Claudia is a domestic violence survivor who suffered physical, mental and emotional abuse for over 15 years. She first came to Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) through the Fulton Safe Families office where she received help securing a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) and also received assistance with getting a divorce. Although no longer living with her abuser when she sought PADV’s help, Claudia was still being harassed, threatened and had received no child support for her 12 and 8 year old children. All of these issues were addressed in the TPO that Claudia was successful in securing. PADV also connected Claudia with the Latin American Association for assistance with filing a petition that allows a survivor of domestic violence who is the spouse, child or parent of an abusive US citizen or lawful permanent resident to obtain immigration benefits. In many cases, a strong and effective method of abuse and control that perpetrators use is threatening an immigrant survivor with not filing immigration paperwork on her behalf and/or working to get her deported. Once the immediate safety and survival issues had been addressed, PADV connected Claudia with CEPTA, a Spanish speaking nonprofit agency that could provide Claudia with much needed counseling services.
Today Claudia is divorced, receiving child support, has processed all necessary immigration paperwork and is awaiting an immigration appointment, the final step in achieving her goal of becoming a lawful permanent United States resident. Once this is achieved, Claudia can obtain a work permit, allowing her to apply for better paying jobs and giving her a sense of security, safety and stability she has never previously experienced. Claudia is also taking English classes, enabling her to be prepared for living wage job opportunities that PADV is helping her find.
PADV’s support and services to Claudia has had a tremendous impact on the entire family. Her special needs child has qualified for Medicaid, is receiving specialized educational and counseling services, and is receiving food stamp assistance. Thanks to PADV’s many generous supporters, we were able to provide Claudia and her children with toys, gifts and food to ensure that all had a Christmas full of positive memories. Claudia continues to receive counseling and began 2017 confident and self-assured.