I was pregnant with my second child and so excited to be having the first girl of the family. Then one night my husband picked up the big screen TV and threw it at me. It wasn’t the first time he was abusive. I had been called names and threatened before, but I was in shock that he would try to hurt me while I was pregnant.
I was alone. My family was on the other side of the world.
When I contacted the police, they gave me a card with information about Women In Distress. An Outreach Advocate helped me file a restraining order against my abuser. Shortly thereafter, my son and I became homeless.
That’s how I ended up at Women In Distress.
At first, I cried every night. I felt scared, frustrated and alone. No one spoke my language, and I knew that my stay in the emergency shelter was temporary. I lay awake thinking about where my son and I would go when our time ran out. There was no time to think about getting baby supplies. There was only time to think about running from my abuser and keeping myself, my son, and my unborn baby safe.
Women In Distress became my family. My advocate understood my culture. And I understood that
Women In Distress wanted what was best for me. They eased my fears and extended our stay. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have to worry about being abused.
My life has changed because of Women In Distress.
While at Women In Distress, I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. My advocate helped to expedite getting my work permit and I started searching for a job. My son started school, and I got the baby supplies I needed. And I was finally able to get insurance for my family.
My son’s life has changed too. He’s gained so much self-confidence. He tells me all the time now that he loves me, and he is the best big brother.
I’m preparing to be on my own.
I’ve just gotten my driver’s license. I filed for divorce from my abuser. And I’m starting the next chapter of my life.
Because of Women In Distress, I have hope that my son will grow into a healthy young man. He will know that he matters. I will teach my daughter that she is too valuable to let anyone ever abuse her.
I am forever grateful.
With your past support of Women In Distress, you’ve given many families and children the hope of a future without violence. This year marks Women In Distress 45th year of providing critical, life-saving programs and services to domestic violence survivors. For more than four decades we have been a lifeline for young mothers like Renee, and so many families just like hers. Remember it’s because of donors like you that we can provide critical, life-saving programs and services to empower survivors with the tools and confidence they need to strive for a hopeful future.
To support families like Renee’s*, please click here.
*In an effort to protect the privacy of our families, names were changed and stock images used.