THE FOLLOWING IS A POWERFUL STORY FROM A SURVIVOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. SHE SHARED HER STORY AT OUR 8TH ANNUAL ZUMBATHON® ON MARCH 18, 2016.
“I’m so excited to be here today representing an organization so near and dear to my heart! Two years ago today, March 19th, my life and the lives of my two sons with Autism were changed forever by domestic violence. My husband had a psychotic episode and attacked me with a metal baseball bat. Luckily, my sons were still at school and didn’t witness it. Within 36 hours I would be let go from my job because of this incident. My world had crashed and it was beyond frightening!
Thank God the Essex PD connected me to Steps to End Domestic Violence. I was assigned a legal advocate, Storm. She would hang out with my youngest son so I could attend the free legal clinics on Monday nights. She also assisted me with all of the paperwork for my divorce. On December 10, 2014 I came out the victor in my divorce proceedings! My ex-husband had a lawyer and I represented myself. I wouldn’t have been so successful without the support of Steps to End Domestic Violence.
I was also assigned a housing advocate, Dave. This was because I rented a house from my ex in-laws which made things more complicated. Dave and I were a team! He helped me secure a FUV [Family Unification Voucher] voucher, but finding housing in Essex Town was tricky. I didn’t want to leave the school district because of my two sons. We did become homeless for 6 weeks, but were taken in by a wonderful family in Essex. We found our new home on June 5, 2015 and still reside there. We couldn’t have done it without the knowledge, support, and advocacy of Steps to End Domestic Violence.
Dave & Storm are my heroes! I believed in them and they believed in me! That’s important. Because of their unwavering support my kids continued to do amazing at school despite all of the legal battles I went through. Steps to End Domestic Violence was a lifeline! My family’s forever grateful!