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A Life Saved Stories of Survival Domestic Violence

A Life Saved

25% of women experience domestic violence in their lives.

The following stories are true, only the names have been changed.

A Life Saved: Heather´s Story

I did make a difference in my life to better myself and my children.

My name is Heather. I am a 36-year-old single parent of two children.
I have been married twice: once to my son's father, which was not an abusive relationship, it just didn't work out; and once to my daughter's father, which was the worst mistake of my life.

During the 9 and a half years of my second marriage to Sean, he lied, beat, cheated, threatened, stole and made my life a living hell. The physical and mental abuse of me was enough, but my kids had to weather these storms as well. This was just the life I had hoped to avoid for my kids! I had grown up in a violent home and I didn't want my children to suffer the same things that I had.

I was introduced to staff from my local Domestic Violence Program in a courtroom. I learned that they could help me! I wasn't alone! It took weekly meetings with them for 18 months, but I was able to break free! I have been through numerous court hearings and multiple stressful situations along the way. Only experienced and educated mentors could fully understand and direct me through this correctly.
My son is now 19 and starting to discover his own relationships, which I will try to lead and support him in making good, positive decisions. My daughter is a vibrant 9 year-old that is very smart and happy.

Me? I am a successful business woman with a job that I enjoy!

I am incredibly grateful for the help I received at my local Domestic Violence Program. I encourage anyone who feels hopeless and is afraid of changing her life because of hurtful people, call your local DV Program. They can help!
I can. I will. I did make a difference in my life to better myself and my children.

Survivor, Women In Need, Franklin/Fulton Counties, PA

A Life Saved: Molly´s Story

Molly had been scared about coming to a shelter, afraid that it would be a big room with cots and that people would judge her.

Molly was only 19 years old when she arrived at her local Domestic Violence Shelter. She had been living with her abusive boyfriend for a year. Molly decided to leave after he woke her out of a sound sleep by punching her and choking her. He then dragged her outside and threw her off of their front porch.

Molly had been scared about coming to a shelter, afraid that it would be a big room with cots and that people would judge her.

She was pleased to find a homey atmosphere with women who were understanding, supportive and encouraging to her. She knew she wanted to stay away from her boyfriend, and with the help of the DV Program, she did just that.
Molly began feeling a confidence that she had not felt before. She attended GED classes, accepted tutoring from one of the shelter volunteers who was a teacher, attended support groups, and learned a great deal about domestic violence. She also received needed medical checkups because her boyfriend had not let her see her doctors.

Molly has received her GED, landed a job, started her own savings account, and is now living in her own apartment. Her next goal is to get her driver's license and buy herself a car. Molly admits she never thought she would be able to function on her own, but today she is completely independent and happy!

Survivor, Washington Women’s Shelter, Washington County, PA

A Life Saved: Shannon´s Story

After her husband began stalking her, Shannon got legal protection with a Protection From Abuse Order.

Shannon says often that her family and friends would never believe that she was in an abusive relationship. Shannon is college educated, well-dressed, with a highly responsible job. Her husband is successfully self-employed and was always worried about the social implications of a divorce.

Shannon was referred to her local domestic violence program by a police officer after she ran out of her house trying to get away from a violent beating from her husband. She began weekly counseling sessions to learn about the forms and effects of domestic violence. She was sad to realize how insidious the emotional, mental, physical and sexual abuse had been in her marriage.

Shannon learned to safety plan. She kept a bag with her important papers and extra clothing in her car. She made sure that her car was always parked so that she would be able to leave quickly and not be blocked by her husband’s car. She made sure that her husband’s handgun was more difficult for him to find.

In time, Shannon realized that her husband was not going to change, that she deserved more, and did not deserve to always worry and be frightened whenever he would come home. She moved out and got her own apartment.

After her husband began stalking her, Shannon got legal protection with a Protection From Abuse Order. Fearing a jail sentence, her husband left her alone.

Shannon has started a new life and has said “it feels wonderful to just get up and go for a walk and not worry what I’ll be coming home to!”

Survivor, Victim’s Resource Center, Wyoming County

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