Rachel's Story

Like so many other victims of domestic violence, Rachel felt stuck. She loved her husband and truly enjoyed taking care of her family. But this was overshadowed by his controlling behavior and the violence she faced each day. She and her children were living in fear. But what could she do? Rachel had built a life with this man. She loved him. He was the father of her children—and they adored him. And though he hurt her, there was always hope that he would change. There were the practical things to think about, too: she was a stay at home mom and had little work experience. Everything they owned was in his name. What if he tried to take the kids? What if he didn't let her leave? Where would she go?

Then one day, a concerned friend brought her to Turning Points Network. Rachel didn’t know what to expect, or even what she wanted. But as she listened to an advocate describe services, and as they began to discuss her options, one thing became clear to her: the only way for Rachel to keep herself and her kids safe was to leave. Step by step, she and her advocate built a plan. Rachel would go into TPN's shelter and find a way to begin again.

The first days in the shelter were some of the hardest in her life. She gave her kids all that she could, but they were facing a new reality. They were in a strange place, they missed their dad, and their future felt uncertain. But Rachel held strong. She worked to create a new normal for her family. She participated in almost everything the shelter and TPN had to offer: family activities, support groups, peer counseling, legal advocacy, economic empowerment workshops, and case management. And it paid off. With a little time, space and safety, Rachel began to thrive. As she and her advocate talked about Rachel's goals and dreams, she began to envision a life she never thought possible. She set her sights on securing an apartment for herself and her kids and completing training for her dream job. With the help of her advocate, she navigated the maze of financial aid, paperwork, meetings and budgeting. In a matter of months, her life was transformed.

Today, Rachel is a certified interpreter with a stable, fulfilling job. She has a new goal now: one day, she will purchase a small house with a yard her children can play in.

#TurningPointsNetwork #SurvivorStories #Mother #DomesticViolence #Control #Children #TPN #Shelter #Empowerment #PeerSupport #Housing

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