Stories: A family fleeing domestic abuse finds shelter and a new start

Your Support Impacts LivesThis local story was reported to us by Lorine Cady with House of Grace, one of our United Way partner agencies. Names are changed to protect clients. The events are true.

Kathy’s ex-husband was behind bars, but she was still afraid of him. She was reminded of his upcoming release every time she went to the garage and saw her own blood on the concrete floor. She knew he was getting out soon, and she feared for her safety and that of her two children.

“I originally called House of Grace, not to beg for a place to stay, but for assistance in formulating a safety plan that was really safe,” Kathy said. “I’d done everything I thought I could to help myself, but it wasn’t enough.  They were so gracious and compassionate to me.”

After hearing the extensive details of her dangerous situation, the agency knew it was important for Kathy to stay housed away from her home until her husband’s bond hearing was over. Living at the agency required Kathy and her two children to follow strict rules.

“When the counselor showed us our room, she apologized that it was not as nice as we were probably used to, and that we would have to stay in the same room,” Kathy continued. “I cried because I knew that I could finally rest here. I conceded to let someone else stay and stand guard for a while.”

Kathy and her children stayed at the agency until her ex-husband stood trial for his domestic abuse. Kathy frequently talked with other clients at the agency about their struggles as victims of domestic violence. Kathy also resumed her studies to take the bar exam. As an attorney, she says she will be a zealous advocate for women.

“I had been out of law school for three years. I was so busy trying to get the laws to work for my own protection that I could not study for my license,” she said.

“I am thankful for each of the staff members who encouraged us,” Kathy said, adding “I am thankful for each individual who gives donations to United Way. We are stronger because of this agency’s vision. We are not only out of the cycle of violence, but prayerfully, my daughters have been rescued from it too.”

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