Carrie had been married for about six years and the abuse was present from day one. Carrie, like most women in her situation, told herself that he was treating her the way he was because he loved her and he did not want anyone else to be close to her. He did not let her leave the house because he cared about her; he was able to care for their family, so she did not have to work. He would hit her and apologize, making Carrie realize that he did not mean it and he was just having a bad day. One day when Carrie could not take it any longer, she packed her things and the children’s things while he was at work and left for the shelter. She has not turned back since. Carrie spent about one year moving from shelter to shelter until she was finally referred to Safe Places. She entered Safe Places in January 2013. She spent her time in the program working on obtaining a permanent protective order; a divorce; her citizenship; and her lab technician certification among others. She completed the program in 20 months and moved into permanent housing. She is now going to school to become a Medical Assistant and lives a wonderful life with her two sons free from abuse.
Courtney, a single mother to a young daughter met a man who she believed would not only love her, but care for her daughter as well. After enduring several years of abuse and a very rough second pregnancy, Courtney had nowhere to turn. As if she hadn’t been through enough, Courtney lost custody of her daughter due to her abuser’s drug use and became homeless, unable to pay rent. Upon fleeing and seeking shelter, Courtney knew she had to move forward for herself and her children. Courtney was referred to the Safe Places program and immediately turned over a new leaf. She once again gained custody of her daughter, filled her apartment with furnishings gifted by a furniture ministry, and began attending a nearby community college. After budgeting on a monthly basis and diligently searching for housing, Courtney’s name was selected off a local public housing waitlist. With a new thirst for life and the freedom to finally live safely on her own, Courtney could finally begin pursuing her dreams.
Catherine had been with her abusive husband for almost 10 years. He is a drug addict, whereas she is a recovering heroin addict and has been clean for almost five years. Although she had what she thought was a life partner, she was raising her babies on her own. She was raising two children and had one on the way, when one day she realized enough was enough. She packed the children up and went to the closest domestic violence shelter. She was about 5 months pregnant and realized she could not raise another baby in an environment like this. Catherine entered Safe Places and gave birth to her baby girl and was able to bring her home under a safe roof. She has been in the program for almost one year now and has secured new, full time employment, enrolled her children in the local elementary school, and has not had any contact with her abuser. She plans to attend nursing school in the near future and will apply for a full scholarship through a domestic violence scholarship program.