Past client *Leslie is the definition overcoming huge barriers to find the path to success.

Leslie is a survivor of multiple types of abuse. Her partner of two years tried to malnourish her and her child by locking them in their mobile home and only bringing expired/molded food.  He beat her, restricted her from speaking or looking at other men, financially controlled her and had her arrested.

Leslie moved out when her sister encouraged her to do so after discovering Leslie and her child didn’t have proper food to eat. Though Leslie went to live with her sister in another town, her abuser saw her while she was visiting the doctor about her pregnancy. The abuser shoved her into a van and drove erratically down Interstate 85. He took her cell phone and threw it out the window, but then stopped the van to go look for it. With the van stopped, Leslie ran out of the van barefoot, pregnant and child held tight to her chest.  She ran across I-85 and borrowed a stranger’s cell phone to call the police. Her sister picked her up and encouraged her to make a police report, but when the police arrived at the sister’s house, Leslie was arrested because her abuser had also called the police and told them that she abused him. She went to jail for four days.

After her fourth day in jail, Leslie was notified that she was being released. The immigration officer saw her bruises and asked her questions about her situation. The officer gave her the number to PADV and encouraged Leslie to call for help. Leslie was admitted to PADV’s shelter and was successful in gaining a temporary protective order, something she had been denied when she had previously sought it on her own. All charges against Leslie were dropped once the camera on I-85 confirmed her version of the incident. Her abuser was arrested and was finally out of Leslie’s life.

Leslie applied for her U-Visa, a United States visa set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation/prosecution of criminal activity.   Leslie cried tears of joy and relief when it was approved.  Leslie is currently working full-time and living violence-free with her sister and two children.

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