I do not know where my children and I would be today if it was not for the support, guidance and services provided to us by the Center for Family Justice.