40 Stories - "Mary"

PADV Survivor

“Mary” moved to the United States from Indonesia after marrying her American husband.  Shortly after arriving in the States, Mary began to suffer from his emotional, physical and financial abuse. The severity of the violence increased after Mary’s mother-in-law moved in the home, as her husband’s mother was also abusive to Mary.  Mary felt terribly trapped in this nightmare, and that there was no one to turn to for help, no place to go to escape. The abuse from both her husband and mother-in-law was relentless!

After years of abuse, Mary managed to flee the state with her two children, searching for safety and security. Unfortunately, her abuser was able to locate her and accused her of kidnapping their children and stealing his money. The abuser then petitioned the court to have their children taken from Mary and require her to pay him child support. 

The tide began to turn for Mary when she was referred to PADV and entered our shelter.  We worked with her on maintaining custody of her children, and connecting Mary with an attorney through Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Standing in court with her PADV legal advocate and legal aid attorney, Mary wept tears of joy and relief as she listened to the judge grant her legal custody of her children, drop all the charges her husband brought against her, and grant her a temporary protective order that would help facilitate her journey to safety and freedom.  After her legal victory, Mary continued her stay at our PADV shelter, gaining employment, housing and a divorce from her husband. She celebrates her safe, peaceful and loving life with her children. We celebrate her victory, and are always happy to get her positive updates when she checks in with us.