27-year-old Alexi* was referred to the Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) by DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) after her four children were removed from her care. Alexi reported at intake that her children were removed following an incident where her 18 month-old daughter’s father physically disciplined her daughter, injuring her, and then kidnapped her daughter to avoid detection.
Alexi acknowledged the extremely traumatic nature of this for both herself and her children but stated, ‘that’s really only one part of it’. Alexi reported that she looked forward to participating in counseling and ‘telling her whole story’. Although court ordered, Alexi embraced counseling as an opportunity to unpack and process a lifetime of trauma, and identified for herself the goals of moving forward in a different way and ending intergenerational patterns of poverty, and abuse, regardless of whether or not she is able to reunify with her children.
*Name has been changed.