“Safe Passage provided a way for me to get out, to be safe, to keep my children safe. We were all scared. We didn’t know how we would make it from day to day. But we did. We were in a safe place. We had food to eat. We had people who understood where we were coming from and where we could go. Because I was already in the workplace, I had been supporting my family for the last couple years since he had returned to college,” so the family’s shelter stay was short. “We moved into an apartment and got settled in our new life.”
What was the best advice a Safe Passage counselor gave her? The woman told The Herald-Tribune anonymously by phone that a counselor asked her, “‘What are you doing for you?’” That question empowered the client and made her realize she could break the cycle of psychological abuse.
She wrote, “Even after all these months, Safe Passage has continued to be a support and safe haven for our family as we return for support groups and activities. They have assisted in court sessions (the divorce is not yet final) and continue to offer counseling. My family is still struggling to establish a new normal that is free from fear, but we are making progress.”
She admitted by phone, “I struggle on the days of his visitations” with the children. “I find that the depression still comes back” and she feels anxious around her former partner.
“I feel like there’s no way I would ever go back” to the marriage, she added. “I’m amazed I could even survive as long as I did ... Every day I’m glad that I left.”
The woman concluded in her written story, “Domestic violence is rarely something seen from the outside. It lurks in the darkness, rearing its ugly head when the door is closed. It sucks the life out of otherwise healthy individuals ...”