36-year-old Tonya* came to House of Ruth’s Domestic Violence Support Center (DVSC) to address feelings of depression related to a recent miscarriage, along with concerns about her relationship with a highly physically and verbally abusive boyfriend. Like many clients who seek services at the DVSC, Tonya felt unable to discuss her circumstances with family or friends due to fear of criticism, judgment, and condemnation.
Throughout her therapy, Tonya consistently remarked that her trust in the therapist helped her “think through” her relationship difficulties. For example, with the therapist’s help, Tonya has spent time evaluating her boyfriend’s potential for violence and identifying ways to maintain her safety. She has also explored deeply-held negative beliefs about herself, and began cultivating more self-appreciation and acceptance.
Through her work with her DVSC therapist, Tonya has become increasingly able to confidently oppose her boyfriend’s threats and intimidation, specifically through the use of legal resources and law enforcement. In addition, she has made great strides in building a fulfilling life away from her boyfriend, by expanding her social support network, participating in organized athletic activities, securing a promotion in her career, and recently adopting a pet dog.
*Name has been changed.