It’s hard to look back at the year and not think about how much our lives have changed and what we had to give up to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. Many of us have canceled trips, family celebrations, and had to shelter at home. Some of us have juggled working from home and helping our children with school lessons. Every day suddenly became “take your child to work” day. For me, as the mother of two children under four years old, the pandemic intensified all my struggles. My children and I experienced severe family violence at the hands of my partner before he was arrested for domestic and child abuse. It was at that time that I was referred to PADV for assistance and supportive services. After leaving the abusive relationship I was able to manage well due to my job at the airport. Even though I had put my studies on hold I never shied away from hard work. But like many people during this pandemic work quickly became complicated when we were forced to shut down.
I was laid off and found it difficult to find a new job because school and daycare were closed and I didn’t have a family support system. I am a fighter and a survivor and I wasn’t going to let this stop me from supporting my babies. With my babies in tow I began delivering pizzas. I worked harder than I ever had to keep my babies fed and a roof over our heads, but it wasn’t enough. After falling behind in my rent and utilities I knew I could turn to PADV for assistance. This summer my partner was released from jail and in an attempt to find me broke the windows in my apartment. PADV stepped in again, helping me obtain a Temporary Protective Order and placing my children and me in a hotel until it was safe to again return to my apartment. My story highlights what many other survivors have experienced this year, and the ongoing support PADV provides in their journey to safety. While I have not been able return to school, I have been able to obtain a better job. Today my children and I live violence-free lives.