BENEFITING: Hope House, Inc.
Finding Hope ...
A story from Emily, a domestic violence survivor
I remember how scared I was to dial 911. I was afraid he would hear me calling for help. As the police came to the door, I pulled my son closer. It was traumatic--my husband was being arrested for hitting me.
Our domestic violence journey began years ago. It started with him shoving me here and there, throwing me against a wall, throwing objects at me, and of course the verbal assaults. And he had punched me before, but I'd never called the police before.
I was calling the police because my husband punched me. I can't tell you how long that took to sink in. I was in shock. How did my husband and I get to this place tonight? I was so confused. And what now? Was I supposed to leave ny husband, my family, my friends? I had so many questions ...
That night I called the police because things had escalated very quickly and I was scared for me and my son. The officer was great at calming the situation and asked me if I'd like to meet with someone from Hope House. I agreed.
I met with an advocate who explained to me many ways I could manage this situation. First and foremost, she said, "You don't have to leave him, you can decide what you want to do and when you want to do it. We have many programs to help, shelter is one but we have so many more." What a relief that was to hear. She invited me to go to individual and group counseling where I could learn tools, skills, and boundaries to help me live a life free from abuse.
They helped me put together a safety plan in the event things escalated again. As I mentioned, things were not volatile all of the time, but when they were, they escalated quickly. They helped me create a strategy to deal with crisis situations. And they let me know that if things got really bad, I could always get an order of protection to keep my son and I safe. They even offer emergency shelter in the event we needed it.
Hope House offered me a safety net. They gave me answers to all of my questions (and I had a lot of them). They empowered me with tools and strategies. Most importantly, they were there for me every step of the way and they let me choose how best to handle my experience.
I will forever be grateful to the team at Hope House who helped me find hope in a time in my life when I needed it the most.