Sam’s story is far too common. She loved her partner and had a child with him, but he had become violent. She and her young son had to escape. Their home simply wasn’t safe. And in 2019, we took them into our Sunrise Village Emergency Shelter. They received a lot of support at the shelter, including case management, therapy, and legal advocacy. They did well and had a long period of safety and freedom from violence thanks to supporters like you.
But after over two years of uncertainty with COVID-19, and with the hope that her partner would change, Sam returned to him earlier this year. While she had worked very hard to create a life without him, it wasn’t that easy. On average, it takes a woman seven attempts to leave an abusive relationship.
Not long after Sam returned, she became pregnant, and her partner began abusing her again. The physical violence was getting worse and worse while she was pregnant. She had to call the police many times. She ended up back at our shelter with her ten-year-old son and a baby on the way. Did you know that often up to two thirds of the residents in an emergency domestic violence shelter are children?
She again worked hard, taking advantage of all the tools we had to offer, the safe nurturing environment of the shelter, case management, therapy, legal advocacy, and housing services that your donations help make possible. We supported her through her pregnancy and childbirth at a nearby hospital. She’s determined to change her life.
Sam ended up staying at the shelter for more than the usual 45 days. We were able to give her the benefit of the extended stay she desperately needed after giving birth because of the support we receive from caring people like you.
Her ten-year-old son needed support just like she did. Child counseling and trauma informed care were there for him. He was able to be in a safe environment where he could just be a kid who loved playing with Legos.
One of the ways that Sam was able to comfort herself was by making Pozole in the shelter kitchen. Pozole is a Mexican stew-like soup. Many people think of it as being as comforting and healing as chicken soup, or even better. Being able to cook something from her own culture with the right ingredients in the shelter kitchen meant a lot to Sam. It allowed her to create a sense of normalcy.
One of the many things donations allow us to do is stock the shelter kitchen with ingredients that are culturally sensitive and tailored to the women and children who are there.
Finally, we helped Sam secure an emergency housing voucher. She now lives in low income housing with her children and has the security of having her long-term housing needs met. Sam is moving forward, doing everything she can to take care of herself and her children, free of violence.
Your caring support has given Sam the tools she needed to get out of a very dangerous situation. If you are in a position where you can help, please make your year-end gift today. Remember, no amount is too small. Together, we can create real change.