Sarah: Confidence, Self-esteem and Joy

Sarah* met her abuser through a mutual friend.  Like many relationships that later involve domestic violence they became serious quickly and initially, things were great.  He moved her and her children into his place and took care of them. One year into the relationship Sarah became pregnant, which unfortunately ended in a miscarriage.  Their relationship shifted after the miscarriage.  Instead of being supportive, Sarah’s partner blamed her for what happened.  It was at this point he became abusive, purposefully egging Sarah into arguments so that he could escalate it to violence.  He would often pull her hair out, bite her and burn her with lit cigarettes.  

In May Sarah entered our shelter with three children, her five-year-old boy and a set of twin girls. She would later find out that she was early in pregnancy when she entered the shelter.  Sarah was determined to take back ownership of her life.  In just 90 days she obtained employment, enrolled her five-year-old in school, enrolled her twins in daycare and with the help of her advocate, entered a GED program. What drove Sarah was her desire to make her children proud and have them see her walk across the stage as she received her GED.

When Sarah arrived at PADV she was struggling with depression and stress.  Through shelter counseling services and ongoing support from her shelter advocate, Sarah has begun to rebuild her confidence, self-esteem and joy in life.  Sarah now serves as encouragement to other residents, always working to show them what they can accomplish next.  We are happy to report that Sarah has recently been accepted into our Supportive Housing Program and is excited about the next chapter in her family’s life.

*Survivor’s name changed to protect identity

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