Allison* initially came to House of Ruth’s Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) because she was concerned about the impact living with her long-term abusive partner and father of her children was having on her and her two daughters. Allison acknowledged that there were times that she and her daughters felt fearful of Allison’s partner, when he was verbally abusive and kept Allison from sleeping, or disrupted her daughters while working on their homework. Allison felt that her self-esteem, and that of her daughters, was being negatively affected by the abuse.
Despite this, Allison felt unable to separate from her partner and worked with her DVSC counselor for three months to explore the obstacles to separating, both emotional and logistical, and to identify and implement some strategies to improve the quality of life for her and her daughters. Several months later, Allison returned to counseling following an incident in which her partner threatened to kill Allison and her daughters.
Allison has since left her partner, moved in with her mother, and filed a Civil Protection Order (CPO). Allison also reported that criminal charges against her partner were pending. Allison has already obtained an attorney to support her as she pursued full legal custody of her daughters. Allison credits the work done in therapy as being instrumental in helping her take quick action to protect herself and her daughters.
In Allison’s words, “I wasn’t ready before, but coming to counseling helped me know what to do when the time was right.” Allison continued in counseling the second time around for 8 more months until her she had secured permanent custody of her daughters and moved into her own apartment.
*Names have been changed.