Camila's Story

“Crisis line.  This is Sarah, are you safe?”

“Estoy asustada y necesito ayuda!”

(“I’m scared and I need help!”)

“Un minuto. Española lengua

(“Just a minute.  I’ll get someone speaking Spanish.”)

Camila called PADV’s crisis line from Northside Hospital - Gwinnett. She had recently moved to Atlanta with her husband, who had a history of violently abusing her. At that time Camilla was nine months pregnant, had been abused four times in the last two weeks, and was suffering with a broken nose, black eye and marks on her neck from strangulation.  When the police got to her home, they immediately called an ambulance to take Camilla to Northside.

The words poured out of Camila as she spoke to our Spanish language advocate. Her relief in sharing her story and being able to do it in her own language was palpable. Desperate to get distance from her husband, PADV arranged for Camila to be transported to the Fulton shelter.

As Camila was completing her shelter intake, staff noticed an unauthorized car in the Safe House parking lot. Camila saw the car on the security camera; recognizing it immediately she ran cowering in fear to the to the corner of the room.

“Es mi marido ¿Cómo me encontró?”

(“It’s my husband!  How did he find me?!”)

Camila’s advocate asked for her cell phone and quickly discovered that her husband had tracking software on it. Staff immediately disabled this software and called the police to remove Camila’s husband from the property.

Now that her location was known, Camila again felt terrified and lost. After a lengthy conversation with her advocate, Camila decided to return to Gwinnett to obtain a temporary protective order and enter the Gwinnett shelter. PADV’s Spanish Language Advocate transported Camila through the challenges of Atlanta traffic. Upon arriving at Gwinnett Magistrate Court in Lawrenceville she stayed with Camila throughout the court process, making sure her paperwork was completed accurately, that Camila understood the court proceedings, and that a temporary protective order was put into place.

Finally safe and resting at the Gwinnett Shelter, tears fell from Camila’s eyes.

”Te preocupabas por mí cuando estaba solo. Te aseguraste de que mi bebé y yo estuviéramos a salvo. ¡Mi corazón dice gracias!”

(“You cared for me when I was all alone.  You made sure my baby and I were safe.  My heart says thank you.”)


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